Colonial Williamsburg workers are making brick by hand-the same way they did in the 1700s. The historic area of Williamsburg, called Colonial Williamsburg, is now a living museum, open to the public. As more and more buildings are being restored or reconstructed on foundations unearthed in archeological digs, there has been a search for appropriate building materials. Many of the buildings will be brick, but today's brick doesn't have the right color, texture, or size. So for the last 27 years, the town's department of historical trades has been trying to start a project for making brick by hand. The funding wasn't available until the late 1980s. LEARNING BASICS Before any brick could be made, workers had to learn the techniques used in colonial times. Historian Bill Weldon spent months reading about brickmaking techniques in the early 1600s to the 1850s. With all this information, Weldon and his co-workers started making brick in the fall of 1987. They dug clay from a site on the James River. The clay sat outside all winter and Weldon tempered it with a shovel. In April 1988, the workers built drying beds, pits for soaking clay, wooden brick molds, and a molding bench.