Join 3,415 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Determine never to be idle
March 1, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

We got lost in the process of brick making and firing. The sounds and the rhythm of the work, the patterns, the processes. An amazing day!

The Brickfields:

Clay making
Blending the clay
Making bricks and even more bricks
Sealing the kiln
Feeding the fire
Unpacking the kiln, more unpacking, and singing
posted by swift (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, carrying bricks in Bangladesh would be the end of me - my arms are too long. Somebody send these people some hods.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:26 AM on March 1, 2013


pre-"modern" technology is fascinating. I am particularly impressed by the clip of the man throwing coal into the kiln.
posted by rebent at 8:33 AM on March 1, 2013


This reminds me of being in India and seeing men cutting tree trunks into boards from which to build boats. They were just using big giant handsaws, one handle on each end, and slicing the tree trunks lengthwise using the power of one man on each side of the saw. It was sort of amazing that anyone would still do that in the 21st century.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:44 AM on March 1, 2013


It was sort of amazing that anyone would still do that in the 21st century.

Don't worry, we'll be doing PLENTY of manual labor in the 21st century again, once the oil runs out.

(Great post!)
posted by DU at 8:52 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amazing workers, but these poor guys probably all end up with silicosis, right?

Although they do say that they eat bananas to protect from the dust. Whatever that does.

Sorry for the downer. Back to the amazement!
posted by orme at 9:04 AM on March 1, 2013


That's a Bull's Trench Kiln, and it's a pretty cool low-tech process for continuous brick production. That looks like amazingly hard dusty work. My eyes are stinging just watching those guys throw all the dusty sandy bricks up on top of their head.

Those big wide-bladed hoes look like they'd be super handy in the garden.
posted by echo target at 9:05 AM on March 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reminds me of some of the traditional kiln firing stuff for mountain pottery I read about in the Foxfire books. Specifically in the original ones and by that I mean the single digit editions. They seemed to take a downhill turn after that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:17 AM on March 1, 2013


Wait, they move the chimneys!!!??? echo_target's link says as much but I got the impression from the OP's links that the trench just went around central, immobile stack and was used/cooled in a continuous basis by rotating the active section...
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:19 AM on March 1, 2013


*stack being short for smokestack, not for stack of bricks.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:20 AM on March 1, 2013


You can do it with a permanent central brick chimney, but it looks from this photo like they're using a single movable metal chimney.
posted by echo target at 2:15 PM on March 1, 2013


wow, just wow. It is truly amazing what humans can do, with limited resources. I love how they even found a use for the broken/faulty bricks. It is truly amazing what WE can do when we want do (and I am very thankful I had the good fortune to be born here and not spending my life carrying bricks on my head to earn my bread).
posted by bartonlong at 4:15 PM on March 1, 2013


In case you're interested in a step up in technology and investment... a brick making machine
posted by surplus at 5:29 PM on March 1, 2013


And the even more modern approach. A brick made using much less energy and no clay. It uses fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired electric plants.
posted by surplus at 5:42 PM on March 1, 2013


All of the youtube links are going to a "this video is private" note :(
posted by Librarygeek at 12:29 PM on March 2, 2013


And the blog post is gone. Bummer.
posted by swift at 6:15 PM on March 3, 2013


Yeah I wonder why he pulled it, swift.
posted by surplus at 7:34 AM on March 4, 2013


« Older Remember BigDog, the robot 'mule' that Boston Dyna...  |  Flash Unity Friday: FPS-Man is... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments