A few streets away from our house is an old telephone exchange built in the 1930's. We love the utilitarian yet quietly stylish design of this building, and it has been an inspiration behind the design for the structure, a bit. Here it is.
Not only does it sport this lovely relief design, but also boasts some gorgeous flemish bricklaying. That's when a row of half bricks is placed between a standard row. I bet you never knew there was so much craft involved in bricklaying. Sadly the extra labour cost and noise pollution of 4 thousand bricks being cut in half has meant we've decided to pass on the flemish.
So, the most important task was to choose bricks that would render this vintage feel. If we did not put in some serious effort getting them right, we'd end up with something that looked like this. Not good. Equally naff would be to use ubiquitous recycled bricks, de rigour around here in the 90's. At the risk of disappearing up our own backsides with attention to detail, it has to be said that either would be a major fail.
What we did was choose three different styles of 'tumbled' new bricks, from two different suppliers, to be blended thus creating a genuinely vintage-looking brick facade, an oxymoron if ever there was one. This has proved too complex and out the box for brickie number one who has now walked with the bother of it all. All halt for a week now as we await the start of brickie number two.
Speaking of bricks, in the process of digging up the backyard this baby below surfaced, along with other miscellaneous items. I did a bit of research and found that it came from the State Brickworks in Armadale which cranked up in 1915 and ceased to operate as a State-run facility in the mid 1950s. Our house being weatherboard, maybe the brick was a token purchase to be admired. Weatherboard houses were traditionally half the cost of brick dwellings to build.
Just think of the money saved if I'd dug up another 8,499 of them.