Friday, November 05, 2010

New Brick Walk

When Andrew was a teenager and in his early 20's, he worked as a brickie. He was trained primarily by Doug Diebolt. They worked together at the Cedar Street Gallery (411 Cedar St). where the circular brick courtyard still exists. Then Andrew had the good luck to work from Roy Rydell's designs as a subcontractor for a landscaper named Kermit Carter. Then he landed Manuel Santana as a client, to do concentric circular brick paving at his art studio on Santana Lane in Aptos. 

He also worked at Manuel's restaurant in San Juan Bautista, Jardines de San Juan. For this job there was always a lunch included each day, during which Manny would sketch designs on paper place mats about the afternoon's work. The drawings would be taken a few feet away to the work site, and Manny would draw circles with a stick in the sand Andrew had prepared for the bricks. He considers this one of the high points of his career.

For years, since we tore out the old, rotten archway, our house has lacked a proper entry. There was an old flagstone path lost under the dirt, which had to be removed.  By chance, we had 600 bricks procured for a different project, but with wet weather coming, the front walk took priority. 

The design was created by drawing with sticks in the sand, as Andrew was trained. 5/8 plywood cut into 4 inch strips and laminated together was used as a form that could be curved. The walkway has a gentle slope to conform to the terrain and allow drainage to one side, where a trench was dug, and broken bricks from the job were placed as a french drain. Along the way it rained once or twice, and we got to see the system in action. 

A lot of work went into getting it to this point, where the ground is leveled and almost ready for bricks.

 The last course...

It's done!

This directional marker was set into the old patio, so we saved it and used a compass to reset it. 

Mooka pointing North.

Of course, who could resist adding some baubles and trinkets?


  1. Wow! We like it! How do you do it, Andrew? That looks like a lot of hard work! Great job.

  2. Thanks Gnome! I don't know how he does it. I didn't want to dwell on it in my post, but it was indeed very, very, very, very hard work. It was his idea though, so he couldn't be mad at me for making him do it.