Deformed bricks become art. Klinker or clinker bricks were overcooked rejects, a product of intense and smokey coal-fired kilns. They were considered a waste product until early Craftsman builders found their sculptural architectural merits. Overcooked bricks ‘clink’ when they touch one another.
Clinker bricks are hard and dense, water will not penetrate them. In America, clinker bricks were made famous by the Pasadena, California architecture firm of Greene & Greene, who used them (often in combination with native rocks) in walls, foundations, and chimneys.
Klinker Brick By Greene & Greene In Pasadena
Klinker brick column. It would be hard to find a more organic looking man-made building column. Greene & Greene, Pasadena. www.vertikoff.com
Klinker brick in Pasadena. historicalbricks.com
Blacker House by Greene and Greene. Pasadena, California. Photo: Thomas A. Heinz, AIA. www.architectureweek.com
Clinker brick and stone garage. Charles Greene house, Pasadena, California. walknridela.com
Klinker brick wall at Gamble house, Pasadena, California. flickr.com
Marks House, Snohomish, Washington
Klinker brick fireplace. The Marks House, is an 1894 Queen Anne rehabbed into a Craftsman in 1924 in Snohomish, Washington. Via: hp-nw.com
Klinker brick fireplace. Marks House, Snohomish, Washington.
Klinker brick columns. Marks House, Snohomish, Washington. Via: hp-nw.com
More Klinker Brick Construction
Klinker brick in Portland, Oregon. Klinker bricks brought the organic back into home building. portlandoregondailyphoto.blogspot.com
Klinker brick chimney. Project for custom home builder Macro Polo Homes. The Klinker (or Clinker) brick are layered with river jack boulders. flickr.com
Close-up of above clinker chimney.
A mix of regular and clinker bricks. Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Edmonton was built in 1913 using clinker bricks which add a rich tapestry to the Gothic design. There are also numerous klinker brick buildings in cities such as NY and Boston. edmonton.anglican.org
Klinker brick house on Foard Street. Fort Worth, Texas. Made of imperfect bricks from the Cobb Brick Factory. hometownbyhandlebar.com
Klinker brick was not only used in Arts & Crafts homes but was often integrated into Tudor-style homes. freshome.com
Klinker Brick Fireplace. The bricks form the letter A above firebox. oldhouseonline.com
Clinker brick foundation at Trader’s Point Creamery, Indiana. Irregular and rejected bricks were often used for foundations. surrealist.org
Clinker brick wall. historicalbricks.com
Klinker Brick Fireplace. Beauty is in the hands of the brick layer.
The Accidental Charm of Clinker Bricks: oldhousejournal.com
The energy involved in making new klinker bricks is very intense—a coal fired kiln must burn at 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit for a few weeks.
How To Get Klinker Brick
Or Google “salvaged bricks” in your area.