This galvanized iron sheet material is, next to wood and clay, my favorite building material! I really like it, maybe because of the association it has of exploring old mining camps and desert ghost towns in my youth. I try to collect and use it around the house here when and where I can but must say I get the sense that many of the neighbors don't share my appreciation for this great material, being caught up in their bourgeois pretentiousnesses. But I sense this is not what Richard is referring to anyway. Still, I believe it is a much underutilized - and aesthetically underrated - building material.

The brick situation there. Yes, we call it vlecht or vlechten in verb form and it is, or was, fairly common from around the 17th century until the cost ratios between material and labour got flipped. I must credit my bricklayer friend with the willingness to make the extra effort there. It's not only decorative but functionally it ties the top line of the gavel into the face for more strength. I think equally as interesting is the over-all pattern of how the brick are layed in what they call kruisverband or cross bonded we can maybe call it. The corner of every third layer of brick starts with a three quarter length brick, and then half length, or the short length of the brick is used to complete that layer, the following layer being all full length brick and the one following that being all short or half length bricks and then the sequence repeated. I can no longer look at a brick wall with simply overlapping layers and find it interesting or beautiful.


Don Wagsaff