Joan Brailsford – Clock Works

Clock works
My initial idea for this challenge was to incorporate clocks into the piece, and on seeing a commercial stencil of cogs and wheels, I immediately thought of the intricate works inside old pocket watches, and my idea from then was to depict a de-constructed version of a time-piece.
I attached dyed abaca tissue to light interfacing and using the stencil, I cut the shape of the cogs and wheels. I created a string print block with curly patterns which remind me of faded engraved patters on antique pocket watch cases. I printed these in gold onto space dyed cotton. I added a clock face printed onto organza. I cut a simple cardboard stencil to add the words.
I decided to stitch by hand and to keep the quilting simple in  contrast to the main motif.  I used matching thread to simply stitch around all of the cogs and wheels, and add further cog shapes. I used metallic thread to give the words a sharp outline, and used gold thread to follow the gold string prints, to emphasise the impression of engraved patterns.
Finally I added a few gold beads to ‘centre’ the cogs and wheels.

Joan clock works

Close up View:

Joan close up 2


  1. very nice work. Love the colors

  2. We seem to have had similar sources and ideas. Well done.

  3. I like this piece very much — and the decision to hand-quilt around the words and shapes…something that takes time and is very much in keeping with the remembering of the way time pieces used to be made. Thank you!

  4. Chantal Guillermet

    It is funny my first idea was a similar one … and I changed my mind ! well done !

  5. What a clever idea, a mixture of clock wheels with the clock face and words “tick”, the colours are vibrant and draws the viewer into the image for a closer look. Well done.

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