Bricks are beautiful.
Bricks are solid and robust, but also very feminine, graceful, sophisticated and cool. They can be tactile like velvet or old precious wood, or like sun soaked rocks by the seaside. They are collected, swapped and even bought individually as pieces of jewellery or sculptures and then displayed as proudly as any collection of Art. Art of bricks..
I like treating bricks just like pots. I decorate them with slips, glazes and oxides and fire them. Sometimes I use it as a rehearsal of glazing the pot, to steady my hand and mind as the result of glazing is irreversible… But sometimes it is just fun to have a pressure-free exercise glazing a humble brick from B&Q instead of a pot hand-built over several hours. Who cares if a result is not great?
Glazed bricks make good birthday presents for friends and look good displayed as decorative objects or cool door stops . A layer of colour and texture creates a narrative and gives brick and extra depth and interest.
I also like drawing bricks as a series of visual studies, looking at the whole brick, its frog (the bit with maker’s name), its surface carrying signs of weathering and time, its imperfections like lines on human face. It can tell you the story about how it was made, how it has been used, how it travelled and how it has retired to the collector’s shelf or as an old dignitary in a garden.
a study of the old Whitehill brick – a present from my Scottish friend
Apart from glazes, slips and oxides, bricks can be decorated with ceramic transfers (or decals).