Duane Marzi chuckled, but he wasn't particularly surprised, when he was informed that the world's most expensive luxury motor coach, a $2.5 million land yacht called the Vantaré Platinum Plus, had one of his company's hand-crafted country kitchen sinks in its elegant galley.
He and his wife, Belinda, have crafted exotic basins for some of the world's most famous people. Such icons as Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood and Barbra Streisand scrub their teeth or wash their vegetables in basins crafted at Marzi Sinks.
The Marzi Sinks Factory, now located in Grants Pass, was founded in 1959 by Duane's parents, Rudi and Nancy Marzi, who fell in love while studying art at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Duane and Belinda, the second generation in this artistic family odyssey, moved the company from California to Oregon three years ago.
The Marzis employ 12 highly skilled artists and technicians, who craft every basin by hand. The process is akin to pottery-making. Every sink is hand-painted and kiln-fired, resulting in individualized works of functional art that cost up to $2,000 apiece.
They pride themselves on being able to match any stone, glass or metal surface in the room where their sinks will be installed, and their artists can paint virtually anything, from the likeness of your horse or antique car to exotic landscapes and wildlife. They recently completed a sink for a poker room featuring floating cards, and another for a Harley-Davidson buff who wanted to see classic Harleys swirling around his drain.
Most of their sinks are found in homes, but the company has created basins for yachts, planes and, of course, the world's most expensive luxury motor coaches.
"We love the challenge of being able to produce something that someone has dreamed," says Duane. "We bring their vision to fruition, and that's a great joy to us."