Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vintage Brick Salvage of North America

Vintage Brick Salvage of Rockford North America, share some of the frequently asked questions they get and the answers they give to them. . .

Q: What is the story with used brick, and to what do you account to its growth in popularity?

A: There are several reasons for the increased popularity of reclaimed brick. Recycled brick has benefited from a move towards green building materials. Used brick certainly holds historical value as well. But in my opinion the number reason for the popularity of reclaimed brick is simply that the beauty of the natural clay these bricks are made from and the aging of these brick over time. An authentic, time worn, reclaimed brick is impossible to duplicate. Using Antique brick in a new project or remodeling job will create a space that conjures up the feeling of a century old structure even in a brand new installation.

Q: How is used brick cleaned and stacked?

A: The cleaning and stacking of bricks is done the old fashioned way, with much effort and sweat. The bricks are cleaned by striking them with a hammer, and stacked on pallets at the job site. The bricks are then covered in cardboard and then banded with steel banding, or wrapped in heavy duty stretch wrap.

Q: How many common building brick are stacked on a pallet?

A: When stacking standard size used common brick, at about 4 lbs. per brick, there are typically 534 bricks on a pallet, consisting of 12 total alternating layers of 11X 4 (44), and 9 X 5 (45). If the brick weigh more, less are stacked in each pallet.

Q: What was that about standard size bricks, I am not a mason, speak English

A: O.K., sorry, I'll slow down. Most of the building brick made in the Midwest U.S. was made as standard size. Once in a while we come across some romans, or normans, but typically only in small quantities.

Historic Brick Sizes of North America
Length Width Height
Standard 8" 3 5/8" 2.25"
Roman 11 1/2" 3 1/2" 1 5/8"
Norman 11 1/2" 3 1/2" 2 3/4"

Q: What is the story on your antique brick tile?
A: We start with an actual reclaimed brick, Chicago commons are popular, but we also cut pavers and other brick. Then we slice it in our own facility in an automated process using production machinery and diamond blades. It is then packed in cardboard tile boxes, palletized and shipped. When installed well, I dare you to tell the difference between a thin brick and full brick installation. We slice antique brick tile for walls and floors. We also make some thicker cuts that make a great pavers.

Q: What size is normal for Street Pavers?

A: Most Midwest made clay street pavers are between 8 ½”-9” long and and between 3 5/8”-4” wide and deep.

Can you use reclaimed brick outdoors?

A: Reclaimed street pavers can be installed indoors or out. They will outlast all of us. Common brick should not be used for paving in areas that have any freeze/thaw. I have always told people that if you can grow oranges, you have the correct climate for paving with common brick. Otherwise the 8% plus absorption rating that is usually found in a common reclaimed brick combined with any freeze will cause the brick to disintegrate as it expands from freezing. Vertical installations are usually O.K. in any climate, but I would recommend using a masonry sealer to help keep out the enemy of the natural clay brick; moisture.

Vintage Brick Salvage

Video at Vintage Brick Salvage

Two demolished cooling towers near the M1

Tinsley Towers, Sheffield Yorkshire

Hundreds of people had gathered overnight to watch attempts at a controlled explosion of the 250ft Tinsley Towers. However the 3am blast left a large part of the North Tower still standing. A second blast was carried out and the demolition was completed.

Energy firm E.ON, which owns the towers, wanted to destroy the structures between junctions 32 and 35 after getting permission to build a new biomass power station.

The iconic cooling towers are a familiar landmark next to the M1.For 70 years, they had stood just a few metres from the southbound carriageway of the motorway as it crosses the Don Valley between Sheffield and Rotherham.

After proposals to demolish them were first announced, a local campaign began to save them, with ideas for their future use including making them into massive art works. E.ON will develop the biomass power station at Blackburn Meadows, which it says will generate enough electricity for around 40,000 homes.

