WaterShapes

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

2016/6.2, June 22 -- Artificial Splendor, Pond Oxygen, Grand-Scale Serenity and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        June 22, 2016                                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
The 'Forever' Look  

Called upon when other contractors couldn't give the client the organic look he wanted, Matt Wilson put his skills and long experience with artificial rock to the test in creating a water- and plant-draped outcropping that appears to have been in place since time immemorial.     [more]
 

FEATURE ARTICLE
Oxygen Rescues

In a well-balanced pond, the oxygen content of the water is seldom an issue.  But if things move off course, notes Mike Gannon, it's essential to find the cause -- and then apply one of three possible remedies tailored to the urgency of the need and the extent of the budget.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

 

Urban Bliss
 
A recent trip to visit family in Washington state gave Jim McCloskey the unexpected pleasure of finding a huge downtown park with an ambitious set of aquatic features.  It's worth a stop -- despite the fact that the composition is still partly unfinished after more than 30 years!    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Echoes of Grandeur     

In some places, observes landscape architect Lauchlin Bethune, Mother Nature sets higher standards for naturalistic installations.  Where he lives near Seattle, for example, he and his clients are surrounded by the beauty that comes with ample rain, rugged terrain and plentiful greenery -- an environment that makes it tough for watershapers to balance the practicalities of construction with the passionate desire to mimic local grandeur.            
 

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in October 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Keep Weep Screeds Clear

Weep screeds are occasionally blocked by deck construction and, as a result, are no longer able to keep moisture from accumulating at the base of a wall.  That's a costly mistake, writes Scott Cohen, which is why he strongly recommends a better approach.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Personal First

He's taken his time getting here, but after 30 years of observing and reporting on them, Jim McCloskey has finally designed, engineered and built a watershape.  It's up to you to decide whether his effort passes muster or if he should find another way to pass his free time.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Sound Sensations Dept.:  Band performs under water with unusual instruments and eerie vocalizations.   [more] 
It's not danceable, but it's oddly moving just the same. 
 
Crime and Silliness Dept.:  UK renter ordered to remove pond as a hazard to unsuspecting burglars.   [more]
Let's hope liability is just one of many landlord concerns.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Meeting Minds                   
 
Five years back, Brian Van Bower used his Aqua Culture column to discuss a big shift he'd observed in the realm of watershaping -- one he saw as being beneficial for those ready to deal with the change.    [more] 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
RicoRock's New Stream Sections for Pool Waterfalls  

RicoRock (Orlando, FL) now manufactures a one-piece, cast concrete panel that allows water to fall at a greater distance from a swimming pool's edge.  The new four-by-seven-foot sections provide an easy way to control the water pathway off of waterfeatures, using a simple formation of smaller rocks to imitate the natural courses found in a stream.  For details, click  here.
 
Crystal Fountains Offers Fyrefly Multi-Stream Jets
    
Crystal Fountains (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) manufactures the Model WMT122 Fyrefly Jet to bring multiple streams of arcing water to pools, spas and other watershapes.  Made of cast bronze, brass and stainless steel with optional fiberoptic lighting, the units are not water-level dependent and can be mounted at 20- or 40-degree angles on decks or walls.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Navigating the
Decision-Making
Process 
For years now, conventional wisdom has told us that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that takes several years from initial idea to actual commitment.  That's why the WaterShapes Professional Network is so important:  It gives homeowners and decision-makers an easy way to begin their research and an anonymous, private means of gathering information before they reach out and make contact with professionals whose work they admire.   Click here to check it out -- and get ready for your future!  
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard?

2016/6.1, June 8 -- Moving-Water Dynamics, Pond Detour, Indoor Pool Air and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        June 8, 2016                                                                                                                              www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Active Water  

When agitated or flowing water moves through the air, it loses carbon dioxide.  That's particularly significant in systems with fountain jets, waterfalls or vanishing edges, observes Kim Skinner, with the loss affecting pH in ways that must be dealt with to avoid big problems.    [more]
 

SPRING CLEANING
A Fresh Start

The seasonal cleaning of a pond is a big undertaking, concedes Eric Triplett.  But as he discusses in wrapping up his five-part video series on the subject, it's also a golden opportunity to size up the situation and inject new life into the ecosystem -- in this case, literally.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

The Humidity Factor
 
Indoor pools are wonderful as both design challenges and family recreation centers.  But as Paolo Benedetti discusses here, they'll stand the test of time only if you take care of moving the moisture they generate away from the indoor space -- no shortcuts allowed!   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Restoring a Classic    

Two years after starting work on this historic site, Jason Fragomeni looked back with pride at what he and his staff at Fragomeni Design Group had accomplished.  Along that pathway to success, however, he ran into twists and turns that often had him wondering whether the project, which originated with the supposedly straightforward restoration of a 1920s-vintage swimming pool, would ever work out the way he and the homeowners hoped it would.          
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TRAVELOGUE
Sailing Grace

Challenged to develop a fountain and sculpture that would make a strong statement about a company's technological prowess, Michael Batchelor and Andrey Bererzowsky delivered a work of rare beauty -- one that's well worth a visit to the Cleveland suburb of Mayfield, Ohio.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
What's Up with the News?

