Making Mortars

Dr. Gerard Lynch, Master English Bricklayer, demonstrating the making of mortars

Oyster shells interacting with quicklime to create mortars, such an explosive reaction!

The IPTW every year brings together some of the most interesting individuals from all corners and all walks of life.  Dr. Butler is a great man, hailing from England, and comes to the conference every year. I was fortunate enough to meet him last year at the conference in Pennsylvania but wasn’t able to sit in on any of his demonstrations since, as a demonstrator myself, had a full schedule of my own.  This year however I was able to make it to one of his seminars. Internationally acclaimed, he is one of England’s leading and most respected historic brickwork consultants, master brick layer, author, and educator.  A true artisan and a passionate preservationist, I admire his depth of knowledge and his level of skill.  Not to mention, he has a great sense of that English Humour.  His demonstration on authentic mortars hails from starting with two simple ingredients, oyster shells and lime.  The chemical compositions and reactions are a must know in order to better understand formulations and compositions of lime plasters.

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