Sky News

Slide show on Flickr

COMMENTS 28 August 2008: Annie Henge comments on blog entry

I was at the event of the cooling towers being brought down and got a photo which has provoked some very positive and surprised comments. Look North, our local BBC news station reported that there were actually around 8,000 people watching the explosion, not hundreds as you have stated in the SalvoWeb report. Some of these people were in place at tea time on Saturday so they would get a good view and they were having hot drinks and food in anticipation of a long night. The atmosphere was good and party like, there was no trouble everyone was enjoying the event. Some were very sad at the passing of our iconic landmark and others thought it should be done so Sheffield can move on. It was an historic event that I was privileged to attend.

Future bleak for Welsh chapels, says academic

“Whether undergoing demolition, their pews, pulpits and doors sold as architectural salvage, or conversion to a house or even nightclub or bar, such transformations say much about our secular and material age and the people and society we have become. We are left with chapel buildings that stand as metaphors or symbols of the changes that Wales has undergone, ” said Roy Davies, associate lecturer at the Open University.

Dr Paul Chambers, Lecturer in Sociology Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Glamorgan said, "The problem with many mainstream chapels is that they are reluctant to let go some of the cultural baggage that accrued in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and which marks them out as terminally unfashionable in contemporary Wales."

Wales Online

Is Frieze cutting edge enough?

More and more satellite fairs of Frieze keep coming. One scheduled in Shoreditch for October 15 to 19, showcases contemporary young French artists under the name 'So Feucking French'. Another art fair destined for East End on the same dates called 'Kounter Kulture', being launched by Newcastle upon Tyne gallery Opus Art.

The event is billed as being "all about the art, the artists and a sense of discovery." It is described in its publicity as refreshingly edgy and exciting. Don Smith of Opus Art says, "The core art fairs such as Frieze and Zoo seem to have moved their focus away from the artists and their work, which is what Kounter Kulture is passionate about reintroducing. None can doubt that Frieze has been a phenomenal success, but the implication is that in just five years it has severely blunted its cutting edge."

Great Brampton House contents to be sold onsite

Great Brampton House, Hertfordshire
Bonhams, auction on Wednesday 1st October at Great Brampton House

Bonhams are to sell the contents of Great Brampton House, Hertfordshire, home to the antiques busines of long-standing dealer Lady Pidgeon. The sale will take place on October 1 onsite in the grounds of the estate and will feature over 700 lots: furniture, works of art, Asian ceramics and paintings.

Lady Pidgeon started selling antiques in the 1960's from the back of her Morris Minor, since then she has built up a successful business with an international clientele.

There will be a broad price range at the auction from £100-80,000 with many lots offered without reserve.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Carl Willows reports on Gaze sale

Above: An early 18th Century marble bust of a boy holding a bearded mask, seated on an animal skin (possibly representing the infant Hercules with head of Holofernes) - from the estate of Kent artist Gordon Davies, sold for 29,000.

Gaze, Diss Norfolk
T W Gaze Architectural Salvage & Statuary Sale 16 August 2008

Whilst perhaps better known for the high price they achieve for quality building materials, T.W Gaze consistently attract interesting lots of a more decorative nature in their five Architectural sales each year. The August sale was no exception with a range of esoteric items fresh to the market. Highest interest had been in a marble study of a boy holding aloft a bearded mask of very fine quality. The unsigned piece was from the Estate of the Kent artist Gordon Davies whom we understand acquired it on the continent some thirty years ago. Phone and room interest took it rapidly beyond the guide price to a substantial £29,000 plus 12½% buyer’s premium. Among other interesting lots was a 58ft long Art Nouveau copper frieze in need of work which fetched £1,200. Lead cherubs took £2,200 and a wrought and pierced metal small pergola made £1,100. Stone and composition statuary of quality was in good demand. Building materials not surprisingly quieter. Next sale October 11th.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

House made completely of recycled materials

Rex Street, Portland USA

A new home in Portland, USA isn't as new as you might think.

Bricks in the edging, unique cabinet knobs, and wine bottles hanging as light fixtures all date from well into the last century. “I think I'm at the count of 150 different ways we reused materials throughout the house, everything from foundation to framing to landscaping to interior. It's been an amazing, an amazing experiment,” said Shannon Quimby.