Failed inspections?  DNA mutations?  The news about conditions at public aquatic facilities hasn't been so good lately.  But Jim McCloskey takes the long view and, as he relates here, doesn't see anything that will interfere with his personal dedication to summer fun.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Startling Illusion Dept.:  French designer turns slabs of marble into a seductively swirling aquatic vision.   [more] 
It's the perfect ending for the artist's 'Liquid Marble' series. 
 
Brilliant Benefits Dept.:  Chicago woman with multiple sclerosis finds one place she can still dance.  [more]
Her severe disability vanishes once she enters the pool. 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Knowing Your Range                  
 
Back in 2006, David Tisherman tipped his cap to those who run broad-based businesses -- then dug into reasons he'd found value in taking another, more focused professional path.    [more] 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Vertex Upgrades Solar-Powered Aeration System      

Vertex Water Features (Pompano Beach, FL) has updated its BriteStar battery-free solar aerators with a new cooling system, updated electronics and a higher-output compressor that delivers 40 percent more oxygenating air to pond water.  For those who already have 24-volt systems in place, the compressor and diffusers are available separately.  For details, click here.
 
RenoSys Offers RecDeck for Safer Pool Decks 
    
RenoSys (Indianapolis, IN) offers RecDeck PVC flooring, an encapsulating system that waterproofs any deck area and makes it slip-resistant.  Consisting of a thick, reinforced-PVC membrane, the material addresses issues with surface cracking, flaking, delamination, spalling and peeling and has an anti-fungal formulation that makes it ideal for pool decks.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Counting 
the Leads

 

The numbers are noteworthy:  The listings of most companies participating in the WaterShapes Professional Network have been visited by consumers hundreds of times, which isn't surprising.  What really grabs the eye is that fact that those who view these listings are clicking through to the companies' own web sites more than 25 percent of the time the listing is viewed.  And in a couple of remarkable cases, more than 50 percent of those visiting a WPN listing are clicking through to web sites get more information. 
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard?

2016/5.2, May 18 -- Basin Reborn, Perimeter Parameters, Fountain Fireworks and more

 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        May 18, 2016                                                                                                                               www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Finding a Fix  

The fountain basin was designed for children at play, but a deteriorating finish was making it much less fun than it should have been.  Enter Ron Melbourne, a specialist in reviving watershapes in their time of need:  He saved the day with felt, adhesive, PVC and well-applied heat.   [more]

WHAT IS IT?

#23:  Perimeter-Overflow Spa
 
When done well, these water-in-transit systems look like simplicity itself, observes Mike Farley.  But as he discusses in introducing this video, there's a lot of careful work involved in preparing these increasingly popular watershapes for pitch-perfect performance.   [more]

TRAVELOGUE
Provincial Splendor

Not even the staging for Bastille Day fireworks could completely hide the fountain at the heart of this French city from Jim McCloskey's curious eyes.  When he returned the next day, he found a magnificent watershape that spoke volumes about local history and commerce.  [more]

ESSENTIAL
The New American Garden   

The gardens of James van Sweden have influenced an entire generation of landscape architects and designers while his firm -- Oehme, van Sweden -- has designed scores of renowned public and private spaces in the United States and around the world.  Here, he profiles his firm's work on the Chicago Botanic Garden and its Great Basin, describing what it's like to approach, bid and execute design projects at the very highest level.          
 

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Clients and Color Consistency

The use of decorative concrete in a rainbow of colors has opened watershape projects to an array of fantastic design possibilities.  Unfortunately, notes Scott Cohen, it can also lead to problems when your clients decide the results don't exactly align with their expectations.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Generational Joys

The arrival of a new grandson on April 13 reminded Jim McCloskey of how significant a role his family's pool and spa have played in their lives -- including a few instances where there's photographic proof of good times he's shared with readers through the years.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Nature Gone Wild Dept.:  A hailstorm turns a Texas pool into a roiling, boiling sea of super-agitated water.  [more]
It's like comets hitting the ocean -- and just a bit scary.

 

Silly Artistry Dept.:  German pair treats New Yorkers to a goofy representation of 'Van Gogh's Ear'   [more] 
Clever, but doesn't this swimming pool deserve better?      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Gardens for People                 
 
Back in 2011, Bruce Zaretsky used his column to explore the balance between two great pillars of design -- and brought it all home by introducing a third key factor that should also be considered.     [more] 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Hayward Offers Salt Chlorinator with Extended-Life Cell     

Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has introduced AquaRite 900, an Expert Line salt chlorinator featuring an extended-life TurboCell that produces 25 percent more chlorine during its service life.  Available in two models -- one for pools holding up to 25,000 gallons, the other for pools with up to 40,000 gallons -- the systems can cut chlorine costs in half.  For details, click here.
 
PAL Lighting Launches Touch 5 Control System       
    
PAL Lighting USA (Tucson, AZ) has introduced the Touch 5 wireless control.  Designed with five separate channels operated by touch from a remote handset, smart phone or tablet, the unit has one channel dedicated to lighting control (and remembers the last color, speed and brightness settings) and four others to cover pumps, blowers, valves and more.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Your Business
in Context

 

We've added another key component to the WaterShapes Professional Network!  Now you can easily convey information on awards you've received and the affiliations you've established within your WPN listing, kicking off the process of building credibility with prospective buyers before they even visit your own site for more information.  The next time you visit your listing's Dashboard, click the "Manage Your Awards and Affiliations" box and add this key information right away!
 
