Saturday, 14 January 2017

Continuing experiments with Granny Grating brickwork

Bricks and mortar

Right, if you've seen the last blog, you'll know I was pretty happy with how the faux-brickwork came out in terms of its shape. So I continued my work. Brickwork always seems to be to be a range of shades. I suppose I must see a lot of recycled bricks. Anyway, I pulled out black, brown, burnt sienna, yellow and red paints, added a little water, and painted some straight onto the bricks, and adulterated some, too. Some got a rich application of colour, and others a more dilute, wash-like one. I then quickly mixed some filler with a little black paint, and began applying it between the bricks as "mortar". It soon became clear that this was too much hassle, and I painted it over the lot with a brush, then dipped my finger in water, and ran it over the bricks, restoring to them some of their original colour.

The benefits of using terracotta clay as opposed to white

There's an interesting point here. Well, interesting for terrain fans. I didn't give the paint on the faces of the "bricks" much time to dry. So when I rubbed off the wash, I am pretty sure I rubbed off some of the paint, too. Here's the thing: I think that actually worked quite well. You see, now I had a wall with bricks in various tones, but all of them showing some of the terracotta Das clay beneath them. It unified the colours. Even better, if it is damaged, it won't show a clean white, but will very closely resemble actual, honest-to-goodness broken brickwork.

Greens and browns

Of course, when the filler dried, it became apparent that a) it had got everywhere, dusting up all of the piece, and b) it was too bright. But that's fine. This is a piece explicitly set aside for experimenting. So I tried washing it with a bit of brown, which made very little difference. For reference, filler is hungry for paint, so you'll need to apply more than you think. I then had a walk around my home to get a look at differences in the brickwork. A great thing I noticed was an area which gets a lot of water and little sun, and has lichen or whatever growing all over the brickwork. I washed some sap green over the bricks in the middle of the wall, and pretty much perfectly recreated the reality of the bricks.

Warmth is clean

As an aside, if you're thinking about doing that, I also paid attention to the brickwork that is at the back of our cooker. It is a lot cleaner because there's no moisture for the lichen to use. While our chimneys are internal (very internal in one case, since a bit of one came down the chimney into the living room the other day!) I would imagine that the brickwork of external chimney stacks will resemble that which is behind our aga. However, there should be more dirt toward the top because of the soot. Anyway, more experiments soon. For now, take a look at how things are going thus far.

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