Like wine, making a good brick is a skill, whilst making an excellent brick is an art – and fifth generation brick maker, Michael Broekman from Namoi Valley Bricks is widely considered a brick maker extraordinaire. Situated in North West NSW, this family business uses techniques that were used by Broekman’s Dutch forebears – brick making is in Michael Broekman’s blood.
Specialising in dry pressed bricks, Namoi Valley Bricks transforms clay from the local area into a wide range of bricks and pavers, blending the rich clays and shales of the Liverpool plains to create a unique range of colours, from pearly cream, to rich red, to light grey. Like fine wine, the process of brickmaking cannot be rushed. The shale and clay deposits, collected from an 1,100-acre property on the outskirts of Gunnedah, are left to weather for over two years before being pressed. The bricks are fired in traditional coal fired down draft kilns for a full seven days. These processes give a unique patina and allows for the production of a range of textures and finishes, from coarse splitface bricks to carefully crafted clinker bricks with a smooth, delicate finish.
These award-winning bricks have been selected for some distinctive projects, including Sydney’s Walsh Bay Theatre and the Katoomba Cultural Centre. Traditionally made dry pressed bricks age beautifully – these are the craftsmans choice for archways, bondwork and delicate details – and to enable the construction of these handsome features, Namoi Valley bricks are made in a range of shapes and sizes.
Martin Driene, CEO of MD Brick, exclusive distributor for Namoi Valley Bricks for the Sydney market, says that Michael Broekman is “renowned and respected in the industry, a true ‘vintner’ of brickmaking”.
Namoi Valley Bricks – for bricks of distinction made the traditional way.