Saturday

Drilling Marble




The sink top that this little yellow chrysanthemum is sitting on waited a long time for its second life....  it feels so smooth and the veining so beautiful... we were determined to figure out how we would make it work...


..click pictures  to ENLARGE...




The most frustrating thing about it all was that everyone we asked didn't know anything about drilling marble and couldn't help us at all.. .. it is a shame that the knowledge of the past is disappearing .. we checked in books and online and decided we might as well try it ourselves and give it a shot since we had the old marble top anyway and if we could get it to work for us it was worth a try...

Our biggest fear was that it would crack... but now after finding how easy it was to drill  we would not be nervous again.. as long as not much pressure is applied and we just go slowly and let the drill do the work.. We used a hole cutter for ceramic with diamond grit on the end... these pictures start when we were beginning to drill the third hole... the drill bit has to be constantly cooled  so my job was directing the flow of the water, just a trickle, the easiest part... although the drilling  was not difficult at all,  just needed a slow gentle hand..

... the marble was heavy and so thick...  1 1/2" (you can see the marble plugs we cut out sitting on top of the sink in a couple of the pictures) ...that the drill would not go all the way through... we turned it sideways, shone a light through the cut side and the spot showed through its translucency.. we traced the circle, flipped the slab, laid it down and began drilling from the back... we did this for each hole... the last one popped out... the white slurry that was created by the drilling was very dense and fine and felt so smooth on the fingertips.  makes me wonder what it could be used for.. I'm sure someone has already thought of something to make from it...

 ...we also had to drill 4 small holes on the back to hold the clamp attachments to secure the undermount porcelain sink in place...  I never got pictures of that...  they were held in place with a heavy-duty epoxy, which we had to try a couple kinds to get one that worked... no one knew what to recommend for that either..  but we know now...
 


  

For quite a while, we had saved some old hardwood staircase spindles in the garage for a reason, we knew not what.. til now... and decided they could possibly work for the front leg supports for the sink... but they were too short, since we wanted the marble top to be about 36" high... we took a couple more spindles and cut them at spots where the turnings were appropriate... John drilled into each end and glued and fitted them together with dowels...... 2 legs just the right length...  and kind of special too, I think...  as we looked carefully at each of the spindles, there were subtle nuances observable so it is a fact that each one of them had been hand-turned in their beginning.





... we used some true 1" thick, 100 year old, salvaged, maple, nice and dry, stair-tread for the apron..  because we had it and it was good stuff...   intricate patterns can be cut from it and it is still strong...   John used a drill and a jigsaw to create the pattern in the wood ... then attached the legs and put in corner braces just behind them...



                                                                                                      ...at the studio...


here it is attached to the wall, where he had previously put a 2" x 6"  at the given height...  and began putting all the pieces together...


... little chrome circles were attached over the old square holes on either side ...
.... at a monument shop in nearby Sussex we were able to find a small leftover piece of limestone (since they didn't have any marble) from when they used to make kitchen counter tops, that seemed to be complimentary to our old marble, to use as a back-splash.. not exactly the same but that's ok... the whole assemblage is made of parts from hither and yon anyway and that's fine with us.. We like living a Bohemian Life...




Moral of story..........  Drilling marble is not as hard as Marble......

or......  If you decide you want to do something... just keep on doing it till you're done.

26 comments:

Steven Cain said...

Bricolage!

Beautiful as always... Not bragging, but I've drilled my fair share of marble. I wish I would have known. Not that it mattered, you're work was/is textbook. Congratulations. I'm toying with timber framing at present... from woods to mill to building. Rough on the back.

Fantastic work. Thanks for the pictures!

Oldfool said...

I so wish I could have been there. I love that kind of work.
Mostly my attitude is someone did it before so I can do it now.
Of course you give me inspiration. Now if I could just defeat the laziness.

Penny said...

Fantastic. I have several bits of old marble, your description of how to make holes in it may come in handy one day!
Love the way it has all ended up.

dowhatyoulove said...

What a beautiful second life it has! I love the creativity that you used with the whole piece. And how great to just go forth with something, and find out that you know exactly what you are doing!

Keep being creative! It is a beautiful way to express yourself!

rachel said...

Another astonishing project done and dusted! So impressive, both process and result. Well done, you creative and brave people!

Sally said...

what an inspiring tale, complete with great photos and beautiful ending. I have so many 'things' that may be useful one day...but absolutely no tools or practical skills...its so fantastic to see what you achieve.

pRiyA said...

Gwen, it seems to me that whatever you and your partner touch, you both turn it into something beautiful...

Gail said...

Beautiful job, beautiful piece.

