Curves and angles can be created with special brick shapes or with regular rectangular brick that is cut or laid differently. Not all manufacturers make special shapes. Those that do often have their own special shapes they call standard. These are often easier to obtain and less costly than custom designed shapes. OCTAGON BRICKS The octagon brick is named because its 45 degree angle forms an octagon when eight units are laid together. There are both external and internal octagon brick. 45 DEGREE CORNERS FROM CUT BRICK A typical alternative to the octagon brick is to cut regular brick onsite to make corners. This creates a vertical top to bottom joint. This vertical joint is a weak area that could crack easily under thermal stress. ACUTE ANGLES Acute angles in buildings are dramatic, but have some drawbacks. These corners are difficult to mortar properly. To solve the problem and keep the acute angle, masons can use a special brick shape with the tip of the acute angle cut off. HINGE BRICK Some manufacturers produce hinge bricks. This shape allows masons to create walls at any angle and maintain proper coursing and bond pattern. CURVED BRICK The elegance of radial brick, with curved faces, has a softening effect on brick masonry. Internal and external radial units are available with radii as small as 4 inches. CURVES FROM REGULAR BRICK An alternative to radial shapes, without jutting corners and shadowing, is to use stretcher units in soldier or header coursing in a stacked bond around the arc.