I thought about Hardiboard, but it's a pain to cut. Also, I want something really smooth that will wipe down easy. Hardiboard is very porus, and I think it would really soak up the paint.
Not sure it it would stand up to the heat or not, but I was thinking along the lines of a prefabed shower surround. Just around the immediate brewing area. I would basically set my sculpture in it. Once brewing is over, hit the whole thing with the hose, and let it run down the floor drain. Boil overs, spilled hops and grain, all down the drain. Do you think that the burners would be far enough from the surround that I would have to worry about warping, melting, or even fire?