Sydney is the oldest city here,so there are a lot of buildings made from old bricks & sandstone still standing.
The convict chain gangs put a symbol in the them wet so the makers could be identified.Hearts,diamonds,shamrocks etc.up to about the 1850s then they went to a regular dent in the top up until 1900 when German compressed brick machines arrived here.
They are soft & irregular by todays standards but I love the history even though they are hard to work with.You can see the burnt specks in them where the sawdust,horse hair etc incinerated.Lovely mottled colours,distinctive "old world" look.
I am a very rough mason ,no formal training,slow & messy. .
I think the advantage with a smoker is you don't run them anywhere near as hot as a wood fired oven & you dont need to pack so much insulation on to them to give you the thermal mass.
Your dollar will get you about $1.14 here. Spring now ,going to hit 28c this week thats 82f,never say never