Apprentice to Master

Gerard served a time-served apprenticeship his many years of varied work and experience at the highest levels and across a broad range of both new and traditional aspects of brickwork, studied at Bedford College LCG (Licentiate of the City and Guilds), Huddersfield Polytechnic Certificate in Education (Cert Ed), De Montfort University PhD Historic Brickwork Technology, MA Conservation of Historic Brickwork

Previously Head of Trowel Trades at Bedford college

Gerard Lynch is an internationally acclaimed and highly respected historic brickwork consultant, master bricklayer, educator and author. He followed a traditional apprenticeship as a bricklayer and, over the years through his natural ability within his craft, gained many awards, including the Silver and Gold Trowels from the Brick Development Association and is a Licentiate of the City and Guilds of London Institute (LCG).  He is a former Head lecturer of Trowel Trades at Bedford College, pioneering a revival of gauged brickwork, in which he is considered the world’s leading authority, and other almost forgotten traditional craft skills; and is affectionately known by the historic term, ‘The Red Mason’.

Teaching & Restoring Knowledge about Historic tuck pointing

 a highly-skilled and refined method of pointing, or re-pointing, brickwork whereby a coloured mortar joint is placed to match the brick and grooved while ‘green’ or fresh, to receive a separate, and carefully placed, lime putty: silver sand ribbon. The ribbon is then neatly trimmed to a smaller scale to form a precise, raised, profile. Its historical intention was originally to create the illusion of accurately laid, cut and rubbed and gauged brickwork, on a standard brickwork façade; constructed of, often-irregular, bricks. In the nineteenth century, however, it was often resorted to as a means to disguise inferior brickwork.

Teaching & Restoring Knowledge about Gauged Brickwork

a term used to describe brickwork where a superior finish in the details of an important brickwork elevation is required, such as moulded reveals, arches, string courses and other forms of ornamentation.  A highly skilled branch of the craft of the bricklayer, it involved works to very accurate measurements that raised artisans of the craft to the status of the mason.  By definition, to gauge is to measure, set out and work exactly, objects of standard size so as they conform to strictly defined limits, and this term is eminently suitable for this class of brickwork.  Gauged work is where the bricks are worked or gauged to size and shape.  Special outsized ‘soft’ bricks known as ‘rubbing bricks’, ‘rubbers’ or ‘cutters’ are used.  These can be cut, filed or carved like cheese, yet their surfaces become hard with weathering, enabling them to survive the polluted atmospheres of the big towns and cities.

Recognising the need for the revival in the skill of historic brickwork, Identified in 1980’s by Gerard C J Lynch

Restoration and renovation of traditional constructed properties – many of national importance.

Revival in use of architectural enrichments on modern brick properties.

Raising skill levels of the craft of bricklaying – dealt a severe blow with the advent of NVQ modular training, decline of apprenticeships and time-serving.

Promoting increase in range of moderately costed rubbing bricks – present costs prohibit wide-spread use.

© G C J Lynch

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