WaterShapes

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

2013/6.2, June 19 -- New York's Finest, Locally Inspired Ponds, Pool-Lighting Strategies and more

 
                   
       June 19, 2013                                                                                                                                                                           www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

The Heart of the City            

The plaza island at Columbus Circle in New York is an example of urban and civic design at its best.  Encircling the heart of this grand space is a subtle fountain system that has turned a busy traffic hub into a welcome gathering place for the city's residents and visitors.  Here, principal designer Claire Kahn Tuttle of WET Design in Sun Valley, Calif., describes the project and the philosophy the company brought to bear in bringing it to fruition.  
 
This article, originally published in April 2006, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
VIDEO GALLERY

A Pool-Lighting Primer

Giving clients the information they need to participate intelligently in project discussions is too important to leave to chance, says Lew Akins.  That's why he offers them brief video guides to what's coming -- including this one on lighting pools and their surroundings.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
Sliding into Backyard Waterparks, 2
Modular slides offer watershapers a great deal of flexibility, notes Kathryn Varden -- and come with relatively simple sets of installation procedures that can help designers and builders work with homeowners to make shared visions of 'backyard waterparks' a reality.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Pain in the Neck


A recent round of unusually severe back pain led Jim McCloskey to take to his spa for some hydrotherapy.  It also gives him the opportunity to vent publicly here about a particular feature of his own watershape that has been driving him 'round the bend for nearly 25 years.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Southern Accents

Specializing in naturalistic watershapes clearly requires an appreciation of nature, says Robert Vaughn.  Making these bodies of water look at home in an area where your work is surrounded by the real thing, however, also calls for a sharply refined set of design and installation skills.  [more]   

TRAVELOGUE
Upside-Down, Anyone?

On a campus brimming with high-toned visual attractions, the most unusual of all at UCLA is the Inverted Fountain.  It's been the butt of occasional jokes and pranks, notes Jim McCloskey, but it's a great design solution just the same -- and one worthy of a pilgrimage.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 15 available complete, mint-condition, 131-issue sets of WaterShapes, a print publication that set the tone for development of the art and craft of watershaping from February 1999 until July 2011.  For ordering information, click here!

New Toy for the Filthy Rich!        
Super Submarine Yacht    
Boasts a Swimming Pool
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Communicate and Coordinate

Brian Van Bower wrote frequently in WaterShapes about topics near and dear to his heart -- one of which was the subject of a column ten years ago this month.  To see what got him going, then and probably now, click here
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
What was Swimming Movie Star
Esther Williams' MGM Nickname?

 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.

1. Legendary swimming movie star Esther Williams -- who passed away recently at the age of 91 -- had an aquatic-related nickname during her career at MGM Studios. The nickname was also the title of one of her most famous movies. What was it?

          a. The Water Ballerina                                    b. Million Dollar Mermaid
          c. Neptune's Daughter                                   d. Bathing Beauty

2. Like Diana Nyad before her, Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel was forced to abandon her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida due to excruciating pain from being stung by a jellyfish. How far did she get before she had to be pulled from the water?

          a. 20 km (about 12 mi)                                   b. 40 km (about 24 mi)
          c. 60 km (about 37 mi)                                   d. 80 km (about 49 mi)

3. The demolition of a community swimming pool has become a contentious political issue in the mayoral race of which Ohio city?

          a. Cleveland                b. Cincinnati               c. Columbus                     d. Toledo

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/6.1, June 5 -- Angular Vanishing Edges, Ponds for Schools, Backyard Waterparks and more

 
                   
       June 5, 2013                                                                                                                                                                               www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Transit Cubed           


Inspired by the work of great architects, watershaper Paolo Benedetti has created a masterpiece of his own in the form of a pool/spa composition that now graces a spectacular setting in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.  Using multiple water levels, reflective surfaces and water-in-transit effects, the design delivers straight-ahead contemporary aesthetics while encompassing a sublimely complicated set of geometric and hydraulic relationships.
This article, originally published in August 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
VIDEO GALLERY

Special Ponds, Special Purpose

Wanting to give back to their local communities, Eric Triplett and his staff participate in 'Ponds for Schools,' a program that (as seen in this video) gets a school's students actively involved in building ponds, streams and waterfalls that become outdoor classrooms.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Backwashing Basics
Backwash valves, says Steve Gutai, are the unsung heroes of many hydraulic systems.  Seldom considered unless in use, these handy devices can, if properly selected and installed, simplify filter maintenance, extend filter cycles and even stretch a filter's service life.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Sliding into Backyard Waterparks


One way to get the kids off the couch, writes Kathryn Varden, is to set up a 'backyard waterpark' as a focus for active play.   To make it happen, homeowners will likely need to weigh options when it comes to slides, prompting her to offer this guide to getting in on the fun.  [more]  
WATERSHAPES WORLD

Into the Wild

Getting out on the road early in the summer is always nice, but when the destinations include  Yosemite and California's High Sierras, writes Jim McCloskey, the opportunities for observing wild water in action are simply not to be rivalled.  [more] 

TRAVELOGUE
Down to the River

Inspired by the hugely popular San Antonio Riverwalk, the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo (HARP) is a definite must-see: As described here by Donald Brandes Jr., the project upgraded an old town's rusty image and demonstrates the transforming power of water.  [more]


CDC Answers the Question . . .        
Are U.S. Public Swimming
Pools Full of . . . Uhh . . . Poop?
[more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


To make accessing its information even easier, we've just revamped the Products section of our Homepage menu, dividing the growing collection of entries among a flexible range of categories.  To see how things are now arrayed in, for example, the new Pool/Spa category, click here

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Maximizing Exposures

David Tisherman has always taken photographs to record the processes with which his watershapes are built.  If you've ever wondered why he's so passionate about doing so, check out this text from 2003.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
New Attempt to Swim from Cuba
to Florida Without a Shark Cage

 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.


