Monday, June 13, 2011

All About Bricks

Our house is built of bricks called Eastwood Reds.

The Eastwood Brickworks closed some years ago, after being in operation about 80 years. My Dad lives near it and I remember occasionally hearing blasting in the quarry when I was a child, then seeing the dust rising. But why is our 1946 house built of Eastwood Reds, Sydneysiders will ask, when the closest brickworks was in fact at Homebush? It turns out that the Homebush Brickworks was closed during the war. I imagine the manpower that was left was simply moved to a smaller number of brickworks -- after all, there was very little building going on.

There is, of course, a problem when you try to match bricks: the clays are always different colours in different places, and even at different times. And as you can see below, it's difficult to match bricks from pictures. These samples are from the Austral website, and are of their Hereford Bronze and Shorthorn Mix respectively. The actual bricks are significantly darker.

We initially selected Hereford Bronze, finding the Shorthorn too dark when we received the samples. Our original bricks are rather gingery in colour, with a darker range of shades used below the floor line. Then we hit a snag. After a couple of weeks of being told they were on back order, Austral confessed that the clays for the Hereford shades had run out. They had to break into the Shorthorn pallets to find lighter bricks to make up our order, so the result was rather darker than we had anticipated. As most of the bricks we see at the back are new, it doesn't really matter. I think they tone quite well with the old pinkish-grey commons to the right:

And even where one sees both old and new together, the new looks rather like our darker subfloor bricks:

But scroll up to the top again. They don't look like the photos from Austral, do they?

1 comment:

Katie M said...

Fun trying to match things in old houses, isn't it? We tried with our floorboards, took them to half a dozen places trying to find out what they were, and most people had no idea! Closest clue we have was one person who thought they might be some sort of wood - unnamed - which was from NZ and which they stopped using 50 years ago, so we've got Buckley's chance of matching them!
I think both your bricks and my floorboards will look good in the end, matching or not :)