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Sandstock Bricks

The term sandstock gets misused a lot, in particular it often gets applied to many mass produced bricks that have a textured (e.g. stamped) surface, but these are sandstocks in name only, they are not true sandstocks.


Sandstocks are often referred to as convict bricks, this is partly true, many convict bricks are indeed sandstocks, but not all sandstocks were made by convicts, many early commercial brick makers made sandstock bricks.


So what actually is a sandstock brick?........most simply a sandstock brick is a handmade brick made by pressing clay into a brick mould dusted with fine sand (the sandstruck process). This process results in compression marks or an elephant skin texture to develop on the face of the bricks. These compression marks are further developed during air drying before they are fired in the kiln. The true characteristic texture of a genuine sandstock brick is unmistakable. 


Historically sandstocks bricks were common in South Australia and NSW, unlike Victoria and Tasmania in which waterstruck bricks were more common.

Waterstruck Bricks

While very popular to this day in Europe, waterstruck bricks were used extensively in Victoria, Tasmania and some parts of NSW (along the Victoria border region). The technique is believed to have originated in England and involves using very wet clay hand pressed into moulds lined with water......hence sometimes referred to as slop moulding. Early versions where indeed convict made but the technique was also used by early commercial brick makers.

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