1. Chloe McCardel, a 27-year-old endurance swimmer, is planning to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys without a shark cage -- a feat veteran swimmer Diana Nyad has unsuccessfully attempted four times. What country is McCardel from?

          a. New Zealand              b. UK                                 c. Canada                        d. Australia

2. Media reports suggest that the International Swimming Hall of Fame, which has been located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., since 1965, may move in 2015. If it does, what city is considered the most likely candidate for its new home?

          a. Tempe, Ariz.                b. Santa Clara, Calif.      c. Myrtle Beach, S.C.      d. Duluth, Minn.

3. Rick Curl, a former swimming coach in the Washington, D.C. area, was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing one of his female students over a five-year period. The abuse began in the 1980s when the student was just 13 years old. What was the sentence Curl received?

          a. 3 years                         b. 5 years                          c. 7 years                         d. 9 years

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/5.2, May 22 -- Cantilevered Beauty, Dispelling a Water-Treatment Myth, Chicago's Signature Fountain and more

 
                   
       May 22, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Transparent Ambition          


Ben Dozier takes pride in his company's ability to work with all the details of complex and unusual design programs.  A case in point is the project described here, in which he and the team at Root Design Company joined forces with an architect, various engineers, subcontractors and suppliers, plus a self-identified 'eccentric' client, to bring an acrylic-paneled, cantilevered lap pool to fruition high up on a slope overlooking a lake.
This article, originally published in July 2011, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

Exploring the 'Acid Column'

Pool service professionals and pool owners who believe that the way acid is added to a pool can differentially affect pH and alkalinity are simply wrong, observes Kim Skinner -- and here's a detailed look at the science and a simple demonstration that backs him up.  [more] 

VIDEO GALLERY
How Deep?
Long a believer in using videos as teaching tools with his clients, Lew Akins has explored lots of details and concepts prospective pool owners should consider -- including, in this case, the functional factors involved in determining the depth of a swimming pool.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Little Respect


Sharing an unusually sharp sense of joy and wonder, Jim McCloskey comments in his latest blog on two major events -- one on the personal side, the other on the professional --  that have put a spring in his step and made him distinctly hopeful about the future.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Poetry in Stone

Working with water and stone, Richard Hansen explores what he calls 'poetic dialogues' between nature and humanity, permanence and ephemera, distance and intimacy.  But beyond that, he's a hands-on artisan who enjoys the sound that stone makes when it splits.  [more]  

TRAVELOGUE
Big-Shouldered Fountain

Commissioned in 1927, Chicago's Buckingham Fountain is a national treasure in pink Georgia marble, says Jim McCloskey.  It's a Versailles-inspired must-see for anyone interested in historic watershapes and epic water-and-light shows on warm summer evenings.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


For those who enjoy browsing through the archives of WaterShapes' print editions, we've just made finding things easier by updating and completing the Author and Topic Indexes to include all 131 of the issues published from 1999-2011.  Click here to check it out!

For stress relief and more . . .       
Kate Middleton Swims Her   
Way Toward the Royal Birth
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

We Can Do Better

Back in May 2003, Brian Van Bower went off on a behavior that particularly bothered him in  some of his industry colleagues -- and pointed out that there were (and still are!) simple ways to get things right.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Right-Wing French Politician
Injured in Freak Pool Accident

 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.


1.  Right-wing French politician Marine Le Pen, head of the Front National party, was injured in a freak swimming pool accident. What happened?

          a. She slipped on a wet pool deck and broke her right leg.
          b. A diving board above her head snapped and gave her a concussion.
          c. She fell into an empty swimming pool and fractured her sacrum.
          d. She received a strong electric shock when a TV tipped over into the pool.

2. In a wonderful collection of photographs of oddball, vintage inventions on the British Web site dailymail.co.uk, there is one image of women wearing wooden swimsuits that supposedly made it easier for them to stay afloat. In what country did wooden swimsuits enjoy 15 minutes of wet fame back in 1929?

          a. USA                                    b. Holland                   c. Belgium                d. Italy

3. An obsessed fan unsuccessfully attempted to swim in the Atlantic Ocean to the Rhode Island beachfront property of a certain country music singing star.  The 22-year-old man was arrested by police for trespassing. Which singing star was it?

          a. Carrie Underwood          b. Kellie Pickler          c. Sara Evans          d. Taylor Swift    

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/5.1, May 8 -- Theatrical Aquatics, the ABCs of Waterfall Installation, Maya Lin's Watershapes and more

 
                   
       May 8, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Awakening a Dream         


Certainly one of the world's most unusual watershaping achievements, 'Le Reve' is a Las Vegas-style aquatic production that carries audiences into an amazing dream world of water, light, music and incredible acrobatic skill.  To achieve the water effects, former Cirque du Soleil producer Franco Dragone turned to Aviram Müller and Canada's Kaarajal Design Aquatique -- and the result is a marriage of watershaping art and technology unlike any other.
 

