EACH BRICK MURAL OR BRICK SCULPTURE IS A ONE OF A KIND CREATION. It begins with the design, which is arrived at by working closely with the client. The design process starts with initial conversations, sharing ideas and gathering information until we have developed a good sense for what you desire to create and what kinds of options and opportunities are possible. Some clients send us pictures or sketches to work from, others present us with a theme and we go to work to provide them with the design sketches, revisions, and final presentation.
ONCE A DESIGN HAS BEEN APPROVED, we then start the process of creating the brick mural by working with the selected brick manufacturer to order the desired size and depth of wet clay brick, or ‘green ware’. We stack the green ware on a large easel and transfer the design to the clay. Finally, sculptors begin carving the design; first, roughing it out by reduction carving, and then working through several layers of refinement until the final form of the sculpture is achieved.
BEFORE THE BRICK MURAL OR BRICK SCULPTURE CAN BE FIRED, all moisture must be removed by drying. Bricks shrink in the dryers and this shrinkage must be carefully calculated into every brick sculpture. After drying, the brick are placed in a continuously fired tunnel kiln, in which the bricks are fired as they move slowly through the kiln on kiln cars. Temperatures during firing can range between 2000 – 2200 º Fahrenheit. During firing, clay particles are fused together in a process called vitrification. The final color of brick comes from the chemical and mineral content of the raw materials, the firing temperature, the color treatments applied and the atmosphere in the kiln. All these factors must be taken into account by the brick sculptor.
INSTALLATION OF THE BRICK MURAL OR BRICK SCULPTURE is a critical element in presenting the completed artwork. The individual bricks must be lined up precisely and the thin mortar joint lines tooled into the changing contours of the sculpture. Recognizing the importance of this final step, Images in Brick includes the installation fee as part of the overall bid. Jay Tschetter is a journeyman mason with over thirty years experience in the masonry field and has installed over a hundred brick sculptures. Tschetter will typically consult and work with local masons to oversee, guide, and guarantee that the most professional installation is achieved to display the completed mural or sculpture to it’s highest potential.