One of the first projects I was given at architecture college was to design a brick wall. A 50 meter long wall in the middle of nowhere. A requirement of the brief was to draw every single brick. I'm not sure how many bricks that comes out as, but suffice to say, it's a lot.
Midnight on the eve before the hand-in saw me hunched over my drawing board, Rotring pen in hand, drawing line after line after tiny line. This was in the days before everybody used computers and there was no brick hatching button to press. My back was aching and it felt as though my spine was going to explode from between my shoulder blades.
3 a.m. saw me weeping softly, trying to stop the tears falling on my drawing.
4 a.m. saw me writing the titles of my drawings with a stencil. Letraset typefaces were expensive and we'd been encouraged to develop our stencilling skills. If you have used one of those stencils, you will know that they are uncooperative and inevitably there are ink smears. And more tears.
5 a.m. saw me finish off by writing my name.
This is not my name. I had been brain washed by bricks. Ear muffing bricks!
The other day I was thinking about the tortuous brick wall escapade and realised that I have quite a brick photo collection. I've made a small compilation.
Bricks can look amazing, especially if you don't have to draw them! Here is a detail of the facade of a primary school in the 18th arrondissement, Paris.
Here is a very intricate brick detail on the facade of a post office on Rue Marcadet, Paris 18th. Tricks with bricks.
Keble College in Oxford, built in 1870, colour play with bricks.
Saint Pancras in London, was built around the same time, in 1868.
The exposed gable walls of many Parisian buildings are built from brick. I love the way you can trace where the chimneys are.
Bricks can be used as cladding. And giraffes.
Bricks can also be painted (Oxford Cowley Road, a few years ago). I think this artwork has since been painted over, but I thought it was apt given the recent elections.