These are of decorative and hygienic interest in the facing of walls. For decorative purposes white and coloured enamels are used. As surfaces of a uniform white are disagreeable and cold to the eye, the enamel is marbled with a greenish tint, which gives a more attractive and softer general appearance. Ornamentation of this kind may be seen in Paris at the Cafe Riche (executed by Lcebnitz), and on a larger scale at the Hotel des Telephones (Perrusson). The architect of this latter building does not seem to have obtained the best possible artistic effect which might have been expected from the use of such materials.
The polychrome style with bricks enamelled in colour offers great resources through the variety of designs which may be executed in it. The patterns composed of ordinary red and white bricks are already very numerous, and the number may be increased indefinitely by the use of enamels of varied tints.
Figs. 705-710 represent some simple patterns obtained with bricks enamelled in colour.
As regards hygiene, the white enamelled brick presents the great advantage of being impervious and easily cleaned. By the reflection of light on its white surface it helps to illuminate dark places such as inner yards, arched passages, etc.
The clay used for these bricks is the same as that used for making stoneware pipes. The glaze is obtained with sea-salt, as will be explained in speaking of stoneware pipes. These bricks are made solid or hollow, and are of the usual dimensions and shape. Special bricks for garden borders (Figs. 713, 714) are also manufactured. Others are hollow and are used for copings (Figs. 711, 712), either single or in combination, according to the breadth of the walls to be covered.
Figs. 705 to 710. Patterns in Enamelled Bricks (Perrusson).
They are laid on a bed of mortar with horizontal levelling, but without filling.
Besides the solid bricks of enamelled stoneware, which may advantageously take the place of ordinary bricks, special hollow bricks, enamelled on one or both sides, are also made for the economical facing of walls and the construction of partitions.
Bricks enamelled on one face have various dimensions (Figs 716, 718, 719), and Figs. 715 and 712 show the manner in which they are used.
Figs. 711 to 714. Bricks of Glazed Stoneware (Jacob et Cie.).
Hollow Bricks and Enamelled "Bardeaux".
Figs. 715 to 723. (Muller).
Figs. 724 to 728. (Jacob ct Cie).
For the above-mentioned bricks may be substituted plates (Figs. 723, 725), which are obtained by vertically cutting "bardeaux," large hollow bricks enamelled on both sides (Figs. 722, 724). The ribs formed by cutting are used for fixing the plates to the coating of the wall (Fig. 721).
"Bardeaux" enamelled on both faces (Fig. 726) are used for constructing partitions having the thickness of a "bardeau" and requiring to be faced on both sides.
For the bottom of the walls, bricks in the shape of plinths (Fig. 717) or grooves (Figs. 727, 728) are used in order to avoid any angle in which dust may accumulate; this is of great importance in certain cases - in hospitals, for instance.
These are used in the same way as ordinary tiles, but the roofs must be given a great slope, for reasons indicated above. We may recall the immense mosaic of bright and harmonious tints, due to the architects Formige and Bouvard, which covered the domes of the Palaces des Beaux-Art and des Arts Ddcoratifs at the International Exhibition of 1889.
More than two hundred thousand enamelled tiles of various shapes - six hundred and twenty different types were necessary - were made for this work by Emile Muller, of Ivry.