As experts in this field, we know the quality and character of a handmade brick cannot be mass-produced; it’s the little imperfections created during the process that makes each brick unique.
To get a really special product takes real craftsmanship and our brickmakers have the skills and experience required to create superior products in the traditional way – using methods dating back to the 15th century.
A ‘clot’ of roughly shaped clay is prepared and thrown by hand into a wooden mould dusted with dry, fine sand. Excess clay is removed with a wire bow and a flat wooden pallet is placed on top, with the mould being inverted to remove the brick.
These bricks – known as ‘green’ bricks – are then stacked and left to air dry, creating the unique creases or ‘smiles’ on each brick face.
Next, the green bricks are carefully stacked by hand into a coal fired kiln where the temperature is gradually increased.
The colour and texture of fired bricks depend on the minerals in the clay and kiln temperatures. Pink bricks contain more iron, while bricks with yellow tones are produced from clay with a higher lime content.As the kiln temperature increases, the bricks undergo a spectrum of changes; red bricks will darken to a purple tone, then turn brown or grey at around 1300°C.
After firing, the bricks are cooled in the chamber before they are removed for grading and packaging.
The complete brick making process consists of the following stages:-
Winning – digging for clay
Preparation – preparing the clay for shaping/moulding
Shaping – moulding of the bricks by hand
Drying – in open air and in kilns
Firing – in kilns
Quality Control – selecting only first quality bricks
Packing – packaging and preparing bricks for dispatch