by Gwen Heeney

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

208 pages, 216.00 x 279.00 x 0.00 mm, 326 color illus.

  • ISBN: 9780812237825
  • Published: December 2003



For more than 10,000 years, people have been shaping clay into brick for use in creating permanent shelter. With increased skill, they used brick to form arches and gateways in complex buildings of different sizes and shapes. Eventually bricks were used to decorate walls and floors, and what had once been a strictly utilitarian item began to take on an aesthetic role.

Current attention to architectural ceramics, the interest in installations, and the advance of public art have transformed brick into an increasingly popular medium. Artists now collaborate with brick factories to produce a wide range of work utilizing the unique properties of brick. Some of them carve the clay while it is green and then fire it; others use already fired bricks to produce their art.

In Brickworks, Gwen Heeney shows the amazing creations of an international group of artists who work with brick and also gives practical information about getting commissions, working with brick factories and designing with bricks. In addition she offers insight into the technicalities involved in producing brick artworks. She covers the process from the initial pile of raw bricks, through design, the making of the piece, dismantling, firing, and reconstructing in situ.

Illustrated with images that will both enlighten and engage artists, architects, and those involved in public art, Brickworks is the complete guide for anyone wanting to work creatively with this medium.