Brick Making (Clay Molds)
View of a Colonial Brickyard Company workman filling brick molds with clay at the Todd and Brown Brickyard, located behind the Williamsburg Inn, 1933. Clay bricks were then removed from their brick molds (also known as clay molds) and set in the sun to dry. After a thorough drying process, bricks were fired in a brick kiln. This brickyard was set up as a temporary location for making bricks for use in the early historic restoration of Williamsburg. Today, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's colonial Brickyard is located on Nicholson Street, in the area behind the Peyton Randolph House and Cabinetmaker's Shop.
In the eighteenth century, "bricks used for buildings of the town were burned on or near the site and were laid in a coarse oyster-shell lime mortar. The gray-green glaze seen on some headers was imparted by burning the bricks in a kiln fired with oakwood. Only those bricks nearest the heat acquired the glazed surface. The use of bricks rubbed down to a smooth surface or to a molded profile was a favorite means of imparting finish to a building."
(Source: A. Lawrence Kocher and Howard Dearstyne, Colonial Williamsburg: Its Buildings and Gardens, rev. ed. [Williamsburg, Va.: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1961], 16).