Last November she and her husband discovered the home they bought had problems. It would have to be knocked down. But Quimby had a very unique idea. “Since we have to take it down lets save the doors, save the windows, save the floor. I kept saying save save save, and then finally I just thought - why can't we save the whole house, So the REX project -- Reuse Everything experiment -- was born," said Quimby.

After meticulously deconstructing the old home, contractors used nearly every piece of it in the new home that stands today. “It's nice just to show the market that this can be done,” said Stephen Aiguier, one of the contractors that helped recycle so much.

Now that her new home is nearly complete, Shannon Quimby is reflecting. She hopes others will follow her lead. “I want people to stop and think before they haul it off to the trash. How can I reuse this, how can I incorporate this into my house? And save thousands of dollars to boot."

KGW News

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gaze Architectural Furnishings & Statuary

Above: An oak framed leaded glass bay window incorporating two painted panels- approx 105" wide x 42" deep, the estimate is £150 - £225, hammer price £160

Above: A pair of stone staddles with caps, the estimate is £240 - £360, Unsold

Above: A reconstituted stone figure of a gentleman, the estimate is £160 - £240, hammer price £320

Above: A set of seventeen cast iron decorative balusters, the estimate is £250 - £375, hammer price £360

Above: A late 19th Century Portland stove, oyster shell gable cresting from Cavendish Square, London, the estimate is £8000 - £12000, Unsold

Above: A pair of wrought iron 7ft arrow top gates, the estimate is £100 - £150, hammer price £105

Gaze, Roydon Road, Diss, Norfolk
Architectural Sale, Saturday 16th August

Normally 1200 or more lots of architectural salvage, garden statuary and reclaimed building materials, starting at 10am at T W Gaze Diss Norfolk. Catalogue available online from Thursday prior. Viewing Thursday prior 2pm-8pm, Friday 10am-5pm, sale morning from 8.30am. Tel (UK) 01379 650306. Fax 01379 644313. Expert in charge Mr. Carl Willows. Two auctioneers work this auction in tandem outdoors and indoors, so if you wish to bid in both sections take a friend.

UPDATE: Carl Willows architectural rural bygones auctioneer at Gaze said, "It was a good interesting sale and filled with a great mixture of people from around the country. Surprisingly there wasn't any American interest, even though the strength of the dollar is improving. Unlike previous sales there was a good split of forty per cent trade and sixty per cent public.

The star lot was an early eighteenth century marble bust of a boy holding a bearded mask, seated on an animal skin (possibly representing the infant Hercules with head of Holofernes), believed to have been bought on the continent thirty years ago. We had trouble trying to attribute it to an artist as there are no signatures or distinct markings, but it still sold to a private buyer for an impressive £29000.00. The sculpture came from the estate of the recently deceased Kent artist Gordon Davies. Gaze are handling the vast majority of the estate which includes paintings and other works of art from his collection.

Other interesting lots included a 58ft run of copper frieze (Art Nouveau with acanthus and urn relief), which sold for £12,000, this is due to appear at a forthcoming Olympia Fair as the trade buyer intends to make it into a wall. An attractive wrought and pierced metal pergola, sold for £1100. A pair of 19th Century or possibly earlier cast iron Warwick urns (approx 20" high x 23" rim with elaborate loop handles) sold for a disappointing £1900. The most amusing lot was a run of three bronze plaques depicting Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Captain Hook, or so I thought, but later I learnt that the lost boys weren't in fact lost, but wrongly catalogued! It was a Red Indian incomplete freeze which sold for £800. Sadly there was no decent york stone to report back on but what we did have sold well for what it was.

We are now into a good Rural Bygones sale, which includes a private collection and a load of items from a museum in Yorkshire which should make for a cracking sale."


Ban of paint removers

A ban on the use of paint removers containing Methylene Chloride (DCM) has now been proposed by the European Commission.

DCM is a key ingredient of 90% of all paint removers sold. So 90% of products that are relied on for removing coatings efficiently and without damage would be unobtainable. This proposal for a ban, if approved, means that you will no longer be able to obtain ANY paint removers or graffiti removers containing DCM.