It's all part of making WPN the one-stop clearinghouse for consumer-oriented information about watershapes and watershapers. 
 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/5.1, May 4 -- Tile Intricacy, Pond Intervention, Community Interest and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        May 4, 2016                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Double the Pleasure  

As Jimmy Reed knows well, glass tile can be an unforgiving material.  But with meticulous planning and surface preparation, he insists, even surfaces as complex as those he encountered in this project can be tiled efficiently -- without annoying visual interruptions.   [more]

SPRING CLEANING

All Due Respect
 
Giving a pond a good Spring workout can be disruptive, as Eric Triplett discusses during this video.  But it also can be highly beneficial to the watershape, he says, if the intervention is thoughtful and the goal is to welcome fish and plants back to a safe, healthy environment.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
A Finer Purpose

Several years back, Bruce Zaretsky came to a crossroads in his career and decided it was time to be more deliberate about how he gave back to his community.  Here's a look at the result:  Project Scion, which brings green spaces to rough urban neighborhoods.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Custom Integrations                   

Sometimes, watershaping projects flow smoothly from start to finish.  Other times, however, the path to integrating setting, hardscape, plants and water within bounds of the clients' desires and budget can be quite complicated.  The project seen here falls into the second category, says designer Kathy Marosz, but 18 months of communication, revision and compromise eventually resulted in a tapestry rich in color, texture, style and sound.        
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
A Base of Comfort

To soften and humanize the austere appearance of a facility for homeless families, Mark Holden and Jim Bucklin had to create unique systems to accommodate the world's largest ceramic amphora -- something worth seeing if you have occasion to visit Tustin, Calif.    [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Wow -- Just Wow

The announced merger between the National Swimming Pool Foundation and the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals took Jim McCloskey's breath away -- but he's already recovered enough to offer those negotiating the details a pair of important suggestions.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Compulsive Living Dept.:  Man builds dream house over a pond so he can fish even when the weather's bad.   [more]
A hole in the floor does the trick -- but it's not enough!

 

Gracious Living Dept.:  Canadian gent cuts back on his swimming routine -- but he has a decent excuse.   [more] 
Wouldn't you slow down just a bit after turning 102?      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
The Educational Imperative                
 
From the start of his working relationship with WaterShapes, David Tisherman wrote about this one topic more than any other -- but as you'll see here, rarely with the passion he displayed in May 2001.   [more] 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Pebble Technology Offers 'Luminous' Glass Beads     

Pebble Technology (Scottsdale, AZ) supplies Luminous, a collection of iridescent glass beads that can be combined with the company's PebbleTec or PebbleSheen pool finishes to create a glistening underwater effect.  The colored beads are offered in three blends -- blue, emerald or jade -- that add new dimension to a watershape's interior surfaces.  For details, click here.
 
Aquascape Releases 2016 Product Catalog    
    
Aquascape (St. Charles, IL) has published its 2016 Product Catalog.  The 104-page digital booklet covers the company's pond and pondless kits; filters, pumps and lighting; products for fish and plant care and water treatment; and a range of tools and accessories.  There's also information on decorative waterfeatures and on rainwater-harvesting systems.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE

Check Out Our
Photo Features!   
Niot long ago, we put finishing touches on a new home-page feature that enables members of the
WaterShapes Professional Network to upload brief pictorials about projects they want to share with consumers who are looking for professional assistance in developing the watershapes of their dreams.  This new addition to the network puts program participants front and center -- the perfect way to grab attention and make contact!    

Please click here to visit the WPN site, then scroll down to see the projects some of our members have already uploaded. 
 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/4.2, April 20 -- Extreme Acrylic, Dreamscape (with Moat), Urban Attraction and more

 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        April 20, 2016                                                                                                  www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Panel Discussion  

When the owner of this spec house wanted something truly unique out back, the design prepared by Brian Van Bower met the mark on all levels, complementing an elongated waterfront home with a jewel of a pool that stands out from every perspective, near and far.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

A Watery Domain
 
It may have the look of a genuine French castle, writes Steve Sandalis, but the moat, pond and waterfall he installed here all belong to a California property -- and to owners who wanted to be involved in every aspect of the planting, from selection to details of placement.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE
A San Francisco Treat

San Francisco is a constantly unfolding delight for visitors, observes Jim McCloskey, so much so that it helps to narrow your exploratory focus -- in his case to water.  That's how he came across this splendid MLK memorial fountain downtown, right next to Moscone Center.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Forming Flows                  

When observed as it exists in nature, notes Sven Schunemann, water's various forms and rhythms can be captured and reproduced by watershapers.  He and other Flowforms sculptors have raised that bar, however, digging deep into water's physical dynamics and developing precise, specialized water/sculpture systems that are visually intriguing -- and also lay claim to being a form of treatment that naturally enhances water's capacity to nourish.      
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in November 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
The Hazards of Water Migration

Water moving from one level to another undoubtedly adds interest to waterfeatures, but it also can damage stone used in waterline applications.  Here, Scott Cohen looks at the phenomenon of spillway turbulence and suggests ways to avoid the problems it can cause.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Forward Progress

A procrastinator in some minor ways, Jim McCloskey has taken his time in getting around to a couple of household projects that have been on his agenda for years.  He has abundant excuses for the delays, of course, but the time has finally come to get a few of them done.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Backyard Classroom Dept.:  Dad demonstrates basic hydrodynamics in his family's aboveground pool.  [more]
It's an unusual lesson, but the fun just can't be beat.

