The Indian Brick Factory

A day out with my friend, Bendik Støckert, in India to investigate local building materials, production, and traditions. Here is a little piece of the atmosphere surrounding the production of bricks.

Piles of bricks surround another pile of bricks with a roof of coconut branches on top of it. Here is where a tribal family lives and works for a brick manufacturing company. They’re staying here in the house for a few months until they move on for other work.

Two women sit and mould clay beside a water basin dug into the earth, they splatter a mixture of clay and rice husk into a steel cast that is carried by a young man. Back and forth he walks, laying out the wet bricks in systemic rows. They’ll lie here and dry a little for three days until they can be stacked higher as a single, vertical layer where they’ll dry off for a month.

Meanwhile, the dried bricks are stacked into big chunks in a rat trap formation to allow heat and air flow while burning.

At the bottom firewood slots can be found—they use metal pipes to shove in smaller timber after they slide in an entire log which will keep the brick chunk burning for 8 days. Cows and buffalo stand nearby in the smoke from the blazing fires, watching every move on the site while chewing away on the grass growing from the dusty clay.

Their excrements along with rice husk are used in between the layers of the brick chunks for insulation and to protect the bricks while on fire. The life of humans in a temporary context, animals, and the earth fuse into an organic machine to form basic building blocks for people to make their own houses.