Thursday, 14 November 2013

Barkcloth to Artcloth

I always love the idea of artists collaborating on projects and so  couldn't resist joining in with the collaboration between Janet Middleton of Star-Child Shoes and Bobby Britnell, especially as it is also raising funds for Bobby's wonderful charity Hands up for Uganda.
 
 
The idea was to start with a piece of barkcloth which is a traditional material from Uganda, available from Bobby for £3. We were then instructed to decorate this barkcloth in anyway we liked and to be as "funky and whacky" as we liked. My piece of cloth already had quite a few holes over the surface so I decided to use these holes and back the cloth with another fabric making a feature of reverse applique.

 
Taking inspiration from the name "Star-child shoes" I used stars as my theme and started by cutting a cardboard stencil and stencilling stars in textile paint over the surface of my barkcloth

 
I then very carefully cut out the stars, keeping them to use later, and backed my barkcloth with a gold fabric... nothing subtle going on here.

 
I stitched the two pieces of cloth together with gold machine stitching, hand stitched around each star shaped hole and then machine stitched the cut out stars onto the surface. I supposed I could have stopped there but decided to throw all good taste out of the window and covered the surface with more gold stitching and sequins. By this point it was getting dark and there was no chance of a good photo...

 
But I was so desperate to get the cloth into the post and off to Janet at Star-Child shoes that I took a picture of my finished cloth anyway so you will have to squint your eyes and imagine the true colour of my end result.

 
Janet will then make up all the decorated pieces of barkcloth artcloth into gorgeous little Art Shoes like these pictured, which will be exhibited next year at two ICHF exhibitions in Birmingham and London. Can't wait to see them all together!

13 comments:

  1. What a brilliant idea...love what you've done with your cloth! :)
    V xxx

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  2. What a lovely idea ,Gina. Your cloth looks very festive. I am looking forward to see how the little shoes made of your cloth look like. xx

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  3. Looks like you had some fun with all the elements you worked into the cloth. I really like the reverse applique effect. There are going to be some very happy children to receive a pair of these custom shoes!! Wendy x

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  4. THAT's not tasteless, that's lovely.
    Now, Leopardskin and fishnets - that's another matter ....

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  5. Oh how interesting -- I love how you took advantage of the holes in your fabric. It will be fun to see your fabric in shoes!

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  6. Gina, I bought three pieces and gave the other two to my friends as a sort of 'mini-challenge/fun thing to do' for the autumn etc. They have made a start while I still procrastinate, changing ideas and faffing about with other things. Now that you've posted this I think I need to pull my finger out but the muse has deserted me!! I had an idea of printing something on the cloth related to african alphabets but that's faded away. Yours is such a great idea and it must spur me on even!! I love your take on it and you can't beat a bit of bling can you?

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  7. What an unusual and interesting idea. I really like what you've done with your barkcloth; 'tis the season to be jolly, after all.

    x

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  8. Such a great idea and I love the star shapes. Your bark cloth will make a magical pair of shoes.

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  9. I think I've got some barkcloth this colour somewhere.. I shall have a look. I love what you've done, it will make some very starry, sparkly shoes.

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  10. Lovely work, it'll be lovely seeing them all displayed together. :)
    Jess x x

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  11. What a fun project, and the 'bling' is just right for the run up to C'mas!

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  12. What a lovely project ... there are going to be some fab starry shoes out there soon :)

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  13. such a lovely project - those starry shoes will look great They are really lovely little shoes

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