WaterShapes

The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

Passion and Practicality

5-yrsBy Bruce Zaretsky

‘If you ask my employees,’ wrote Bruce Zaretsky in starting his July 2010 On the Level column, ‘they’ll tell you that I’m an unrelenting pain in the neck – a real tyrant.  That’s because I’m always asking nagging sorts of questions such as, “Why isn’t this project finished yet?” or “How much longer is this going to take?” or “Can you speed things up?”

‘My questions, of course, are somewhat unfair.  . . .  But I have no reluctance to come across as a tyrant

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A Path to Enlightenment

While readily acknowledging that digital-design technology has forever changed his working life, Greg Smith also knows that the software is just one of several tools he uses to communicate the value and extent of what he wants to achieve in his clients' backyards.
While readily acknowledging that digital-design technology has forever changed his working life, Greg Smith also knows that the software is just one of several tools he uses to communicate the value and extent of what he wants to achieve in his clients' backyards.
By Greg Smith

I started out on the construction side of the pool industry nearly 20 years ago.  Back then, I probably experienced the building process a good 500 times, picking up insights into what determined the level of success of each project.  

As time passed, I found myself being drawn to the design side:  I saw it as a way to put all of those insights to good use; more important, I knew it was where I could do the most good for homeowners.

In making the transition, I

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On the Beam

10-year logoBy David Tisherman

‘Every single project I design and build,’ wrote David Tisherman near the top of his Details column in July 2005, ‘is fully, individually engineered, and I refuse to make any assumptions on my own about what might be needed in a set of plans to create a sound structure.  If any builder anywhere thinks that he or she knows enough to get by without support from a structural engineer, well, that’s just asking for trouble.’

‘I know what I don’t know, frankly, and I sleep well at night knowing that

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Client Tech

In transitioning from hand drawing to digital design, writes Bobby Thomas, it's essential that you don't get so caught up in the speed, power, bells and whistles of the technology that you forget why you're there -- that is, to meet the needs of the site and your clients.
In transitioning from hand drawing to digital design, writes Bobby Thomas, it's essential that you don't get so caught up in the speed, power, bells and whistles of the technology that you forget why you're there -- that is, to meet the needs of the site and your clients.
By Bobby Thomas

As all professional designers know, prospective clients can be unpredictable.  Sometimes they get in sync with what we’re doing right away, and it seems every step is a positive one.  Other times, however, they can be slower to figure things out, and the process can become more complicated.

I started working for a pool-construction company soon after graduating from college with a degree in industrial design.  This was before

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Water Woes

5-yrsBy Bruce Zaretsky

‘I’ve expended lots of ink,’ wrote Bruce Zaretsky in opening his On the Level column in WaterShapes’ June 2010 edition, ‘extolling the virtues of good water management.  . . .  And this all makes sense, given both the needs of our society and the fact that we who read and write for WaterShapes all derive some portion of our livings from the work we

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Doing Our Best, Sustainably

6-10BZ0By Bruce Zaretsky

Every year, it seems, there’s a new trend we have to deal with as designers.  Once it was beach entries, another time it was container gardens.  For a while, it was all about outdoor kitchens; fire features enjoyed their time in the sun as well.

To be sure, each of those once-trendy pursuits has had staying power, and I still hear from clients about

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Size Revisited

10-year logoBy Stephanie Rose

‘Most of us are in business to earn a living,’ wrote Stephanie Rose to open her Natural Companions column in the May 2005 edition of WaterShapes, ‘which is probably why so many of us think of the high-end market as the place to be.  . . .  But when I look more closely at the work I’ve done through my career, I believe we might be overlooking valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth by being so single-minded in

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Setting Personal Standards

5-yrsBy Dave Peterson

‘I’ve had the pleasure of teaching hydraulics to watershapers in a variety of classroom settings,’ noted Dave Peterson in opening his Currents column in the May 2010 edition of WaterShapes.  ‘These courses . . . ask a lot of the students who sign up for them . . . [and] I find it enormously encouraging that so many people are focused on spending the time and energy required to improve their skills and

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The Evolving Studio

Want to know how to optimize the technology you're using to run your watershape-design software?  Finding the answer, reports Chris Adamczyk, is as easy as joining the video gaming community and picking the brains of the tech-savvy teens you're trying to keep up with.
Want to know how to optimize the technology you're using to run your watershape-design software? Finding the answer, reports Chris Adamczyk, is as easy as joining the video gaming community and picking the brains of the tech-savvy teens you're trying to keep up with.
By Chris Adamczyk

I’ve been working with digital design technology for nearly ten years at this point, and I have to say that the rate of change with both the software and the hardware has been rapid enough to make a casual observer’s head spin.  And that’s fine, because those of us who’ve been involved with it from the beginning have come to expect no less.

In my case, however, I didn’t start out with computer design.  In fact, I’d been working as

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Degrees of Separation

10-year logoBy Brian Van Bower

‘Through the past few months,’ wrote Brian Van Bower ten years ago this month in opening his Aqua Culture column, ‘I’ve run across several representatives of the pool and spa industry who have expressed concern that some of us in the business of educating watershapers are encouraging landscape architects to move in the direction of the pool industry’s traditional market.

“I can understand the anxiety.  After all, landscape architects are

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On the Ground Floor

Back in his high school drafting class, Tanr Ross took a chance in pursuing what were then brand-new computer-design technologies.  By the time he encountered the team launching Pool Studio some years later, he was all set to take off on that software's rising digital wave.
Back in his high school drafting class, Tanr Ross took a chance in pursuing what were then brand-new computer-design technologies. By the time he encountered the team launching Pool Studio some years later, he was all set to take off on that software's rising digital wave.
By Tanr Ross

I grew up in my father’s pool business – a successful design/build firm based in Henderson, Nev.  Even in high school, I was consciously preparing myself to get involved on the design side of things and had signed up for a drafting class to start developing the requisite drawing skills.

But something big was happening in the late 1990s:  I was all set for my drafting class and had equipped myself with the tools I’d need

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Digging for Insight

5-yrsBy Brian Van Bower

‘For the best part of 20 years now,’ wrote Brian Van Bower in starting his Aqua Culture column from March 2010, ‘ trend watchers have tracked Baby Boomers and have kept telling us that, as we aged, we’d definitely become homebodies – so much so that the words “nesting,” “cocooning” and “staycation” have all taken significant

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Thoroughly Modern

He first became interested in computer-assisted design systems when they were still just a trade-show novelty, reports Barry Justus.  But now, he says, he can't imagine developing his designs or communicating with his clients in any other way.
He first became interested in computer-assisted design systems when they were still just a trade-show novelty, reports Barry Justus. But now, he says, he can't imagine developing his designs or communicating with his clients in any other way.
By Barry Justus

I followed a well-worn path when I started designing watershapes:  I acquired a drafting table and worked at gaining proficiency in the use of pencils, protractors, scales, squares, various templates, colored markers and a multiplicity of other drawing tools as a means of communicating design ideas to my clients.

To this day, I have great admiration for those who work quickly and decisively with these tools, but about ten years ago I was introduced to an array of digital design systems – and I’ve been

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  • Great article Barry! I really like how you point out that your 3D designs help communicate to, not only your clients, but also your construction crews, subs, and others.
  • Great article Barry. Thank you for sharing your Story!
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