Brick making processes (top left), Rollers (top right) and special shapes of bricks (below)
We visited Ibstock quarry and Brick factory in Aldridge. The staff there were very knowledgeable about their products.
The process of making bricks began with excavation of raw clay from the quarry, which is is dried and stored. This dried clay is then combined with water again when it is required and then additives are mixed together with the clay in a large hopper. The clay is then extruded into shape and trimmed with blades and then rollers were placed on the surface to add texture to the long shape of the bricks which are then wire cut into shape. These bricks are then dried and then put through a tunnel kiln.
The manager of the special shapes department was very knowledgeable. He had designed some of the umbra range which we are basing our designs around. He showed us the processes by which the glazes were applied and how he had designed new rollers to create new special shapes for their range. He also showed us many of the other unusual designs for bricks which he had made which were useful as precedents for our own designs.