 

Stating the Obvious Dept.:  News item highlights five reasons swimming is the all-time best exercise.   [more] 
And it's not all that hard to think of at least a dozen more!     

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Super Vision               
 
David Tisherman is the archetypal 'stickler for details,' a characteristic he demonstrated back in April 2001 while arguing in favor of what he perceives as an all-encompassing construction-site need.     [more]
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Updated Wireless Handheld Remote from Hayward    

Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has unveiled AquaPod 2.0, a wireless, handheld remote that now features a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface and an over-molded sealed design.  Waterproof and rechargeable, the units offer intuitive control of pools, spas and other outdoor features from inside the home, out in the backyard or even in the water.  For details, click here.
 
HaddonStone Manufactures Triple-Ball Fountain     
    
HaddonStone (USA) Ltd. (Pueblo, CO) makes a triple-ball fountain for gardens and landscapes.  With its contemporary styling, the cast-stone system is available five colors (Portland, Bath, terracotta, slate and coade) and comes as a kit that includes a pump, plumbing fixtures and a basin pool.  (The glass beads are not supplied.)  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Setting the
Stage for Growth

 

If there's one thing we've all learned in the past 20-odd years, it's that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that takes years from initial idea to installation.  That's why a web forum like the WaterShapes Professional Network is so important:  It give homeowners and decision-makers an easy, anonymous way to gather information and, eventually, reach out and make contact with professionals whose work they admire.   Click here to check it out -- and get ready for your future!
 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/4.1, April 6 -- Readable Water, Pond-Plant Shake-Ups, Cost-Cut Guidance and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        April 6, 2016                                                                                                                 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Painting in Water  

When Stephen Pevnick flips the switch to animate one of his amazing installations, the ability of water to communicate moves from the abstract to the literal in a hurry.  Here's a look at how one of these displays helped a company set the tone for a key inspirational event.  [more]
SPRING CLEANING

Plant Practicalities
 
Knowing that aquatic plants are the heart and soul of a watergarden's visual appeal, Eric Triplett always takes the time during annual maintenance chores to size up the current look and, as he discusses in this video, do what he can to keep things familiar -- but fresh as well.    [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Keys to Cost Reduction

With any aquatic facility more than a few years old, it's easy to assist the owners and operators in finding ways to save money.  All it takes is some inside knowledge of current expense factors, writes Mike Fowler -- and a laptop computer set up with some very helpful software.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Making a Mountain Haven                 

For decades, landscape artist Martin Mosko has specialized in designing and installing highly customized watershapes and landscapes that harmonize with their environments.  In this project, the client asked him to create a high-altitude paradise that would make the most of its dramatic surroundings -- and Mosko responded with a pool, pond, stream and waterfall complex in which everything seems absolutely right at home.    
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in September 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TRAVELOGUE
Urban Statements

Citygarden, a shimmering downtown park filled with art, dynamic spaces and an array of waterfeatures, is one of St. Louis' crown jewels.  It's a place Kerry Friedman of Hydro Dramatics urges you to visit the next time your travels take you to the Gateway to the West.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Resonance

Is modern society moving forward in ways that will be favorable to the future of watershaping?  That's a question Jim McCloskey has discussed in several recent blogs -- and wraps up here by balancing genuine concern with a measured dose of his persistent optimism.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Perfect Child Dept.:  This five-year-old came to the rescue when her mother had a seizure in their pool.   [more] 
Any questions about the value of early swimming skills?    

Odd Fluidity Dept.:
  A music event in Orlando is to feature a seven-foot fountain flowing with Velveeta.   [more]
Details are lacking, but the photo alone says too much. 
 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Powers of Observation              
 
When she wrote her Natural Companions column in April 2006, Stephanie Rose entered the fray in a discussion deeply woven into the fabric of WaterShapes from its very first issue in 1999.   [more]
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Basecrete USA Offers Waterproofing Materials   

Basecrete USA (Sarasota, FL) has developed an all-in-one cementitious waterproofing membrane and bondcoat.  Featuring high adhesive qualities, the material is a unique blend of polymers and specialized cement that remains flexible, so it withstands movement in the underlying concrete structure, particularly in suspended or rooftop pools and spas.  For details, click here.
 
Stone Forest Offers Large Wabi Basins     
    
Stone Forest (Santa Fe, NM) takes natural boulders, slices them in two, carves out a basin and then polishes the top surface to create a contrast with the weathered sides of the boulder -- a great companion to a bamboo water spout or, when drilled, a cool, bubbling fountain.  The basins are made of green granite and have widths ranging from 24 to 34 inches.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Gaining
Attention --
and Leads! 
The senior members of the  WaterShapes Professional Network have done well so far, averaging nearly 400 views and generating nearly 100 click-throughs apiece to their own web sites.  Even the newest members are doing well, averaging about 130 views and more than 40 click-throughs.  And this is happening before all members have set up the reciprocal links between their sites and WPN that will really make things hop.
 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/3.2, March 16 -- Three-Headed Ambition, Fountain Rehab, Pond Upgrade and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        March 16, 2016                                                                                             www.watershapes.com
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
A Different Drum  

