The new studio will have a half-bath and of course, that means it will need a sink. I didn’t want to just buy a standard sink at Home Depot. I’m a glass artist, and this is my new studio, so I figured I should make a sink out of glass.
I considered a number of possible ways to do that and did a lot of research before deciding that what I really wanted was a Sandcarved Vessel Sink. I found a place online called Glass River Design that taught classes in how to make such a sink and decided that was where I would go. Glass River Design is located in Salado Texas, so my wife and I planned a road trip that would take us to the Las Vegas Glass show, then on to Texas, in time for the one week class.
Melissa Paxton and her staff at Glass River Design were wonderful teachers and I came away with a sink that I love. The sand carving and slumping was done by Melissa before I arrived for the class, but that was OK, because I already knew how to do that part. What I learned in class was how to paint and apply metal leaf gilding to the sand carved sink. This is my sink, face down, after I finished painting the sandcarved back side.
After the paint is dry, metal leaf is applied both behind the painted areas and over the clear, non-sandcarved, unpainted areas. I love the look of variegated copper leaf, so I chose to use that for my backing, even though I knew that the reddish color of the metal leaf would significantly alter the color of the painted areas. Here is what the sink looked like from the top after applying the copper leaf. I was very happy with the results.
After I returned home, I still had a lot of work to do on the new studio before I was ready to install the new sink. When the studio was far enough along to be partially usable, I decided that I wanted to use what I had learned in class to create a counter top and back splashes to go with the sink. For the counter top, I purchased a 2′ x 3′ x 3/8″ slab of float glass and covered it with with sandblast resist onto which I freehand drew a pattern that was similar in design to that of the sink.
After sand carving the pattern into the counter top, I painted it using a color palette similar to that of the sink, then applied variegated copper leaf over the paint, just as I had with the sink. I also purchased three separate pieces of glass to serve as back splashes around the counter top. I extended the counter top pattern onto those, then painted and gilded them the same way.
By the time I had finished sand carving, painting and gilding the counter top and back splashes, I had also finished most of the rest of the work on the new studio. Getting the sink installed, was just about the last thing on my to-do list before I called the county building department to do a final inspection on the new studio. I selected a bamboo themed water faucet that I thought nicely complemented the sink and when I finally put all of the pieces together, I was really pleased with the result.