This article, originally published in January 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to move to the article, where you'll be able to focus on the images and study the craftsmanship in detail.
VIDEO GALLERY

Rocking Good Times

Setting up a naturalistic pond's waterfall is painstaking work, says Eric Triplett -- especially if you're focused on creating convincing results.  In this pair of videos, he shares and discusses his own approach to what he describes as a thoroughly improvised dance.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE
Timeless Impressions
Most people know Maya Lin for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but watershapers should get out and see more of her work, notes William Hobbs, whose company has long helped produce water effects for the famous artist as she explores the mysteries of time and nature.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

Giant Steps


In his latest blog, Jim McCloskey announces two great features now offered at WaterShapes.com -- one that will make the site much easier to navigate, the other completely altering the way we work with the images that accompany our feature articles.  Very cool stuff.  [more]
PONDCRAFT

Ponds on the Level, Part 3

There are several fine options when it comes to auto-fill systems for pond applications, writes Hollye G. Merton in the third and concluding part of her series on this technology.   Here's a look at how you compare them and make the right choice for the pond at hand.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Valve Values

Valves are so familiar a part of watershapes that it's easy to take them for granted.  But that's unwise, notes Steve Gutai, who knows that the efficiency and serviceability of many installations would be improved if designers and builders took fuller advantage of their valve options.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


We've just revolutionized the way you'll look at articles on WaterShapes.com, taking advantage of web technology to make it possible for you to enlarge most images to nearly full-screen size with the aid of your cursor.  To see what we mean, click here -- then click again on any photo!

After Their Fishing Boat Sank . . .       
Two American Tourists Forced to
Swim 12 to 14 Hours to Survive

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Considering Small Spaces

While every landscape professional hopes for big projects, clients' yards are often small -- a fact, Stephanie Rose noted in her May 2003 column, that calls on professionals to step up in all sorts of specific ways.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Security Breach: Goldfish Found
Swimming at U.S. Nuclear Reactor

 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.


1. Operators of a U.S. nuclear power plant were dismayed to discover a pair of goldfish swimming in an underground steam tunnel at the facility's reactor - not considered a good sign for security at the installation, since the goldfish probably did not get there on their own. Where is the plant?

          a. Avila Beach, Calif.        b. Wintersburg, Ariz.        c. Marseilles, Ill.        d. Perry, Ohio

2. A public swimming pool in Blue Earth, Minn., is employing a high-tech method to identify people who are eligible to use the facility. What is the method?

          a. Eye scan                        b. Finger scan                  c. Voice analysis       d. Hair analysis.   

3. The website freemalaysiatoday.com has identified what it considers to be "The best five pools of the globe" - all of which are at hotels. The first four are in Switzerland, Singapore, China and France. Where is the fifth?

          a. Thailand                         b. UK                                  c. USA                         d. Singapore.  

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/4.2, April 24 -- Playboy Mansion Watershapes, Buying a Pool, the Bartholdi Fountain and more

 
                   
       April 24, 2013                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

The Birth of a Dream         


For more than 30 years, the watershapes and grotto at Playboy Mansion West have generated a mystique uniquely their own.  Designed by Suzanne and Ron Dirsmith and installed along with the rest of the home's interior and exterior environments, this amalgamation of stone, water and plants ushered in the era of naturalistic pools and has utterly fascinated generations of homeowners seeking their own slices of the good life. 

This article, originally published in October 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.    [click here to continue]
FEATURE ARTICLE

A Pool Buyer's Guide, Part 2

In buying a pool, a homeowner needs to find ways to make valid comparisons and informed choices about the design as well as the contractor who will build it.  Here, Paolo Benedetti offers a look inside this intricate process -- and some tips on making it go smoothly.  [more]

WHAT IS IT?
#5:  Flush Spa
For some time now, most pool/spa combinations have featured raised spillways that link them together.  But that's not exclusively the case, notes Mike Farley -- which leads him to offer this brief video explanation of the advantages of achieving the 'flush spa' alternative.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

Pushing Boundaries


So far, says Jim McCloskey, building WaterShapes.com has mostly been a lot of hard, detailed work.  But now it's starting to get fun, he observes, with a list of new features he describes here about to swing into place to make the site even easier to use and share.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS
 
Liquid Mettle

For years, California artist Rafe Affleck has combined rigid stainless steel with flowing water to create a substantial and distinctive body of work.  His sculptures, in which liquid does more than merely accent metal, make bold statements that puzzle, delight, sooth and inspire.  [more]   
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


Now it's simpler than ever to share articles you find on
WaterShapes.com with friends, colleagues and clients:  All landing pages now include links to a huge selection of social networks, so you can move things along with a few quick keystrokes.  Click here to see how easy it is!

He Spied with Mirrored Swim Goggles!      
British Freestyle Record Setter
Guilty of Pool Peeping Tomism
TRAVELOGUE

Exotically American

Any visit to Washington, D.C., should include at least a little sightseeing, notes Jim McCloskey.  While you're out and about, he suggests stepping just beyond the Capitol Mall to take in the gardens of Bartholdi Park and bask in the glow of its wondrously evocative fountain.   [more]  


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Devils in the Details

Ten years ago, Brian Van Bower wrote about the sorry state of the art with respect to pool plans.  Things were definitely in a state of flux back then -- so where are we now?  Click here to see -- and register your opinions.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Fully Clothed Billionaire Stands
In Pool During TV Commercial

 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.

