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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    I had to look after the kids this weekend, so I used it as an opportunity to have a dry run with the bricks. I made a simple rectangle form, but that was a mistake as you need a handle to lever the form off the clay. There's also an ideal texture. Too soft and it slumps when the form is taken off. Too hard and it doesn't fill the corners. The bricks we made were a bit rustic, but I'll do better when I'm on my own.
    The clay shrinks quite a lot. One of the bricks has quite a crack in it. I wonder how much aggregate you can mix with it?
    • CommentAuthordickster
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2018
    Just reading a great 1956 book on ceramics. The man says firing the same clay to the same temperature, but 1. for 12 hours, 2. for 14 hours, leaves shrinkage for 1. 12%, 2. 8%. Showing that time taken has a big impact on shrinkage (and cracking). All to do with them crystals, y'know.
    Drying the bricks coincided with last weekend's very hot weather, so the rapid drying may have been the cause of the crack. I suppose if it all shrank at the same rate, and there was nothing to prevent the shrinkage (such as if it was plaster on a wall), there ought not to be cracks. Next time I'll dry it more slowly indoors, and on a bed of sand so that there is no resistance where it touches whatever it is resting on.
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