It's an unusual arrangement, but the three partners in Tributary figured they could serve a vastly broadened geographic base by pooling their firms' design capabilities -- and by using digital technology to eliminate distance as a barrier to their innovative form of collaboration.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Happy, Healthy and Safe
 
It would be great if Koi could be be placed in any old pond and thrive.  But as this video from Mike Gannon relates, these beautiful fish have some very specific needs -- needs that often require taking a fresh approach if the goal is introducing them to an existing pondscape.   [more]

TRAVELOGUE
A Technicolor Pageant

Any watershaper's visit to Denver should, as Jim McCloskey suggests here, involve a stop at the downtown lake where a painstakingly restored 100-year-old fountain puts on a beautifully illuminated, nimbly choreographed show that's as awesome now as it was in 1908.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Floating Fascination                

Within the broader specialty of fountain design, fabrication and construction, the art of designing and installing self-contained floating  fountains for ponds, rivers and lakes might best be seen as a similar but separate technical specialization -- as an art within an art.  Here, veteran designer Richard Van Seters explores this unique niche, using his experience and insights to pull back the veil on a type of watershaping that is unlike any other.  
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Planning for a Rainy Day

A good cloudburst can make a real mess of things -- a fact brought home to Scott Cohen when an unexpected torrent combined with some ill-advised trenching to flood a client's living room.  Here's a look at what happened and, more important, how it might have been avoided.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Time (Mostly) Well Spent

While surfing the web, Jim McCloskey usually has to steel himself when he sees one of the large-scale pool-photo compilations discussed here.  But in this case, past experience was no guide:  He quickly relaxed and, despite a quibble or two, truly enjoyed the scenery.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Time Well Spent Dept.:  Canadian frat boys soak in hot tub for 100 hours to raise money for medical research.  [more]
And no, it's not about finding the cure for pruney skin. 
 
Biblical Effects Dept.:  Man walks (or, more accurately, runs) on the water of an ordinary U.K. pool.   [more] 
He succeeded after a friend failed.  The legend grows.      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Quality Don't Come Easy             
 
A classic business issue was on Brian Van Bower's mind back in 2001 when he wrote his column.  Click here to see if you think it's still a topic worthy of consideration and discussion 15 years later.  
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Hayward Pool Products Unveils Pressure Cleaner  

Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) announces the new TriVac 700 pressure cleaner for swimming pools.  With top-skimming and bottom/wall cleaning modes, the cleaner captures both floating and sunken debris in its large filter bag.  The unit also features the company's AquaDrive propulsion system to quickly cover pools of any size or shape.  For details, click here.
 
EasyPro Pond Products Offers Solar-Powered Aerators    
    
EasyPro Pond Products (Grant, MI) supplies solar-powered aeration systems for pond applications.  Easy to install, quiet and dependable, the units come in models that work with ponds ranging up to three acres and come with solar panels and a mounting pole; a compressor, cooling fan and pressure gauge; weighted tubing and diffusers.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Collective
Influence

 


The rationale for banding together in an web network is simple:  By creating a mass of companies, every single one of them with its own Internet presence and all of them effectively aligned to one another by virtue of reciprocal links with the hosting site, an entity such as the WaterShapes Professional Network makes every participant seem larger and inherently more interesting to search systems.  This leads to more exposure, more leads, more clicks, more prospective clients.

To see what this kind of community looks like, click here.

 
The Network is growing:  Isn't it about time to climb aboard?

2016/3.1, March 2 -- Chemical-Free Savvy, Pond Chores, Longwood Rebirth and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        March 2, 2016                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Imagination Renewed  

In the year to come, the renowned Main Fountain at Longwood Gardens will be undergoing a mass-scale renovation.  Robert Nonemaker is tracking the process for us, beginning here with an insider's report on the grand display's gradual decline -- and imminent rebirth.   [more]
SPRING CLEANING

Precious Cargo
 
Cleaning a pond of any size can be a messy job, says Eric Triplett, especially if the fish and plants are all thriving.  As he points out in this video, this tedious chore can also be a risky one if you don't approach the process (and the fish) with plenty of care and consideration.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Chlorine Conversations

For many years, Paolo Benedetti has been listening carefully to all sides in the chlorine vs. chemical-free water-treatment debate.  He's heard enough now -- so much so that he's ready to weigh in here with what he hopes is some helpful truth-telling on the subject.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Beginnings               

The water has to come from somewhere in pond/stream systems -- and that, according to master watershaper Anthony Archer Wills, is precisely where many projects run off course, basically because their injection points are too obviously contrived.  Here, he argues instead for taking great care in devising (and hiding) water sources to make them seem as though they've been shaped from time immemorial by nature's own subtle hydrology. 

 

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in June 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
Public Interests

In creating his sculptures and watershapes, Ross Miller aims to delight and soothe passersby while rewarding those who seek deeper meanings.  As you can see while visiting his projects on a Northeastern tour, his focus is on celebrating local history, culture and heritage.    [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Simpler Solutions

When Jim McCloskey read a story about a legal dispute over a noisy waterfeature, it occurred to him that if anyone in the courtroom had thought of just one word -- a single clarifying term -- then all of the bother and much of the expense of the trial might well have been avoided.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

That's Cool Dept.:  A Koi enthusiast invents a new way to keep his prized fish safe -- and in plain view.  [more]
Can the swimming pool version of this be far behind?