1. A new television commercial includes a fully clothed billionaire standing in a fully filled swimming pool as he speaks to his employees. Who is the billionaire?
         
          a. Mark Cuban         b. Sheldon Adelson         c. Larry Ellison          d. Mark Zuckerberg

2. When a New Jersey homeowner removed the cover from his inground pool, he was shocked to find a school of tiny fish, possibly minnows, living in the water. Despite the cover, the fish apparently made their way into the pool from floodwaters caused by a major hurricane last October. What was the name of the massive storm?  

          a. Selma                   b. Sandy                              c. Suzie                      d. Sophie

3. A homeowner in Austria was left with more than $75,000 in damages when his backyard pool caught on fire. Firefighters had to use special foam to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the pool cover and wooden beams in the structure. What caused the fire?

          a. A meteorite that fell to earth                           b. Chlorine gas that exploded     
          c. Pool lights that overheated                            d. A burning car that plunged into the water

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/4.1, April 10 -- Chicago's Crown Fountain, Timely Pond Chores, Honors for Halprin and more

 
                   
       April 10, 2013                                                                                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

A Crowning Achievement        


The Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park is an ingenious fusion of artistic vision and high-tech water effects in which sculptor Juame Plensa' s creative concepts were brought to life by an interdisciplinary team that included  the waterfeature designers at Crystal Fountains.  Here, Larry O'Hearn describes how the firm met the challenge and helped give Chicago's residents a defining landmark in glass, light, water and bright faces.   

This article, originally published in April 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.    [click here to continue]

VIDEO GALLERY

Pond Chores

When a backyard boasts a pond, says Mike Gannon, it comes with certain responsibilities -- including the need to roll up your sleeves each spring and jump in as deep as may be required to clear away the muck and prepare the watershape for a healthy, productive year.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Jet Setting
Whether a spa is concrete or portable, sound hydraulics are required if the jets are to give clients the massaging action they crave.  But watershapers who work in concrete are at a disadvantage, observes Steve Gutai, and must step up if their spas are to compare favorably.  [more]
PONDCRAFT

Ponds on the Level, Part 2


Keeping water at the right level is important in any pond.  Here, in the second of three articles on getting this key job done automatically, Hollye G. Merton compares available technologies and sizes up their value in maintaining healthy watergardens.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Suitable Tributes

A bulletin about Lawrence Halprin's four Portland, Ore., fountains being added to the National Register of Historic places leads Jim McCloskey to suggest that other significant watershapes might benefit from campaigns aimed at achieving this sort of recognition.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


We often get inquiries about purchasing back issues of WaterShapes, so to simplify the process, we've just updated the WaterShapes Store to list all of the editions still in stock.  If you have gaps in your collections, supplies are very limited:  Click here to see what's still available!

Shocking April 1 Report!      
Penn. High Schools Schedule
Swim Meet in Fracking Liquid
TRAVELOGUE

A Recipe for Jambalaya

Once the site of a sewage plant, Jambalaya Park in Gonzalez, La., testifies to just how ambitious a renovation project can be.  As Les Ewen reports, the first attempt at installing a fountain and Koi pond failed, at which point he and his staff put the city's plans back on track.  [more] 


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Identifying the Issue

Back in April 2008, water architect/university instructor Mark Holden noted that watershapes are underrepresented on the curriculum for future landscape architects.  Click here to see why that's a problem. 
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Prominent Television Journalist
Swims with African Crocodiles

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.

 

1.  What nationally known television journalist recently went scuba diving with deadly Nile crocodiles in the African nation of Botswana -- an extremely dangerous exploit captured on video for the CBS news program "60 Minutes"? 
 
          a. Bob Simon              b. Lesley Stahl            c. Anderson Cooper        d. Scott Pelley.
2.  Boxer Boban Simic follows an unusual regimen: He swims in the ice-cold water of one of the Great Lakes during the winter months, while wearing only a Speedo and swim cap. His winter swimming sessions have spurred a number of 911 calls from concerned citizens, and the emergency personnel who've shown up to "rescue him" have not been amused. Which Great Lake is Simic's icy swimming venue?

          a. Lake Michigan        b. Lake Ontario           c. Lake Erie                       d. Lake Huron.  

3. Barbra Peck of Forest Grove, Ore. -- whose love of being in the water dates back many decades -- has continued swimming and performing water exercises at quite an advanced age. How old is she?

          a. 98                              b. 100                           c. 102                                 d. 104.   

To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

2013/3.2, March 20 -- A Costa Rican Edge, Buying a Pool, a Great Japanese Garden and more

 
                   
       March 20, 2013                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Floating on Sunshine       


Set high on the bluffs overlooking Costa Rica's Pacific shoreline, this composition in water, tile and spectacular vanishing-edge drama is his best work to date, asserts watershaper Joan Roca.  When it first appeared on the magazine's cover late in 2005, it was still under construction.  Now it is complete, he says, which leads him to share new images of this masterpiece of modern design and high-caliber watershaping.

