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!