How it all Began.........1976-1991
The Mud Brick Circus began operating in 1976. One Sunday night in May of that year, I knocked on the door of the late Alistair Knox’s mud brick home.
I had come to Melbourne from the country that weekend and had promised myself a job by Monday. Having tried unsuccessfully for some building labouring jobs, and remembering the link between mud bricks and Eltham, I began searching the yellow pages for Eltham builders. I rang one and expressed my interest in a job making mud bricks. He gave me an address in Mt. Pleasant Road and the name of a man whose vision is still with me.
Alistair was sitting in front of the open fire reading his bible. His reaction to my mud brick making proposal was typical of Alistair’s immense enthusiasm and vigour-characteristic of someone with fire in their stomach. He immediately rang one of his clients in Warrandyte-Robin and Julie Batty-and arranged a job for me to make bricks for them.
I was initiated into the primitive but magical process next morning.
The tools were as basic as the method-pick, shovel, wheelbarrow and single steel mould. On my third day I made one hundred standard bricks 10”x 15”x 5” and was very proud of my achievement.
Since then, The Mud Brick Circus has been responsible for the manufacture of over one million handmade adobe bricks in Victoria, the Riverina, the A.C.T., and South Australia. We now supply handmades, and using MUDPAK, assist many clients with their on-site production.
The word “Circus” in our name has amused many people.The literal interpretation relates to our troupe moving from town to town making mudbricks. Our numerous adventures on the road have prompted, in a good-natured way,a more colloquial emphasis.We have always risen above the difficulties of our itinerant existence and the variables of soil,weather and the Victorian Road Laws.
Looking back over fifteen years of brick making I consider that it has been a wonderful experience in the best Australian tradition of “having a go” and getting through against all odds.
Our conservatism,manifested in a strong adherence to traditional adobe bricks,has not inhibited our zeal for many new ideas and innovations,MUDPAK probably being our greatest success. The bricks we now supply from our brick pad at Kyneton are our best yet. Superb colour,strong,durable and a very low breakage rate. We have always striven for the best in product and service. All these good things will continue.