 

This article, originally published in March 2006, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.   [click here to continue]
© Angelo Gilardelli | Dreamstime.com FEATURE ARTICLE
A Pool-Buyer's Guide, Part 1
Buying a pool shouldn't be a casual process, observes Paolo Benedetti.  Here, in the first of two articles on the subject, he advises that reaching the best possible outcome takes persistence, homework -- and a clear ambition to build a solid information base.  [more]
WHAT IS IT?

#4:  Mastic Joints

Mike Farley keeps his ears open when talking with homeowners about their projects, and the result is brief videos (including this one) in which he answers their often-unusual questions.  But who would ever think that humble mastic joints would be the subject of curiosity?   [more] 

PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Liquid Layering


In his designs, Steve Oliver finds steady inspiration in the grandeur of water as it flows from one level to another.  Here, he uses an array of vanishing edges and gentle cascades to enhance views from an art-enriched home high on the rim of the Arizona desert.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Media Sensations

When the latest issue of a regional consumer-awareness magazine crossed his desk, Jim McCloskey cringed -- but soon discovered that the article on pool construction and service made sensible points after taking the usual obligatory swipes at the industry's rough image.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


The archives of all items run in Across the Internet and Aquatic Health, Fitness & Safety are now available -- a treasure trove of odd and interesting information you can share with your contacts.  We roam the web to find this stuff so you don't have to!  [click here for a test drive]

Kmart in Hot Water!      
Shark in Swimming Pool Dies
During Ad Shoot for Retail Giant
TRAVELOGUE

Beauty Within Reach

In Jim McCloskey's 50-plus years of exploring his home town's highways and byways, he's come across some underappreciated Los Angeles gems -- including this amazing garden sanctuary located just a short distance away from two major freeways.  [more]  


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Architect Connection

When he wrote this article in March 2008, architect Greg Danskin saw that watershaping was well on its way to becoming an independent design discipline -- and offered some timely advice to ease the transition.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Superstar U.S. Olympic Swimmer
Ryan Lochte Has TV Reality Show

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.


1.  Beginning on April 21, U.S. Olympic swimming champion Ryan Lochte will have a reality show on the E! television network. What will the program be called?

          a. "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?"                b. "What Makes Ryan Swim?"
          c. "Ryan Lochte: All Wet and Lovin' It!"          d. "Speed Swimming with Ryan Lochte."
2.  A lone sea creature has been spotted swimming up New York's East River - and of this writing, it appears to be healthy and doing well. What creature was seen?

          a. Shark                        b. Whale                      c. Dolphin                   d. Manatee.
3.  Legendary open-water swimmer Petar Stoychev - who has won world swimming championships, participated in four Olympic Games and been inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame - has been named Sport Minister of his native Eastern European country. What country is Stoychev from?
          a. Albania                    b. Romania                  c. Serbia                    d. Bulgaria.
To find out how many you got right, click here.
 

2013/3.1, March 6 -- The Nortorious 'Red Pool,' Habitats for Turtles, Plumbing Tips and more

 
                   
       March 6, 2013                                                                                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Splashes of Color     


Of all the projects he's pursued in the past few years, says David Tisherman, he can't easily think of another that rivals the achievement of this one with respect to balance, color, harmony or sheer energy.  The key words here, he adds, are color and energy, with one flowing irresistibly from the other in a reinvigorated backyard that was once drab, uninteresting and crowded with an old pool that just didn't fit with its surroundings.
This article, originally published in October 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.  [click here to continue]
 
PONDCRAFT
Ponds on the Level
The key to enjoying a backyard pond, says Hollye Merton, is finding ways to minimize maintenance.  Here, in the first of three articles, she covers one of these areas and what it takes to maintain the water at the right level without having to lug a bucket or drag over a hose.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Turtle Heaven

When it comes to supporting wildlife, most ponds serve naturally as all-purpose ecosystems.  But if turtles are a desired part of the picture, notes Eric Triplett, there are some very specific design features that must be included to keep these fascinating critters happy.  [more]  

TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Water Under Pressure


Successful plumbing design for watershapes is all about understanding the relationship between water flow and line velocity, says Steve Gutai.  Once you have a good grasp of these factors, selecting the right pipes for the job boils down to reading charts and attending to details.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Sharing Travelers' Tales

Travel is broadening, notes Jim McCloskey, which is why he devotes so much space in WaterShapes EXTRA to getting readers out on the road.  Now he wants to open the dialogue and encourage others to share their experiences and identify great watershapes he's never seen.   [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

 
The monumental process of making all of the back issues of WaterShapes available online continues on a daily basis -- and so far the issues from 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 have all been prepared for readers.  To see everything that's been prepared for review, please click here.

Amazing . . . Thrilling . . . Inspiring!    
Artist Explores the Ocean in
An Underwater Wheelchair
TRAVELOGUE

A Seaside Classic

Some objects or places have a unique ability to capture the mood and essence of a time and place.  The pool at Miami's Raleigh Hotel is one of them, writes Brian Van Bower -- a reflection of the lifestyle that has made South Florida a magnet for starlets and stargazers alike.  [more] 


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Making Meadows

Lawns can be beautiful, says Bruce Zaretsky, but in times of drought there are alternatives to consider -- including the wonderfully naturalistic approach he discussed in his monthly column in March 2008.    [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Swimmer Killed in Horrific
Shark Attack Near Beach

 


Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.
 

