In the 1990s I wanted to write a book about the artistry of colonial American brickwork. We visited almost every colonial church between Philadelphia and the Virginia Tidewater, plus many in New England. At every one I drew details in a gridded notebook. The book was never written--I doubted enough people shared my enthusiasm for this topic--and these drawings have not seen the light of day until now.
I fell in love with each of these buildings and was astounded at the quality of their aesthetics, as I later alluded to in my book "Buildings of Delaware" and in chapters for the British book "Banister Fletcher's History of Architecture," for which I wrote the American sections.
There is a fascinating vocabulary to the laying of colonial brickwork, once one learns the language. My interest in brickwork is surely genetic, the photo at the bottom showing my great-great-grandfather Jenkins' brick plant in Wetumpka, Alabama, a family business that thrived until the Great Recession.