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

Keyboard Exercises

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Among the many things I like about working on WaterShapes.com and its companion digital newsletter is the opportunity it has given me to write.

Back when I was with Pool & Spa News, I wrote opening editorials in just about every issue for nine years.  That kept the engine going, but I wouldn’t exactly describe the “Reflections” I wrote there as either free-wheeling or exactly

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A Critical Eye

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I spend a lot of time looking at watershapes:  Big and small, elaborate and simple, recreational and decorative, calm and eruptive, distant and interactive.  In too many ways to count, they’re so much nicer now than when WaterShapes started paying attention to them 16 years ago.

I think back to a time when I was an occasional

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Swimming in It

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

It’s not the kind of story you want to see in your newspaper or stumble upon while surfing the web:  According to researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., the waters of a sampling of well-used swimming pools in Indiana and Georgia were tested and found to contain a whole list of chemicals you might not want to

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In with the New?

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I’ve never had much luck when it comes to using this time of year, as so many do, to take stock, review the year just ending or think in any significant way about what’s to come with a fresh page on a newly printed calendar.  

The reasons for this are simple:  WaterShapes exists in service to professionals who return the favor by

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A Rippling Departure

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Back in 2008 and 2009, lots of folks weren’t too shy about letting me know I was nuts not to pursue the opportunities embodied in digital media and the Internet.  

The most persistent voice among those who doubted my sanity was that of Lenny Giteck.  I had nominally been his boss at

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Channeling Insights

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

WaterShapes has been privileged to publish countless beautiful photographs through the years, and many of the best of them ended up on the printed magazine’s cover.

On a few occasions, however, great images weren’t available for cover appearances.  There were several possible reasons for this, but most often it had something to do with

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Updated Wisdom

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Let’s stroll back to February 2010:  It was about the time we at WaterShapes started getting serious about establishing an Internet presence – and more than a year before we stopped publishing printed editions of the magazine and went all-digital.

Back then, we saw the web site as more of a

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Through a Glass, Brightly

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

This edition of my blog is a bit of an out-of-body experience. 

I usually write these essays no more than a few hours before each WaterShapes newsletter is released –  probably a vestige of my time at Pool & Spa News, where I put off writing my every-issue column until the very last minute so it would

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Hitting the Road

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

It’s that time of year again:  I’ve started organizing the things I’ll be bringing to Orlando for the 2014 International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo, and I’m getting close to hopping on the plane and fly to what I’ve long seen as an odd sort of family reunion.

I haven’t been to Orlando in quite a while, so I’m taking an extra day while I’m there to get out and about.  As I mentioned in a recent Travelogue, I plan on a return visit to

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Up with Water!

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

When I come across headlines about technological breakthroughs, I generally decide about reading further based upon the subject’s relevance to what I do either as a private person or as a professional – and I have to say that, most times, I never get past the bold print.

A couple weeks back, however, I was intrigued enough by

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Dry-Side Adventures

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

I hadn’t thought about LandShapes in years – and my suspicion is that most readers of this newsletter aren’t even aware that it existed for a glorious five-issue run between May 2006 and February 2007, by which time it was clear to me that the magazine wasn’t going to thrive.

It’s departure from the scene was a

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Stunted Expectations

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Back in 2007, I helped a friend through part of the process of updating the exterior of his five-unit horseshoe of courtyard apartments.  I was mostly there for moral support as he reviewed drawings and sought feedback on features for the common space.

He had a vision – a small bowl fountain toward the back, a large

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Broadcast Merit

Blog art croppedBy Jim McCloskey

Up until recently, I’d watched in frustration as watershaping failed to gain any significant traction on television.  Sure, pools and hot tubs and fountains and ponds have been featured components in more broadcast series than I can count, but what I’ve really wanted is a good show about watershapes, how they’re

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