 

That's Almost as Cool Dept.:  MIT team turns a faucet into the source of an unusual choreographed display.   [more] 
The idea may seem limited -- but there's great potential!     

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Standard Bearers            
 
Back in 2006, David Tisherman wrote about a subject that bugged him more than most -- one that led him to make a plea for professionalism and high standards on every project, no matter how modest.   [more]
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Color Light Streams from S.R. Smith

S.R. Smith (Canby, OR) manufactures Color Light Streams, a line including laminar jets, star-floor systems and lighted bubblers.  The low-voltage, five-watt LED lights are available in six colors:  white, blue, green, red, amber and purple.  Each system comes with 100 feet of cable and a controller that creates color-changing and disco-style displays.  For details, click here.
 
ClearWater Tech Publishes 30th Anniversary Catalog   
    
ClearWater Tech (San Luis Obispo, CA) offers a digital product catalog covering its full line of cabinet and wall- or skid-mounted ozone-generating systems -- including systems for swimming pools, spas and waterfeatures as well as aquariums, zoos and aquaculture applications.  The 20-page, full-color booklet also covers peripheral equipment.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Front-Page
Exposure

 

One of the newest features on the home page of the WaterShapes Professional Network site is a gallery of projects that's open to use by all WPN members.  Along with a brief headline and the watershaper's name, there's an image of the project -- all linking directly to a page with more images and information.  It's quick, valuable exposure, and that's what WPN is all about.  To see the Project Gallery for yourself, click here and scroll down just a bit.
 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/2.2, February 17 -- Beach Entries, Fountain Fun, Shotcrete's Path and more

 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        February 17, 2016                                                                                  www.watershapes.com

CONCRETE PERCEPTIONS
     
Shotcrete Reborn  

When its originators surrendered control of the shotcrete process in the 1950s, the approach fell on hard times.  As Lily Samuels and Bill Drakeley discuss here, however, it has since recovered and has resumed its rightful place among the world's key construction technologies.   [more]

WHAT IS IT?

#22:  Flagstone Beach Entry
 
As Mike Farley discusses in his video, this is a sleek, modern, beautiful look that works especially well when a pool is surrounded by stone decking.  And beach entries can be trouble-free, too -- so long as you consider a key point before adding one to a client's dreamscape.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Water with a Side of Satire

Even a modest watershape grows in stature when it has a great story -- a lesson Jim McCloskey learned in researching a small fountain he'd seen in Rome many years ago.  In this case, it seems, the font was an outlet for more than fresh, cool water in days long past.    [more]

ESSENTIAL
Beyond Vision              

Creating a garden space for the sight-impaired and physically handicapped presented landscape designer Bruce Zaretsky with a meaningful challenge -- one that, he says, prompted him to rethink some of the fundamentals of garden layout and aesthetics.  The first fruit of his new thinking is this space, in which the serenity and delight of relaxing in a garden space is opened to a wider range of visitors than most designers ever have cause to consider. 


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in May 2003, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Cold Joints, Costly Repairs

In pool-remodeling work, observes Scott Cohen, it's very common to raise a bond beam to meet the needs of a new deck or edge detail -- or simply to make the pool 'level' again. As ordinary a step as this may seem, however, it can be trickier than you might think..    [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Swimming Past Barriers

Swimming is a valuable skill, but there seem to be substantial barriers to gaining it these days.  This leads Jim McCloskey to ask:  Taken together, are these hurdles high enough that they are defining the future of watershaping in a less-than-favorable way?   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

It Takes a Blizzard Dept.:  Heavy snow leads to an upswing in participation in an odd winter sport.  [more]
These kids have the finesse, but where's the technique?

 

No, Really Dept.:  In this surging snowbound event, it's clear that the frosty Finns have the advantage.   [more] 
Scroll down to see real 'professionals' ply their craft.       

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Drains with a Difference           
 
As he discussed in this Details column from early 2001, David Tisherman isn't about compromise when it comes to making this key part of his projects visually seamless.  Check it out by clicking here.
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Releases 2016 Catalog

Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems (Apopka, FL) has published its 2016 Master Catalog.  With more than 300 new items, the 516-page, full-color document is available in both printed and digital formats and covers the divison's full line of products for ponds, aquaponics and all aquatic systems designed to keep fish and other wildlife safe and healthy.  For details, click here.
 
Diamond Spas Manufactures Glass Walls for Pools, Spas  
    
Diamond Spas (Frederick, CO) makes glass-wall systems for use with swimming pools and spas.  Featuring superior-clarity glass that allows for easy two-way viewing, the panels are available in a range of sizes -- from small spa dams and underwater windows to large room-dividing units -- all compatible with the company's line of stainless steel watershapes.  For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE
Membership
Report 2015

 

The turn of the year marked the first six months of existence for the WaterShapes Professional Network, which launched and grew steadily to a point where the member count reached 50 by the end of December.  It's a diverse group, with 36 involved with pools and spas, 33 with fountains, 30 with ponds, streams and waterfalls, 26 with landscape, plants and hardscape and 19 working with fire, fog and lighting.

That's a wide-ranging group of businesses with a full spectrum of skills, as you can see by clicking here.  It's just the sort of founding membership WPN needs to make consumers happy with what they find when their searches lead them to our site.   

