Barkcloth to Artcloth

one small step towards a brighter future

I am so excited about this project and being asked to take part in it. Janet Middleton, the director of 'Star Child Shoes' approached Bobby Britnell in 2012, wanting to support the charity, 'HANDS UP FOR UGANDA' and they came up with the idea of a collaboration between Star Child Shoes, Bobby Britnell, as a textile artist and the crafts in Kisaabwa.
First let me tell you what this particular project is about:
  • Promoting the ancient art of making bark cloth, a traditional material to Uganda and other countries.
  • Growing more Mutaba trees (bark cloth) to facilitate the project and create employment. 
  • Creating awareness about the Kisaabwa Project and 'Hands up for Uganda'.
  • Linking with artists, makers, enthusiastics, supporters in decorating a piece of bark cloth.
  • Creating awareness that shoe making is still healthy and alive as a craft at Star Child Shoes.
  • Transforming the decorated bark cloth into art shoes.
  • Developing and promoting the craft skills in Kisaabwa.
  • Bringing all this together to share with a wide viewing public in Birmingham and London in 2014. 

So I have received my barkcloth and spent the evening creating my own 'styled' dandelion on the front. I can not wait to post them and then see them made into a pair of shoes. I will post more picks when I get them xx

 This is the barkcloth as it arrived. A lovely surface to work on. I began by appliqueing a tweed style fabric with muslin on the top. Free machined with gold thread.
I then used one of my favourite homemade stamps (thanks so much to my friend Jane...long story) and appliqued felt on with additional mini circles of the barkcloth.

After free machining a little more I began hand stitching finishing off with french knots.


  1. Lovely work on the barkcloth- I've just finished my second piece, they are all going to look great when they are made up into little shoes x

  2. Hi Anne,
    I am so looking forward to getting on with my piece too. I keep looking at it trying to decide what to do, but absolutely great cause. Alysn