Fancy Making Your Own Brick Inscribed With Your Initials?

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 97 months ago

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Last Updated 27 June 2016

Fancy Making Your Own Brick Inscribed With Your Initials?
Francesca demonstrates how it's done and ensures we don't screw up our own brick.

Making your own brick: sounds like a strange way to spend a few hours but it's actually a hod-load of fun — and it's free.

The project is the brainchild of the art and architecture firm Something & Son. It's very much a community event, as the clay is sourced from the Greenwich peninsula and they will all be fired up in a giant kiln in a few months' time. The bricks will then go on to form a folly on the peninsula.

It's a messy affair so we don our shoe coverings, gloves and apron before being given a quick run through by Francesca who explains the process clearly.

It involves dropping a big lump of of clay into a mould, then some gentle knocking to loosen it out again. We were sure our brick would fall to pieces, and pleasantly surprised when it didn't.

Then comes the fun part: planting our initials on it. We chose to be ambitious and went with 'Londonist' on the side. Yes it's wonky but we're still very proud, thank you very much. All the bricks are left to dry on the racks provided, so you might see ours when you go.

Behold, the Londonist brick. Wonky but wonderful.

Both adults and children were having a good time; said local resident Steven: "It's a fun, interactive art piece that provides an opportunity to bring this community of newbies together."

Even the wood for the racks is sourced from local construction sites — the entire project is a nod to the history of London and the clay that was used to build it.

Opposite the gallery the Empathy Museum has set up shop with a bookshop where you can sit and read or borrow a book that was important to the donor. The books are covered, so we can't judge them by their, er, covers, while a little note as to why that book was so special to the person who donated it.

The creative process is in full flow while previously made bricks dry on the racks.

There's also a chance to literally walk a mile in someone else's shoes. We slip on on a pair of loafers that belonged to local Gary Mann. Then we go for a wander as we listen to his story about brushes with the law, time spent in prison and discovering art as his cathartic release. It's an inspiring story.

Both of these exhibitions are excellent additions to North Greenwich. The chance to make a brick is on for a while longer, but the Empathy Museum shuts up in a week so you may want to get your trainers on... or somebody else's.

The People's Brick Company: Something & Son is on at Now Gallery, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Visitors can make a brick until 4 August. Then come by on 17 September when all the bricks will be fired up. All events are free.

The Empathy Museum is on opposite the gallery until 2 July. It's free to participate.