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Opening Times (GMT): Mon to Thur - 8:30 - 5:00 Fri - 8:30 - 4:00
When Shaws of Darwen was founded in the closing years of the 19th century, Arthur Gerald Shaw had a vision – to make the finest handcrafted fireclay sinks in the whole of England. Fast forward some 120 years, and our sinks are now chosen by the world’s best international architects and designers for use within interiors of different types and sizes in locations the world over.
From the beginning, Shaws sinks were designed to be the most durable and dependable sink available in any environment. The factory produced sinks for hospitals, laboratories and other commercial uses alongside its classic range for the kitchen. Arthur Shaw might have been surprised that today the brand is best known for its Belfast and Butler kitchen sinks.
Then, as now, our domestic and professional collections are produced using heavy-duty fireclay. Each sink is cast, finished and then glazed by hand – ensuring the products are resilient to cracking, chipping and staining. This makes them capable of handling so much more than last night’s dirty dishes. So here are a few of the ways people use a Shaws sink outside of the kitchen.
Did you know we have launched a new Bathroom Range? These are slightly more compact, but equally robust sinks, designed for bathroom plumbing. They can be surface-mounted to antique tables or modern cabinetry to create stunning bespoke vanity units. A matching pair of sinks can make a real statement. We’ve seen sinks wall hung without cabinetry for a more industrial, rugged look.
Many of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants like The Shard Hotel in London, Oaxen Krog & Slip, a Michelin two-starred dining room in Stockholm or the Malmaison Hotel in Manchester, already use Shaws products in their bathrooms. Not just because they are luxurious, but for their antibacterial and hard-wearing qualities. Perhaps this is why Shaws owners often send us shots of their babies bathing in them, which we love!
There has definitely been a resurgence in popularity of the ‘Utility’ or ‘Boot’ Room in the modern home. This utilitarian space is designed to be functional and hardworking, almost like a traditional Butler’s Pantry. The hard-wearing glaze applied to every Shaws sink makes it incredibly durable and chip-resistant, so it’s perfect for a utility room. A Belfast or Butler sink makes light work of washing muddy Wellington boots. We’ve also spotted a definite trend in people using a Shaws sink as the perfect bathtub for scrubbing a dirty dog. Allowing a pampered pooch to bathe in absolute luxury, without damaging your pride and joy. Bespoke Carpenters E. J. Bushell have created a beautiful example of a Boot Room for a client here.
As an avid gardener or DIY enthusiast, you may set up in your garage (or even your basement) a make-shift workshop. Fitting a High-Back Cleaners sink in your garage is a great way to make the space more versatile. All Shaws sinks hold a number of independent industry accreditations for quality, durability and resistance against chemicals and staining. Perfect for cleaning dirty paintbrushes or washing oily hands. It may seem like overkill to install a beautiful fireclay sink in your garage, but that’s what they were designed for, it’s the heritage of the product. Take a look at this amazing example by Karp Associates Inc in Connecticut, USA. Our sinks also make great garden sinks, yes that's a thing! This garden workstation by New Form Landscapes in Hertfordshire, England is genius.
We think our sinks look stunning in any kitchen, but they have so much more to offer than looks alone. Many of you may remember your old school science lab with its wooden workstations featuring Bunsen burners and fireclay sinks (usually Shaws). This is because the hard-wearing chemical resistant glaze applied to every Shaws sink has been proven to reduce bacterial colonies of E-Coli and MRSA by 99.99% over a 24 hour period and are classified as ‘Excellent’ in this area, which makes our sinks ideal for both healthcare and school installations.
Our sinks are designed to last a lifetime, so they often get repurposed over time and can pop up in some very unusual places. A while back, a customer contacted us to say they had an old Shaws sink on their farm. It was being used as a water trough for the horses. Nothing so special about that, but because every Shaws sink is signed and dated by the original craftsman who made it, we were able to establish that this early Belfast-style design was made in 1907. This 113-year-old sink may have had many uses, but now defies the elements in the Great British Outdoors.
A Shaws sinks is versatile and utilitarian, as well as beautiful and individual. So we always encourage people to think beyond the kitchen. Arthur Shaw probably didn’t have water troughs in mind when he established Shaws of Darwen in 1897, but we think he would have been delighted to see his sinks used so widely, in the most unexpected places.
Have you used a Shaws sink in your kitchen or beyond? Or are you planning to? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line, or share your creation with us on social media.
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