1. In a horrific and tragic incident, a swimmer was killed recently by a great white shark -- estimated to be 12-to-14 feet in length -- right off a popular beach in  which country?
          a. Australia                   b. New Zealand                  c. Maldives                  d. Sri Lanka.
2. Despite what Hollywood has sometimes portrayed, shark attacks against humans are extremely rare. Approximately how many such attacks take place each year around the world, and about how many fatalities result from them?
          a. 10 attacks worldwide, causing five fatalities
          b. 100 attacks worldwide, causing 25 fatalities
          c.  500 attacks worldwide, causing 40 fatalities
          d.  1,000 attacks worldwide, causing 150 fatalities.
3. According to the latest research, how many sharks do commercial fishermen kill each year?
          a. 10,000                      b. 100,000                           c. 1 million                 d. 100 million.

To find out how many you got right, click here.
 

2013/2.2, February 20 -- Eco-Sensitive Design, A Pond's Value, Seattle's Best Fountain and more

 
             
       
February 20, 2013                                                                                                                                                       www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Mastering the Greens   


Creating watershapes and landscapes that are natural in appearance is always a challenge, says Ken Alperstein of Pinnacle Design, a firm that specializes in high-end projects related to top-flight golf courses.  For this project in Shady Canyon, however, the ante was upped considerably by the site's location in an environmentally sensitive coastal canyon in southern California -- a design challenge intensified by regulatory scrutiny every step of the way.
This article, originally published in December 2006, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.   [click here to continue]
 
PONDCRAFT
Valuing Ponds
Even a small backyard pond plays a role as part of a greater regional ecology, notes Ed Beaulieu.  That makes it easy to take pride in a personal watergarden -- and to see the importance of taking care of it for the benefit of plants, fish, frogs, birds and other creatures.  [more]
WHAT IS IT?

#3:  Finger Ledge

Modern pools and spas come complete with a range of safety features, observes Mike Farley.  In some cases, their function is obvious; in others, however, they're subtle enough to need a bit of explaining -- as he demonstrates a brief, informative video.  [more]  

PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Cooling the Flock


Boston's First Church of Christ, Scientist, is widely known for its original design, but its appeal also has to do with the spontaneous child's play that has developed through the years courtesy of a deck-level fountain devised by landscape architects John Copley and Lynn Wolff[more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Lessons All Around

The National Swimming Pool Foundation has developed another great program, observes Jim McCloskey -- this one with the American Red Cross.  The idea, he writes, is one that enables pool and spa designers and builders to perform an affordable good deed for their clients.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

 
Every other week, the Features and Articles sections on WaterShapes.com's home page [click here] are refreshed with content drawn from our vast archives.  Starting in April 2013, these rotations will occur weekly-- so we'll be putting even more valuable information within easy reach!

After He Dove In . . .   
Louie Anderson Rescued
From Reality Series Pool
TRAVELOGUE

World's Fountain

No tourist's visit to Seattle is complete without stopping by to see the Space Needle, writes Jim McCloskey -- but that's mainly because right nearby you'll find the sublime International Fountain, now considerably updated and much improved since its 1962 debut.   [more] 


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

On the Verge

Back in 2008, David Tisherman used his Details column to define a thoughtful, ambitious approach to pool coping and decking.  It offered a glimpse into his design process that has value to this day.   [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Czech Supermodel Eva Herzigova
Poses Nude in Pool for Ad Campaign

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.

1. Czech superstar model Eva Herzigova has been photographed nude in a swimming pool for an ad campaign promoting shoe designer Brian Atwood's spring/summer collection. The photo-shoot reportedly was inspired by the late Marilyn Monroe's cavorting naked in a pool for a movie scene. Unfortunately,the 1962 film was never completed or released due to her untimely death. What movie was it?

          a. "Something's Got to Give"                          b. "Some Like It Hot"
          c. "The Prince and the Showgirl"                   d. "His Kind of Woman."
2. Officials at a public aquarium have fitted 27 different models of prosthetic flippers on a 227-pound loggerhead turtle - an endangered species - that was severely injured in a shark attack. Although the latest version was initially thought to be a success, it hasn't worked out either. Still, the aquarium's warm-hearted staff members vow to continue trying. Where is the aquarium?

          a. Acapulco, Mexico                                          b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
          c. Barcelona, Spain                                          d. Kobe, Japan.
3. Payton, a horse living in Terre Haute, Indiana, wandered away from her owner's home and fell into the frigid water of a neighbor's pool. Payton started to lose consciousness but eventually was rescued and is doing fine. What was likely a significant factor in the horse's mishap?

          a. Payton has severe arthritis.                        b. Payton is extremely old.
          c. Payton is blind.                                              d. Payton was spooked by a backfiring car.  
To find out how many you got right, click here.

 

 

2013/2.1, February 6 -- A Natural Hybrid, Tips on 'Green' Watershaping, Pond Shaving and more

 
             
       
February 6, 2013                                                                                                                                                  www.watershapes.com

ESSENTIAL   

 

Planting a Pool 

Plants and swimming pools go together beautifully, says watershaper James Robyn, particularly when a pool is flanked by a gorgeous stream and pond.  And as he observes in discussing a recent project that included participation of master watergardener Anthony Archer Wills, it gets even more interesting when you set things up in such a way that the all of the systems can be combined into one fully functional 'natural pool' in the future.    


