Joan Brailsford – A

Art, Advertising and Alleyways

Inspiration: As for the rest of my series, I used my pictures of Middleport pottery as my inspiration.

For this piece I have used images of art work in and around the factory. There are graffiti-like painted sections of the canal wall at the back of the pottery which depict the type of patterns used in the ware, and I have always loved their bold patterns. In addition the little tearoom at the pottery has one wall covered with artwork taken from the old-fashioned willow pattern that was so popular once. In addition, I used images of the little alleyways and alcoves amongst the Victorian factory buildings, with their cobbled surfaces and little nooks and alcoves in unexpected places.

I have included some old advertisements for the factory, and an old door which advertises the company name, and bags and ‘back stamp’ designs that also hold the company name, and are sold in the Alcove shop.

As with my other pieces, I have used photo-transfer techniques, and embellished them with hand stitching to highlight main areas of design and act as quilting stitches. For the stitching I have repeated the cobble and brick design, the outline of the bottle oven, and added some stylised flower patterns as depicted in the willow pattern.

Detail views:


Original pictures:


Full series:


  1. Joan I think you series is really stunning, there is such a wealth of information in each piece and I love the way that the bottle kiln and brickwork are a constant. Really lovely work, well done!

  2. An intriguing quilt that gives a glimpse into the working of an historic Staffordshire pot bank. The complete series is an inspirational work art.

  3. This piece is really in harmony with the other five ones. It is a very interesting documentary on the place and it makes you want to visit it one day !

  4. A wonderful way to end your series that has held me waiting for each reveal to see the continuing story. bravo

  5. I so admire your different techniques to build up your quilts. It has been great to follow your story of the Middleport pottery and you have made it become alive with your beautiful quilts.
    The use of colour is lovely and I especially like the patches of blue in all six of the quilts. A most lovely series.

  6. Your series is a great hommage to the pottery. It’s amazing how you bring that much information in each quilt. This last piece in in harmony with the other ones. Beautiful!!!

  7. Another awesome addition to your Middleport pottery series. I love the subtle colours in all of the quilts. So much information about this factory and now completed with alleyways and alcoves. The recurring pattern of the bottle kiln and brickwork unites all your work,

  8. Your series is delightful and so full of history. I very much like the overlapping photos.

  9. This is another fascinating piece to complete your series. There is so much detail in each quilt. I love the little blue highlights and the bottle oven shape in each one.

  10. Joan, your last quilt completes a very integral series and sounds like final accord of a beautiful music

  11. The details of the cobble stone, brick design, the outline of the bottle oven and the addition of the blue willow pattern throughout your quilts unite your series beautifully! A lovely end to your fascinating and informative series of the Middleport pottery factory.

  12. Loved every single piece of your story so I’m not surprised that the whole series looks splendid!

  13. And again a wonderful addition to the theme. The way in which you subtly make combinations in shape and color is amazing every time. Your entire series is so delicate and exudes love for your subject. Great job Joan!

  14. A charming piece adds to complete your fabulous series. I love the soft and delicate colours that give that sense of antiquity reflecting the era. it is a truly harmonious work the photos and the details combine perfectly without prevailing one over the other. Your whole story invites me to visit this place and in this sad period, the fantasy needs strong stimuli like this. Bravo and thanks, Joan!

  15. studiociboulette

    I love your layering and photo technique. Once again your quilt is fabulous and beautifully detailed with quilting. I love the series, so creative. Beautiful

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