Although walnut is beautiful when polished, I am questioning whether it was the best choice of wood for spoons. I find that as soon as I get the spoon wet (i.e. eat something with it) there are tiny fibres that come out from the surface, making it less smooth. I have put many coats of oil and rubbed a mixture of oil and beeswax onto the surface, but it still doesn't seem to be completely waterproof. I think I'll test out beech for my next spoons.
Clay used for making bricks must be mixed with fine-grained inert material to prevent cracking during drying and firing. Normally, sand is used, but grog, crushed fired brick, can serve the same purpose. I crushed some of the leftover tiles that we made in April and mixed them into a test batch of clay. I don't think this is a viable option for all the bricks due to time constraints, but it is good to know that all the materials for the brick itself can come from the same site.