Something I've been wanting to try for a while is brick engraving. Businesses do this a lot for dedication bricks or donor bricks. When I was in 3rd grade, they tore down my elementary school and built a new one. They engraved a photo of the old school on the bricks from the building along with the name and dates it stood. I always thought these were cool :)
I finally got to try my hand (or should I say laser) at some bricks. Before I left work, a friend gave me a brick paver he had from a landscaping job he had done. This was the first brick I tried. As most of you know I'm not a gardener, so I didn't know that pavers are just painted/stained concrete! The result was pretty good and had good contrast, but I need to find out if it's safe to laser concrete with all the little pieces flying off! If I find out it's safe to use these, I think they'll be a great idea for gardens.
The next brick I tried came from an old building that was torn down in town. I had been told that clay bricks will turn a nice black color when engraved. From what I could tell, this brick was solid clay. It had cracks in places, so I could tell it wasn't concrete. The result was a nice solid engraving, but it didn't turn black. It's more of a gray color, but it still looks good.
The last brick I tried was also one that came from an old building. A friend wanted me to engrave this brick which came from her dad's old homestead. This brick looked much like the one I had engraved before, but the results were different yet! Again, good results, just different.
I still have some research to do before I offer these on a larger scale. I've been happy with the results, but I want to get a consistent engraving. And I want to find out why they don't turn black. I'm afraid my laser might not have enough power to turn the brick black. In that case...gray will work just fine :)