This article, originally published in January 2011, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.   
[click here to continue]
VIDEO GALLERY
A Winter Pond Workout
Pond expert Mike Gannon knows that watergardens built in cold climates require a certain amount of attention in the course of a long winter.  In fact, they sometimes summon their owners outdoors to engage in what can become a strenuous cold-weather workout.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Watershaping, Green-Style

Lots of his clients are after Scott Cohen to think 'green' in designing their watershapes these days -- a reality that's led him to explore eco-friendly options including everything from dark interior finishes and insulating covers to solar-powered pumps and heating systems.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
 
Tank Command
Surge tanks may end up being out of sight, notes hydraulics expert Steve Gutai, but they should never be out of mind as you strive for efficiency and reliability in any water-in-transit system that calls for their use.  Here's a look at keys to success with these installations.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Real-World Watershaping

Recent headlines testify to the fact that elaborate watershapes sometimes need attention -- a notion that leads Jim McCloskey to think serviceability and wonder aloud if designs are getting so intricate that they're becoming too difficult to maintain or repair.   [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

Last week, we completed the monumental task of archiving all of our WaterShapes EXTRA e-newsletters in close to their original form.  We have more work to do in organizing access to them, but do click here for a sneak preview.   


Lost Arms, Legs in Iraq  
U.S. Soldier Eager to Swim
After Double Arm Transplant

[click here for more -- and a special offer!]
TRAVELOGUE
Memory Lane

 

The last time he was in Pittsburgh, Jim McCloskey saw a dancing fountain performing where, years earlier, there had been nothing more than a gaping hole in the ground that would eventually become PPG Plaza.  Here's a look at this now-complete, most visit-worthy space.  [more] 


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Finding Touchstones

Back in February 2008, Brian Van Bower wrote passionately about  professional specialization, personal style and design signatures.  Have you chosen your own path -- or is that even a good idea?  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
U.S. Marine Corps Water Survival
Instructor Explains S.A.F.E. Plan
 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
 
 
 
1.    Sgt. Trevor McLaren, a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival, recently explained the corps' four-point S.A.F.E. plan, which is designed to help Marines stay alive in the water even while carrying heavy gear. Which one of the following is not really part of the plan?
         
          a. S - Slow and Easy Movements                    b. A - Apply Natural Buoyancy
          c. F - Full Lung Inflation                                    d. E - Exhale Completely.
 
2.    It has been announced that the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Swimming World Championships will be held in what Canadian city?

          a. Toronto                  b. Montreal                       c. Vancouver               d. Winnipeg.
 
3.   The driver of a large yellow school bus in one Texas city lost control of the vehicle, hit a utility pole, crashed through a fence and wound up straddling the pool at a nearby motel. (Luckily, there were no children onboard at the time.) Where did the mishap take place?
 
          a. Dallas                    b. Houston                      c. San Antonio               d. El Paso.
 
To find out how many you got right, click here. 
 

2013/1.2, January 23 -- Desert Delights, Weathering Winter, Self-Contained Wall Fountains and more

 
             
        January 23, 2013                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

ESSENTIAL   

 

Completely Contemporary

 

Taking great pride in developing watershape and landscape designs that combine an appreciation for the setting with an understanding of the clients' tastes, Roger and Sheri Soares have prospered for years on the high end of the hotly competitive Phoenix marketplace.  In this project, they took advantage of spectacular views, blended their work into a hillside and worked out all the harmonic links between the desert and the home's modern style.
 
This article, originally published in June 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.   [continue]
 
 
PONDCRAFT
Weathering the Winter
Ponds can be at their beautiful best over the winter, notes Brian Helfrich -- hence his desire here to offer a few simple steps that will keep them running for the duration.  It takes some effort, he concedes, but the spectacle of frozen waterfalls and streams makes it all worthwhile.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Sound Stage

When asked to set up an antique wall fountain, Randy Beard did his client the favor of looking at it as a full-scale watershape.  As this video demonstrates, a basic bit of plumbing and some attention to detail makes short work of what all-too-often proves to be an ongoing chore.  [more

PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Up on Rocky Top

Even for a firm that specializes in big natural-stone watershapes, this project was huge.  Working for an enthusiastic client, the staff at Glacier, Inc., stepped well beyond the usual in renovating a 78-acre private lake while also creating a stone stream and waterfall.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
What's Wrong with This Picture?
While surfing the web, Jim McCloskey spotted a story on a pool being built in Texas that triggered a flood of thoughts on the places we swim.  Why is it, he asks, that so few public pools are being built these days, even in places experiencing tremendous population growth?  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

Advertising is what keep this newsletter and our web site open and available to all users. Our simple click system lets our sponsors know that you appreciate the information we offer -- and recognize and appreciate their support for us!  Click here for an example.  