ArtPropelled said...

The work that you both do just blows me away. This is a stunning piece! It must be so rewarding when a plan comes together and with such amazing results.

...louciao... said...

A great addition to your new studio space. I love the details in the work and in your description of the process.

Is the place easy to find by just driving around Saint Martins? Plans are afoot with the neighbours to take a tour out that way to see the results of your labour for ourselves!

Guillaume said...

Great work you did. Marble is a matter that has such a powerful cultural reasonance. Maybe one day the sink you made will be on display in a museum!

liZZie said...

I love what you've achieved, and you've given me some ideas too. I salute you!

Owen said...

Gwen, Both of you are so terribly talented ! Love the way you walked us through this construction tour, can feel the marble powder on finger tips. I think I'd like to tag along with Louciao and come take a peek in person, but it's a little farther. Will get my wetsuit out and start swimming...

PS Love John's painting in the post below this one...

Valerianna said...

I love how you transform something lovely into something more lovely and totally yours.... I'm continue to dream about a long drive up the coast for a cup of tea and a look around the coast and at all your amazing creations!

Autumn blessings....

Gwen Buchanan said...

ahh Steven, fellow marble driller(but much more experienced than us).. you have taught me a new word today.. Bricolage! I love it.. I never knew they had a name for it, but it is perfect..... the word reminds me of shuffling or juggling...
Timber Frame structures (notice the Capital letters I think it deserves) are so beautiful .. this sounds so Exciting.. do you think you will use your own trees?

OF, wouldn't that have been great if you were part of assembling this.. with your imagination, we maybe could have driven it around the yard too!!!

Thanks Penny, what do you think you will make out of them?

Dowhatyoulove, it's fun to be able to play and work at the same time... it almost feels like cheating.

Thanks Rachel, the job you are doing with your dog is impressive to me.. my dogs bark and jump on people, at all the wrong times... yours looks so well behaved...

Sally, I know purging is something we all should do from time to time but soon as we throw that certain something away, we need it.. happens almost every time...

Priya, I forgot to mention the swearing... haha...

Gail, thanks so much.

I salute you too Lizzie... comrade in make-it-work gear!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Robyn, there is so much use left in many things our society throws away... it feels good to save them.. the ideas, meanings and workmanship you incorporate in your carvings have blown me away for years now!!!!

Hi Louciao, we are pretty easy to find... on Route 111 at the intersection before you turn down main street. there is still roughness but as far as usefulness it is coming along nicely.. still some finishing to do.. Rock-wall building, making a small deck, a kitchenette, doing the lighting etc... but most people don't mind seeing work in progress..

Guillaume, wouldn't that be crazy if it did.. I love marble but it is so hard to find around here... only little tiles..

Owen, it is not a very large space but it seems to have a lot of nooks and crannies to finish up... I'll tell John you liked his painting, he'll be very pleased.

Valerianna, when you begin nearing our red sandstone seacoast, let me know I'll put on the tea kettle... Happy Fall Days to you too...

Ruth said...

Just BEAUTIFUL! Every bit of the design, the work, the skill, the telling, and me enjoying it. TREASURE.

And the way the light falls on him there under the sink tells me what a sweet room this is.

herhimnbryn said...

Gorgeous work. What skills you both have. Now I wonder what you will do with the marble 'plugs'. They have to be used in something!

Joanna said...

This is just a beautiful piece. I enjoyed the blow by blow description of its creation.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you my dear Ruth... a teeny tiny room = less cleaning, yeah!


herhimnbryn... you're funny... ha ha ha.. ... but now you have me thinking... maybe...

Joanna, an apt description, "blow by blow".. sometimes it felt like that!!

rivergardenstudio said...

Dear Gwen, this marble sink, the woodwork and the design is so beautiful. I hope you are having a wonderful fall. roxanne

Gwen Buchanan said...

A happy wonderful Fall to you too Roxanne.. I can't bring myself to paint the wood yet, I know it will make it look all new and fresh but I am liking the easiness and worn feel of it.

Sandy said...

It looks so beautiful. I hope all is well with you.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Sandy, All is lovely and well... hope the same to you!

helen said...

Oh! I have been in heaven as I slowly stroll around your wonderful blog!.....and I've got lots more posts to go :~)

Love how you two live and work together....and what you CREATE...sigh ~

You definitely live the Wabi~Sabi philosophy as well as the Bohemian one :~)

Blessed be
Helen

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you so much Helen, I do shake my head sometimes to think that we actually make our living by creating... I can't believe it sometimes.. I am very thankful for it and to be able to live in the beauty of nature.
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