Traditional Brick Making

Robert Watcher

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For several years I have been wanting to take a photo series of brick and tile makers working with their traditional methods of laying the formed mud out in the sun - but have never come across the opportunity until now.


There were several operations in Nicaragua, but they were in more remote areas or were inaccessible - but more often hesitant to approach and ask on my own —— a little like thinking twice before entering a huge auto wrecker, not knowing what is behind the walls.


Driving on a rural highway with Salvadorian friends recently, we stopped on the side of the road to see if there was anyone around this abandoned looking property with what looked like a large dilapidated building that probably was used for kilning bricks. A fellow walked out to see what I was up to, and informed me that workers were back behind the kiln. I asked I could talk photos of them working.



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Robert Watcher

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Traditional brick making. The mud used is a mix of earth and white sand. At least 15 days drying the bricks in the sun. When they have 1,600 bricks collected in the kiln, they fire it up and cure them.


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PakkyT

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Man those brownies are big! Great shots.

That poor kid ought to be in school :(
How do you know he isn't in school? Just because you see a photo of a kid working, because it is not a first world country you automatically assume they are uneducated child laborers? But if this was the picture posted would you have made the same comment?

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BTW, if you looked at the EXIF of the photos you might have noticed they were taken on a Saturday. :shakehead:
 

Robert Watcher

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While they didn’t have the kiln fired up on this day, here is a functioning kiln that I noticed several hours later in a different part of the country.

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PakkyT

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I assume they must use wood for their kilns?

Kind of a chicken and the egg scenario it looks like. We need to build a kiln. OK how do we do that? Well, we get some bricks and make it out of those. OK so we should make bricks? Ya. How are we going to bake them without a kiln? :roflmao:
 
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