Last weekend I attended a 2 day workshop with Anne Mitchell owner of Genesis Creations. Back in February I saw Anne demonstrate Liquid Radiance, a fabric paint that is similar to a fabric dye but it isn’t a dye. Liquid Radiance is non toxic and Australian made and owned. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and couldn’t wait for the work shop. Day 1 was all about learning the basics.
The first thing we were taught was how to apply the paint to the fabric. You can dap it on in sections and spread with a paint brush or use the even more handy method (excuse the pun) the 5 finger foam brush which is essentially your hand in a rubber glove. Liquid Radiance is very concentrated and you only need a tiny amount to give you coverage. If you use too much of it not only are you wasting the products your actually making your fabric look dull and have a plastic feel as Anne drums into you “Excess is the Enemy” After you apply the paint the way you handle the fabric next will determine what patterns you get.
If you apply salt to your painted fabric a reaction occurs as it dries and it draws the dye and makes patterns. Different size salt such as rock salt or pool salt will form different patterns. If you use salt you need to rinse your fabric well before you sew with it
You can wrap your fabric around objects such as bottles or pipes (even a tree) and use rubber bands or strings to create patterns.
We made a funky pair of socks by sticking the coloured socks over the end of a empty bottle and scrunch them up.
One of my favourite things was heliography where you place objects on your fabric to create patterns. You place it out in the sun to dry. Afterwards you remove the objects and the shapes still appear on the fabric.
Another method we tried called air exclusion is where you crumple the fabric up and stop the air from getting to it. Once the fabric is dry and pulled open it gives a gorgeous crystal effect.
Other ways to create patterns in the fabric is to wrap objects in them and place the paint over the top. We tried this with marbles. The colours I chose don’t really show how effective this can be. You can form flowers or sun bursts if you choose the right colours.
One thing I was surprised about was how quickly things were drying inside. Pieces that were lying flat were dry by the next morning (or even later that day) The socks were dry overnight. The more crumbled or scrunched an item the longer it took to dry however it didn’t take too long. I did have some pieces drying for a day or so when I got home.
With Liquid Radiance you do need to heat set the items. This can be done with an iron or for non ironable items a hairdryer. I ironed them when I got home. Once they are heat set they are fine to be washed. It was the first time I’ve ironed socks but yep even they needed to be heat set.
As mentioned too much paint in the fabric is bad so you remove the excess paint from each item with another piece of fabric. These pieces of fabric sometimes turn out so beautiful and can be used as complementing fabrics in their own right. This blue fabric is the mop up piece from the socks. I left it to dry scrunched up
Other time the mop up fabrics turn out ugly. It really depends on if your wanting to use them as a feature piece in your work or if your treating them as a rag cloth. This piece was a rag cloth for me but I guess it would make a nice piece if it was cut up.
I had so much fun on day 1 of the workshop. I must warn you it is a busy day as Anne has so much she wants to teach you and is so passionate about it. She gives you a list of items to bring to the workshop and if you have prepped them like she said it makes for a smooth day. At the end of the day your brain is buzzing with ideas it is fantastic. She gives you lots of hand outs so you can remember how to do things when you get home.