In 2021, Brickfield are undertaking three exciting new projects that build on work to date: Brickfield BUILD, Brickfield IN THE CLAYS and Brickfield NEWHAM. We’re also really pleased to be launching our first publication, The Brickfield Guide to Cornish Brickmaking, a record of Brickfield’s work with John Osborne, weaving together his memories, knowledge and family history and connecting them with our contemporary brickmaking project on our site at Imery’s old Blackpool Pit in St Austell.
Our first project of the year and which is already underway is Brickfield, BUILD a collaborative project generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, bringing the Brickfield team together with people in community in St Austell and MA Architecture students from Falmouth University. The aim is to connect people with the history and heritage of brick making in the region and to work together to co-design and build brick based structures that will enhance the local environment . Brickfield BUILD is working with two community groups local to St Austell: The Happy Wanderers, a dementia friendly inter-generational walking group supported by the Sensory Trust; and Empower Her, a group of young women supported by The House and Young People Cornwall.
Students and community members will learn hand brick making techniques with the Brickfield team as well as having the opportunity to experience bricklaying and making sustainable from other professionals.
The architecture students will engage with community participants to explore and develop brick designs for the landscape. Designs will be drawn up and presented back to the community who will then be invited to select one to build.
Falmouth University Architecture lecturers Tom Ebdon, Head of Course and Toby Carr will be leading exploration of sustainable building materials, practices and techniques, an area in need of urgent development in response to climate crisis.
Tom Ebdon, Head of Architecture at Falmouth University says
“Brickfield BUILD provides valuable opportunities for our architecture students to work together with community in St Austell, experience the use of local ‘waste’ material for brick making and building, strengthening their skills in co-design and their understanding of connections between materials, place and environment”.
Brickfield in the CLAYS is a continuation of activities established over the last two years and includes a mix of field trips, brick making workshops and kiln firing at Blackpool Pit. This year we are aiming to do more pop up workshops at West Carclaze as well as in the other villages in St Austell’s Clays. We will be inviting partcipants to make bricks that will contribute to the BUILD project as well as gathering their ideas for other community uses.