 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/2.1, February 3 -- Acrylic-Panel Spa, Elegant Staging, Pond Duties and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        February 3, 2016                                                                                               www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Elegance Squared  

Designing a watershape to complement a dynamic fountain sculpture is mostly about viewpoints, writes Brian Van Bower.  But fitting it into the context of a larger and equally vibrant entertainment space?  As he discusses here, that calls for thinking theatrically as well.   [more]

SPRING CLEANING

Aquatic Chores
 
Once each year, notes Eric Triplett, it's a good idea to dig in and clean up an ecosystem pond.  That means lowering the water level, removing and storing the fish -- and, as this first video in a five-part series demonstrates, tackling a bit of routine equipment maintenance as well.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
Transparent Advantages

Finding himself in a new city in the midst of the Great Recession, Tanr Ross was willing to guide these clients through seven distinct designs on his way to an innovative (and successful) eighth approach -- a situation made both workable and tolerable by a key design tool.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Graphic Appeal             

For more than three decades, industrial designer, educator and inventor Stephen Pevnick has quietly been producing the mind-bending systems he calls 'Graphical Waterfalls' -- highly specialized watershapes in which letters, words and images are formed with remarkable clarity within fine sheets of falling water.  He discusses this mesmerizing effect here and its role in capturing attention and conveying messages in unique and surprising ways.
 
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in August 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
Pride of the Yavapai

In a project that brought technology together with a design gleaned from the Sonoran Desert and the cultural heritage of the Yavapai Nation, Bill Gullekson and Chris Doyle were driven to pinnacles of aquatic creativity and design intricacy -- all on display for you to see near Phoenix.    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Simply Stunning

When Jim McCloskey sees something truly new in the watersahaping realm, he reacts like a kid in a candy store.  He definitely has had his sweet tooth tantalized recently by information about two epic watershaping feats -- one hidden in California, the other on display in China.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Monkey Business Dept.:  These primates certainly know a thing or two about the joys of hot-water living.  [more]
They take the concept of 'relaxation' up a notch or two.

 

Symphonic Ambitions Dept.:  Composer reroutes a river through a house and uses water as instruments.   [more] 
The music is great, but the staging?  A masterpiece!      

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Seeking Perfection             
 
When Mark Holden addressed this subject in his January/February 2011 Currents column, it was one of the day's hottest topics -- and as you'll see by clicking here, it's still taking its own sweet time to cool.
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Bobé Water & Fire Introduces Tiki Torches  

Bobé Water & Fire Features (Phoenix, AZ) had added hand-formed copper tiki torches to its line of products.  Measuring 80 inches tall, the posts are available with either a smooth or a bamboo appearance and come with torch heads in two styles:  one in which flames emit from the top of the torch, the other with an open structure for a livelier flame.  For details, click here.
 
Laticrete Offers SpectraLock 'Dazzle' Grout Additives 
    
Laticrete (Bethany, CT) makes SpectraLock Dazzle to bring metallic and glow-in-the-dark enhancements to its SpectraLock line of grouts for pools, spas and other applications.  The material, which accentuates the look of metallic tiles, glass tiles, mosaics, stone and listellos with unique visual textures, is available in 13 colors and will not fade or deteriorate.  For details, click here
WPN UPDATE
The Value
of a Network

 

Through the years, lots of watershapers have invested generously in building beautiful web sites, then wondered why they weren't translating more directly into contacts and leads.  The answer?  Building a strong web presence as a stand-alone site is a tough way to go -- and that's precisely why we started the WaterShapes Professional Network.
 
By building a collective presence in which dozens and, eventually,  hundreds of sites participate as an interlinked colossus, we become a group entity the search engines can't overlook.  So if it's a strong (or stronger) web presence you're after, click here and have a look. 
The Network is growing:  Time to climb aboard?

2016/1.2, January 20 -- Planting a Watergarden, Working Small, Lessons Learned and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        January 20, 2016                                                                                          www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Tools of Enchantment  

When she designs watergardens for her New England clientele, Maria von Brincken applies a refined set of principles rooted in regional geology, acclimated species and seasonal transitions.  In everything, she says, her aim is to beguile onlookers in beautifully subtle ways.   [more]
VIDEO GALLERY
Small Space, Big City

Thinking big seems to be what modern watershaping is mostly about, writes Mike Gannon.  But if you find yourself in a tight urban space like the one seen in this video, he notes, you need to alter course and think about ponds and waterfalls measured in inches rather than yards.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Rotten Timing
 
A chance layover in Detroit gave Jim McCloskey the opportunity to visit a famous fountain he'd long wanted to see.  But things didn't quite work out the way he was hoping when he reached the famed waterfront plaza on a miserably cold January day a few years ago.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
Modern Movements            

Moving water has an uncanny ability to soothe and refresh no matter where you find it, observe watershapers Sheri and Roger Soares II -- but, they quickly add, it has a special power in arid, desert environments, where its appearance is both unexpected and reassuring.  That's why their projects almost always include water-in-transit effects, from subtle spillways or runnels to complex vanishing edges or perimeter overflows.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Becoming Wise

"A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others."  If you internalize that classic proverb, writes Scott Cohen, then you might conclude that watershaping is the occupation of a fair number of smart people and too few wise ones.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
The Big Aquatic Picture

In his ongoing series of commentaries on public pools and watershaping's future, Jim McCloskey has outlined a long list of social/cultural considerations and concerns -- and reports here on support he has found in a book that offers a broad context for his own observations.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Nice Kitty Dept.:  A cheetah approaches a pool for a drink, giving this bather a chance to risk life and limb.  [more]
The bold and lucky fellow had 'lunch' written all over him.