The UK industry group believes that the Commission has failed to properly research the technical requirements and experience of business that use paint removers, and of those in building care and conservation who rely on the services of such business.

The proposal is to be considered this month by the European Council of Ministers, and shortly afterwards by the European Parliament.

Give stones their traditional names

The revised British Standard BS EN 12440: 2008 Natural stone Denomination Criteria issued in February becomes a national standard this month (July). Suppliers of stone specified to the standard must declare the traditional name of the stone. Annex 'A is an extensive list of the traditional names of European natural stones. BS EN 12440 forms part of BS EN 12057, 12058 and 1469 and is compulsory where these standards are specified (H51 and M40) and for CE marked products.

Tradstocks buy up equipment

Tradstocks, Stirling Scotland

Tradstocks have confirmed they were the purchasers of the stone processing equipment which recently went up for auction following Watson Stonecraft falling into receivership.

Tradstocks, who re-opened the historic Cullalo sandstone quarry in Fife in 2004 and have offices and a showroom at Dunaverig, say they are one of the largest volume suppliers of natural stone for construction and landscaping in Scotland. they have a workforce of 25 and operate three primary saws, six secondary saws and a five-axes CNC machine.

They now have the six Terzago saws, a BM, a Wells and an ASM profiler that belonged to Scottish Natural Stone, as well as a range of other equipment that includes an old Anderson Grice plane and a water recycling plant.


Local government performance framework

The Waste Strategy 2007 (WS 2007) puts explicit emphasis at the outset on the environmental rationale for action on waste management including: reducing greenhouse gases; improving resource efficiency; protecting public health; protecting ecosystems and safeguarding social amenity.

The indicator on residual waste per household monitors an authority’s performance in reducing waste that is sent to landfill, incineration or energy recovery. The greatest environmental benefits were to be gained from waste prevention and then from reuse, recycling and composting – each is given equal weight in the residual waste indicator. Waste Strategy 2007 set a new national target to reduce the amount of household waste not re-used, recycled or composted by 29% to 15.8 million tonnes in 2010 with an aspiration to reduce it by 45% in 2020.


Furniture Re-use Network

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stoneage brush with fame

Stoneage, Enfield Middlesex

Above: Christopher Biggins with Kieran Hampson of Stoneage

Above: To Tommy Walsh with the staff at Stoneage (Names from left to right James Hampson - Kieran Hampson - Tommy Walsh - John Turner - Trevor Reade

Recently Stoneage have been propelled into the limelight with a certain celebratory becoming an almost permanent fixture at their yard in Enfield, Middllesex. Lisa from Stoneage said, "Our reclamation yard is featured in most episodes of Greener Homes currently running on the Discovery Channel every Thursday at 9pm. Highlights include interviews with presenter Tommy Walsh and staff discussing the Green Issues of reclamation and it's importance to the environment, and when the Stoneage team sanded and danish oiled Christopher Biggins quality garden furniture, which should be aired early September".


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sofa Bath

Architectural Forum, Islington London

Victorian or Edwardian cast iron bath turned into a sofa in the style of the one in Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn. The design and production was by Colleen Gowlett at Salvo, the bath was cut and restored by Architectural Forum of Islington, the cushion cover was produced by Poppy Kay using fabric from Beswick Street in Soho. To get your hands on this amazing design feature have a look at it on the new RECRAFT section of SalvoWEB, priced at £1,850.

