This post will explain the trial and error brick making process for our group. Highlighting what went wrong with the initial tester bricks and what went right with the final chamfered brick.
Once we had our accurate and tightly sealed mould, we were able to use the clay room as a ‘messy space’ to test the mould. We used the following equipment:
Brick Mould (previously made)
Sanded desktop so that the clay does not stick to the surface and it is easier to mould. The mould is also sanded to ensure the brick doesn’t get stuck inside the mould. Water and brush to line the mould with a non stick layer of sand and water to ensure the clay does not get stuck to the mould.
Lay a slab of clay as the base, with a large clump of clay placed on top,
Use hand to create indentation around edges of clump into the slab,
Fold hands over the top of slab, and roll clay into brick shape.
The clay clump in then ‘inserted’ into the mould, the method of insertion can greatly affect how accurate your brick looks. Clay could be thrown in, giving great force for the clay to be forced into corners. Or clay could be pushed in, allowing greater detail along edges (slow process, not efficient enough to be used in a brick factory).
Wire cutter is then used to scrape off any excess clay that doesn’t fit in the mould. The excess clay would then be put towards the slab layer for next brick.
1. Initial Tester Brick
Hand thrown brick, using fairly dry clay which made it less malleable and not as willing to bend to the shape of the mould, resulting in a little chamfered edge. Also stuck to the mould and took the longest to take out, because the mould was not sanded enough.
2. Second Tester Brick
Hand pushed brick, using more moist clay so that it is more malleable we pushed the clay into the mould ensuring all the edges and corners are filled. The lighter colour of the brick is due to the more sand used to ensure the brick did not stick to the mould.
3. Third Tester Brick
Hand thrown brick, we added water to the clay mixture to really make it malleable and easy to mould. The clay was able to take the shape of the mould alot easier without any additional assistance.
When the bricks are placed into the drying cupboard, they can shrink by 10%. The amount of sand you used on the mould affects the smoothness of the surface. The more sand used to get the brick out of the mould, the more rough finish the brick will be. If no sand or water was used, the brick finish would be smooth.
Group Members: Kyle, Simon, Paula, Tapi, Greg