 

Memory Lane Dept.:  A look at competitive swimming in 1916 shows just how far things have come.   [more] 
From body types to swimsuits , it was a different world.     

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Water's Flip Side            
 
Back in 2011, Bruce Zaretsky dedicated his On the Level column to a key issue in landscape and watershape design and construction that means even more in our era of wild weather -- as you'll see by clicking here
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Swimming Pool Windows from Hammerhead International 

Hammerhead International (Las Vegas, NV) makes acrylic panels for use in high-end residential and commercial swimming pools.  Available in many shapes and sizes, the panels can be made to match everything from the most complicated radiuses of vanishing-edge walls to simple spa panels.  The company also offers installation services.  For details, click here.
 
Aquascendo Offers Movable Pool Floor System    
    
Aquascendo (Los Angeles, CA) makes a movable pool floor system that can be raised or lowered to any level.  Capable of changing a dry patio surface into a toddler's wading pool or an exercise pool or a deep-water swimming pool in minutes, the system is intended for commercial or residential applications and works via an elevator-like mechanism.  For details, click here
WPN UPDATE
Ready
for 2016?

 

As you think about the year to come, there's one handy contact and referral system you should consider:   The WaterShapes Professional Network is here to help consumers find you and have a chance to review your work and mission statement on neutral ground before taking the big step of reaching out to contact you directly.  It's a resource watershapers have needed for years -- and you can start getting involved yourself by clicking here
The Network is growing:  It's time to think about climbing aboard!
 

2016/1.1, January 6 -- Cliff-Top Success, Bicarb Start-Ups, All-Glass Excellence and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        January 6, 2016                                                                                               www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Cliff-Top Performance  

Given all the details that can get in the way of smooth performance, it's easy to see why it's tough to take a watershaping act on the road.  The key to success at a distance is, of course, planning, but as Barry Justus reports, it also helps to be patient -- and lucky.    [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
Bicarb Start-Up ABCs

Working with sodium bicarbonate in starting up a newly finished watershape involves more than turning on a tap, concedes Kim Skinner.  But once a barrel is prepared, the method is simplicity itself -- and truly kind to new plaster, quartz and pebble surfaces in pools and spas.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Smooth Ambition
 
Achieving perfection in an all-glass-tile pool/spa project is always a team effort.  But in a project as elaborate as this one, notes Jimmy Reed, the nature of the material offers special challenges as he and his expert tile installers work to make the visual magic happen.   [more]

ESSENTIAL
The Subtlest Flows           

In his work as a landscape artist and custom watershaper, Robert Nonemaker often uses rills -- small channels that simply and gracefully move water from one place to another -- to bring interesting rhythms and harmonies to his garden spaces.  Although these features tend to be less than assertive, he notes, the way water moves through their narrow slots can do wonders when it comes to adding depth and detail to watershape designs.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE
Radiant History

Traveling in Portugal, Paolo Benedetti happened on Roman ruins that opened his eyes to new design possibilities -- and to technologies used to heat ancient indoor swimming pools and public baths.  All in all, it might be a great place to stop on your next visit!    [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Flying Start

To mark the start of a brand New Year for both WaterShapes and the broad readership it serves, Jim McCloskey offers a list of resolutions about technologies and possibilities he'd like to see watershapers (and their suppliers) take immediately to heart.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Snap Your Fingers Dept.:  A goal-oriented John Lennon once wrote a song to pay for a swimming pool.  [more]
You may recognize its ultra-appropriate title:  'Help!'

 

Make It Work Dept.:  Michigan brewery traps and harvests pond-generated yeast to make its tasty beverages. [more] 
Let's hope that's all they're trapping and harvesting!        

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Off the Deep End           
 
Always opinionated, David Tisherman expressed strong ideas in 2006 about the ways pools should be designed and built -- especially when it came to one key decision, both for new work and renovations.  [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Deck-O-Seal Introduces One-Part Joint Sealant  

Deck-O-Seal (Hampshire, IL) produces HS-1 SL, a one-part, self-leveling joint sealant for horizontal expansion joints in swimming pool decks, patios and walkways.  Packaged in a 62-ounce pouch, all it takes is screwing on the supplied application tip and squeezing the material into the joint.  The foil pouch can then be resealed for later use.  For details, click here.
 
Hayward Launches ColorLogic Light Controller   
    
Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has announced the release of the ColorLogic Light Controller, an easy-to-install unit designed to control the company's low-voltage, customizable LED lighting systems.  The wall-mounted device has an adjusting dial and a preview window, offering ten fixed colors as well as seven color-changing light shows.  For details, click here
WPN UPDATE
The Next
Big Step

 

The WaterShapes Professional Network is about to take a giant leap forward:  Starting this week, we'll be contacting all members with procedures for adding the WPN Member Badge to their own web sites' home pages.  Once these linkages are established, the WPN Community will begin to pulse as a true network -- and become a high-profile draw for search engines as well as a far better vehicle for making contact with prospective clients.   
 
The Network is growing:  Shouldn't you be climbing aboard?
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