# Clay Brick Making: Learn the Process

Clay brick making can be a rewarding experience, particularly if you plan to use your bricks to build a wall, or even a building. But for the novice who has never made bricks, it may take some detailed instructions, as well as information about materials, soils, and baking.

#### Soil Content Requirements

The soil you plan to use to make your bricks will need to be tested for content. You should not attempt to make bricks from soil that has a greater sand or silt content than a content of clay. The suggested proportion should be 30 percent sand, 70 percent clay. But you can get by with a 50 percent proportion.

#### Testing Soil for Content

So, how can you test for sand, silt, and clay proportions in your soil? These components each have different weights. Each absorbs water at a different rate. You can use this information to test your soil. Soil filled half way in a glass jar, mixed with water and filling the jar to 2/3 full, then allowed to settle for a couple days will produce three layers of soil at the jar's bottom. The bottom layer will be sand, middle layer will be silt, the top layer, clay.

#### Determining Content Percentages

You can determine percent of sand, silt, or clay content in your soil by measuring the soil depth at bottom of your jar and making a note of this measurement. Then, measure the height of each level of sand, silt, and clay. By dividing the height of each soil type by the total soil height, you'll have the percent of each soil. For example, say, your total soil height is 2 inches, sand height is 1 inch, silt is .25 inch, and clay is .75 inch. This means, your soil is 50 percent sand, 12 ½ percent silt, and 37 ½ percent clay.