InteriorDesign.net: 
London Olympic Aquatics
Centre 'Most-Hard-to-Miss'

[click here for more -- and a special offer!]
TRAVELOGUE

A Fountain Revised

When the 12 acres of Grand Park were dedicated in downtown Los Angeles last year, observes Jim McCloskey, the key to it all was a renovated fountain now accompanied by a spacious splash deck.  It's definitely worth a visit -- especially on a warm, sunny day.  [more]  


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Sustaining Quality

Five years ago, sustainability was a fairly novel subject among watershapers -- so Bruce Zaretsky jumped right in to tell it like it was (and is) with respect to local sourcing, recycling and taking responsibility.  [more
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
MTV: Rambunctious 'Rednecks' Create
Swimming Pool from Unlikely Vehicle
 

Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
 
 
 

1.    "Buckwild," a new MTV reality series, features a group of rambunctious West Virginia "rednecks" in their 20s who - among other things - turn what vehicle into a swimming pool?
          a.    An old school bus                            b.    An abandoned boat
          c.    A used dump truck                           d.    A derelict railroad caboose.
 
2.    Which U.S. Olympic swimming champion is about to get his or her own TV reality show, starting in April?
          a.    Michael Phelps    b.    Ryan Lochte    c.    Missy Franklin    d.    Mark Spitz.
 
3.    A U.K. businessman is planning to covert an empty warehouse in Portishead,a small coastal town in southwest England, into a facility with an indoor swimming pool and café. The pool will be aimed at serving which specific group of people?
          a.    Babies and toddlers                       b.    Senior citizens
          c.    Moslems                                           d.    The physically challenged.
 
To find out how many you got right, click here.
 

2013/1.1, January 9 -- Framing Perspectives, Eco-Friendly Landscaping, Rockefeller Plaza and more


            
       
January 9, 2013                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com
ESSENTIAL

Making Frames

To Colorado pond/stream specialist Dave Garton, a certain 'flexible responsiveness' is the quality of utmost importance in all of his watershape designs.  It's an approach, he says, that calls for a keen understanding both of the setting and of what makes his clients tick -- a dual awareness he puts on eloquent display here in discussing how he maximizes the personal appeal of his designs even as he works across a broad range of project types and styles. 
This article, originally published in May 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Once you click 'more' on the next screen, you can zoom in on images to study the craftsmanship in detail.    [continue]
 

FEATURE ARTICLE  

 

Landscapes Go Green

More and more often these days, Scott Cohen encounters clients who want him to take a 'green' approach to their backyards and incorporate a variety of eco-friendly concepts and strategies into their projects.  Here's how he gets the ideas rolling.  [more]  

 
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Making Connections

From waterparks to pools and spas, great watershaping is largely about the plumbing that makes these systems work.  As Steve Gutai attests, there's nothing more fundamental to hydraulic success than securing all pipes, fittings and components in the right connections.  [more] 

WHAT IS IT?

#2:  Vanishing Edge


Vanishing-edge designs are among the most popular of all watershape possibilities, notes Mike Farley, but that doesn't mean clients really understand their features or how they work.  That's why he prepared this brief video to answer their most common questions.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
 
Tackling the New Year

On the first day of 2013, Jim McCloskey did something he'd never dreamed of doing before -- and it set the stage for a quick meditation on open-mindedness and stepping beyond the limits we impose on ourselves in both our private and professional lives.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

Go to the PRODUCTS button on the home page and pull down to Of Interest -- your key to detailed information on the latest in watershaping products and services and all the information you need to make the right buying decisions.   [for a shortcut, click here]

Audience Floats in Boats
'Life of Pi' Paris Premiere
Held at Iconic Indoor Pool

[click here for more -- and a special offer!]
TRAVELOGUE

New York's Heart

Whenever he travels to New York City, Jim McCloskey has always made a point of visiting the Prometheus Fountain at Rockefeller Plaza.  He describes it as a great and calming space in the midst of a teeming metropolis -- especially so when the city's at its busiest.   [more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Main Ingredient

All watershapers should be conscious of one big thing, noted Brian Van Bower in January 2003 -- that is, the profound role water plays in our lives and the distinctive benefits of which we all should take advantage.   [more]

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Scientists Vindicate Phelps,
Lochte on Pool Urination


Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.

1.    Following the 2012 London Olympic Games, U.S. swimming champions Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte both revealed they urinated in the Olympics training pool -- and they asserted there was nothing wrong with the practice. That assertion has been validated by the organization Sense About Science (SAS), at least when it comes to health concerns. Each year, SAS "challenges and examines scientific claims made by celebrities to prevent inaccurate information [from] gaining public acceptance...." Why did the group say Phelps and Lochte were right?

          a.    In a large pool, a single urination is just "a drop in the bucket."
          b.    Urine -- a combination of salts and water, with moderate amounts of protein and DNA
                      breakdown products -- is essentially sterile.

          c.    Chlorine in the pool prevents bacteria from growing anyway.
          d.    All of the above.

2.    Despite several attempts - her most recent at age 63 - American open-water distance swimming legend Diana Nyad has failed to achieve her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida without benefit of a shark cage. Now 27-year-old Chloe McCardel, also an accomplished open-water distance swimmer, has announced her intention to attempt the same feat in 2013. What country is McCardel from?

          a.    Canada          b.    New Zealand          c.    Australia          d.    Ireland.


3.    Openwaterswimming.com has conducted a survey to determine the number of people engaged in open-water distance swimming. How many professional open-water distance swimmers are there in the world, according to the survey results?

          a.    379 (203 males and 176 females)        b.    491 (300 males and 191 females)
          c.    785 (395 males and 390 females)        d.    None of the above.

To find out how many you got right, click here.

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