Artisans working on paper beads in Uganda

Where there is Will..

African Arts, an artisan group creating the most fabulous up-cycled paper beads and using them to create unique, intricate, well crafted jewellery. They began 5 years ago in the garage of Jalia and Daniel’s home. A Ugandan couple who saw an opportunity to improve the lives of many around them. They partnered with a large company in the States and supply them with their on-trend hand made paper bead jewellery. Small beginnings; 5 years ago, they employed just a handful of people. Now they employ up to 100! Tinkered by is very excited to be working alongside this inspiring group of men and women!

Their VISION is to empower the underprivileged women and youth of Africa. Their MISSION is to be the leading producer of African Arts while sharing the love of Jesus Christ to meet the spiritual and physical needs of every point and person of contact. Their SLOGAN, touching lives through Art! Love this group. x

Paper beads drying in the sun

How it’s Done

It is amazing to watch these artisans in action. Each person skilled in a particular part of the process. They carefully cut the paper into tiny strips, then roll each strip around a toothpick to create a bead – not as easy as it sounds – the smaller the bead the more intricate the work! They can roll the paper in many different ways to create unique shapes and styles. Once rolled, they glue the end of the paper to hold the bead into place and then string them to be varnished. Each bead is varnished three times to ensure that they are durable and smooth. Strung on lines in the sun to dry, then they are design ready.

Jalia, co-founder of the group is the leading designer. To stay on top of trends she uses magazines. She creates each design first, then teaches the beaders the art of creating that piece perfectly!

Cutting strips of up-cycled paper to create glorious paper beads

Future Dreams

African Style Arts have grand visions for the future and we have no doubt each will be ticked off one by one. Their main priority is to secure a permanent workshop/ office that can house their industrious business and can house an area for dryers to overcome the Ugandan rainy season. They would like to improve the services they provide their people; better medical support and insurance, transportation in the form of a van to help with travel. They have recently opened a day care and ministry centre that will help the working mothers who usually struggle with care for their young children while at work.

An outstanding group of inspirational people. An awesome example of the kind of success we are working toward for all of our  Tinkered by Artisans.

Tinkered by African Arts Uganda

A little sample of this Artisan groups creativity with paper beads – beautiful!

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Tied Up Paper Necklace

Two long multi-strand lengths tied in a knot. Stunning in it's simplicity.