I’ve admired Marlis Kuusela’s skilled air-brushed fabrics for years, so when I found out she was giving a workshop at her Camano Island studio, I enthusiastically signed up.  Even better, we started with a day trip to Seattle Art Museum, to get inspired by the “Victorian Radicals: From The Pre-raphaelites To The Arts And Crafts Movement“ exhibition.  Marlis shared ideas on how to view the exhibition and take and change design elements to make them our own.  Then it was on to learn air brushing on fabric.

Lunch at the SAM Cafe after viewing the exhibition

Marlis has perfected her techniques over many years, both in using the air brush and in creating intricate stencils to use with her tools.  She has organized her air brush studio to make the ultimate use of the space, including 3 air brush stations and lots of original-designed stencils neatly hanging along the walls.

Students with our air-brushed fabrics we made!

We first learned the components of the air brush tool, including how to take it apart and reassemble- a must for any case of it having problems.  We then got to practice using it, with Marlis’ stencils and other objects to use as resists, such as plant matter and lace.  She made it seem easy, but it certainly takes practice to get it right!

Later in the day, we learned about making stencils… including ‘registered’ stencils where you have 2 or more different stencils that are shot with different colors.

Marlis Kuusela of Flair Designs and Jane Schreven (who makes beautiful custom buttons) with their air-brushed fabrics

If you’re interested in taking a class with Marlis, feel free to contact me to get her contact information!  She also sells her gorgeous fabrics, gives lectures to quilt groups, and has Open Studio days where you can pay to come work in her studio with her equipment.  I enjoyed getting to know Marlis and our other students and look forward to coming up to her studio again in the future!