[photos: Matt Hegarty]

SalvoWEB Recraft section

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Heritage Skills exhibition

Above: "An example of work from an end of year degree show graduate This gives an example of what I shall hope to offer at the Cell Block, once the center is converted." said Debbie Robins of Skills Heritage in Portsmouth

Now and Then - an art exhibition of traditional skills with a contemporary twist. Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. PO1 3LJ, August 16th - 31st 10am-5.30pm including weekends

The idea and development of the project has been brought about by the acknowledged shortage of skilled practitioners within the building restoration industry, especially the South East. The skills are primarily concerned with building interiors and consist of;

Scagliola-not taught anywhere outside the industry
Gilding.Water, oil and verre eglomisé.
Mould making/decorative plasterwork
Architectural carving
Trompe l’oeil.paint effects/sable brush work
Wood graining/marbling/paper marquetry
Hand blocked wallpaper (To be reinstated)
Architectural/conservation/restoration lectures

Debbie Robins of skills heritage in Portsmouth said "The exhibition will have demonstrations by skilled practitioners and examples of work and is free. The whole thing is being run by volunteers who feel so passionate about the need to nurture and indeed save these fantastic skills."

Skills Heritage in Portsmouth

Colin Wilson's monkey saga ends quietly

Golding Young Auctioneers, Grantham

The final chapter in the story of 'The Colin Wilson Monkeys' ended quietly on July 30 when they sold at auction for an unspectacular £25,000.

The late Lincolnshire dealer Colin Wilson dedicated over ten years to research and champion the authenticity of two small bronze monkeys that he bought at Essex saleroom Sworders in the 1990s for a few hundred pounds.Mr Wilson believed they were from Giambologna's fountain of Samson and a Philistine erected in Florence c.1569 and later moved to the gardens of Aranjuez, south of Madrid.

Grantham auctioneer Colin Young championed the course of the monkeys and before opening the bidding on July 30, he stressed that he was selling simply 'a bronze monkey' without reserve. Bidding for the first monkey concluded quickly at £12,500, with the successful commission bidder choosing to take its pair at the same price.

Mr Young concluded the sale with the poignant words "The price does not equate to the cost" - a reference to the enormous time and energy Colin Wilson had expended in his attempt to prove he had discovered a masterpiece.

Golding Young

Thieves get away with a huge hoard

Redbrick Mill, Batley Yorkshire

A Yorkshire dealer lost a lifetime's collection in one night when thieves stole the bulk of his Clarice Cliff stock built up over the last twenty five years.

Art Deco dealer Muir Hewitt lost around 55 pieces of Clarice Cliff when the thieves targeted his shop in the Redbrick Mill in Batley in the early hours of July 26.

Among the Clarice Cliff ceramics taken were the unique Coral Firs Yo Yo vase and the very rare Summerhouse Conical shaped Tea for Two teaset, both of which were exhibited in the Liverpool Walker Art Gallery in their Age of Jazz exhibition in 2005.

Other items taken included three rene Lalique bowls and an Etling bowl. Also stolen were two bronzes by Josef Lorenzi, one 32cm high, the other 37cm high, along with a third bronze and ivory figure by Barthelmy.

West yorkshire Police are invetigating the matter. anyone with information should contact quoting the crime number: 1308/314366.

Beyond Limits

Sotheby's, 'Beyond limits' at Chatsworth House

Beyond Limits: A Selling Exhibition of Modern and Contemporary Sculpture Sotheby's returns to Chatsworth this summer with Beyond Limits, Sotheby's annual selling exhibition of modern and contemporary sculpture. Following the phenomenal success of last year's exhibition, Beyond Limits will once again showcase works from a variety of cutting edge contemporary artists, as well as works from established modern masters.

Sothebys 'Beyond Limits'

Britain 'imports more illegal timber than any other EU country'

Almost one-fifth of wood imported into the EU in 2006 came from illegal sources, according to WWF. And the UK imported 3.5m cubic metres of illegal wood making it the second biggest importer behind Finland.

This included the biggest quantities of furniture, finished wood products, sawn wood and plywood of all EU states. WWF claims that in total the EU imported between 26.5m and 31m cubic metres of illegal wood and related products in 2006, equal to the total amount of wood harvested in Poland in the same year. Most came from Russia, Indonesia and China. The conservation organisation claims its findings demonstrated the need for stronger European laws to prevent illegal wood entering EU markets.

Julia Young, manager of the Forest and Trade Network at WWF-UK, said: "Illegal logging reduces the protective function of forests which frequently increases the risk of natural disasters such as floods and landslides and leads to deforestation, one of the main causes for climate change.