How To Make Bricks

Among the various brick products are soft-mud, stiff-mud bricks or wire-cut, dry pressed bricks, and sand-lime bricks.

Stiff-mud brick are made with either clay or ground shale, and tempered to a stiff consistency when adding water.  The bricks can be made in nearly any size and when mixed with water will form a stiff mud brick. The brick will feel dry to the touch and must be void of water prior to placing in the kiln.

  1. The bricks are manually stacked. Then they are transferred to a holding room where they are heated to 100°F, for an hour.
  2. Brick surface textures are made by scratching with steel points or embossing designs by rollers on the bricks.
  3. Then they are sent through a tunnel dryer, before entering natural gas fired kilns.

    WARNING: If the green brick is not dried, or contains moisture, it could turn to steam in the kiln and blow the bricks apart.

  4. Once in place, the outer kiln door is closed and the inner door opened to allow the bricks to enter a preheat zone. Then a firing zone, and a forced draft cooling zone. Most normal bricks require 24 hours at 1500 degrees F to bake.
  5. Because the top of the kiln is hotter than the bottom, the color of the brick varied from darker colors at the top to lighter colors at the bottom.
  6. After exiting the kiln, the bricks are transferred to a waiting area. After cooling enough to be handled they are sorted by color and stacked on pallets.
  7. Colored enamels are formulated from various oxides and ceramic stains, which are mixed in a glaze mixing room. Glazed brick received an even coat of color over the entire surface. These bricks are then baked to 450° for 3 hours.

Bricks are relatively easy to make and add Old World charm to nearly any motif you are looking for.


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