Mark Lauckner artist in glass
Mayne Island Glass Foundry

Glass Brick Windows

One of my ongoing activities is to cast historic objects in glass, to bring light into these opaque objects of cast iron and molded clay.  Besides casting old woodstove oven door emblems in glass, I have taken an interest in casting old antique bricks.   My interest in local industrial history (glass factories and foundries) has brought into focus the historic firebrick.  My involvement with furnace design has also contributed to a keen interest in these heritage refractories.

Most pioneer communities had brickyards which made the typical red building bricks.  Many of the bricks were stamped with placenames or the brickyard name.  Bricks are heavy and therefore were generally not transported very far from the brickworks.  The "blonde" refractory bricks were generally transported great distances to the regions where they were used.  A more expensive and specialized brick, the refractory bricks were used in furnaces and flue liners but were rarely used in domestic chimney construction.    Much to my surprise, many of these "blonde" refractory bricks were made in the British Isles, and had been brought to British Columbia as ballast in boats prior to the discovery of the "fireclay" deposit on the back of Sumas mountain in the Fraser Valley.

In 1994 I began making glass molds from historic firebricks I had recovered from ghost towns and old industrial wastelands in British Columbia and Alberta.  What followed was an exploration which has resulted in over 100 different historic bricks transformed into glass, many manufacturers of which I have researched the histories.

Click on photos to see enlargements

Historic Bricks
Historic refractory bricks

In interiors, glass brick windows can create the feeling of openness
while dividing a room.  In exterior walls, glass can offer privacy while passing light.

Glass Brick Window panel

Leaded window assembly
Bricks have a flange for "leaded" window assembly.



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last update December 12, 2013