Blossom and bricks!

An odd combination

Walking up our hill there is a section of unadopted road that has a massive pothole. Someone has filled it in with old bricks and stones and bits of pottery shards. As I looked at it today I thought it had filled up with snow. But no, it was pink blossom nestled in the dips and dents. I reminded me of things floating in a river. I’ve taken this photo because it was an interesting juxtaposition of material, soft and hard, dark and light, natural and man made…

Wall

Damp old farm wall, just down the road. Ideal for a housing development apparently. I really want it to be restored. To keep the building. To keep the heritage of the little village it is in.

Most of all though, I love the patina of it. How wet must it be on the other side to create this tide mark of water and lichen, moss and salts. I love it, I might paint it!

Roofer?

Loud knock on the door. I opened the door to see a man in a mask under his chin proffering his elbow?! I stood back. Er can I help you? I’m your neighbours landlord. ( OK, so I know my neighbour owns his own house which is not in good condition). I didn’t believe him.

The man said I’m just doing work on your neighbours house and damp is getting in from your chimney. Is it? I asked. (We have problems with damp from next door). He said I’ve got a man on the roof now and I will go halves, I’ll charge £600 and you will pay £300. I said I can’t afford that, he wandered off and offered £200. I said I’m not sure, will have to talk to my husband. So then he said he was working on a house three doors up? So I said how does damp from my roof get three doors up (we are in a terraced house). He then said the water tracks under the roofing felt (this would be uphill and up brick walls)….. So I said which house do you own and he said the one up the hill with the purple bricks sign.

So then hubby arrived. He was not impressed. We walked across the road and yes we could see one missing tile. We could also see no one on the other roof, no ladder, no scaffolding. Do these people realise we use our eyes? Hubby told the man he wanted to see proof of who he was and proof he owned the house up the hill. By this time the man looked panicked. Hubby can be forceful when he wants and said no we would get our own builder in. The man was now upset, seeing £200 melt before his eyes and clearly worried by my hubbies attitude. I calmed things down. We bumped elbows and said goodbye. I don’t think he will be back!

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Spirals and patterns

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My drawing challenge today is to sketch some repetitions. I’m not sure what it’s going to be. Might be roof tiles, bricks or leaves.

It’s pouring down with rain outside so I might wait a while for the rain to pass over. The picture above is a house leek that I’ve duplicated to bring out the pattern more. That brings in the idea of repetition, the leaf shapes twist and turn. I shall ponder on what to draw….

Wall at Spode

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This is a wall in the China halls in Spode. Water has got in and damp is creeping up the wall. The fire extinguisher and bracket is long gone but the signs remain. I love the red and green contrasting colours, and it’s clear where the wall has been rebuilt or pointed and the scars of its life, like scars on a face. The dereliction is like an aging body, cracking and damaged.

I love flaking paint, brickwork and seeing the history written in the structure. I love taking photos of it and trying to paint it.