Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) https://watershapes.com/articles/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/ Mon, 22 May 2017 18:05:40 -0700 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Painting in Water https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/painting-in-water.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/painting-in-water.html


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.By Stephen Pevnick

From the start, the systems I call “Graphical Waterfalls” have always been about combining art and technology to create something unusual and visually arresting.  

As discussed in a WaterShapes article in August 2007 (click here), it was an idea that began in the first year of my professional teaching career at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  It became an earnest professional pursuit when I asked a professor in the music department if I could borrow some time on his

jm@watershapes.com (Stephen Pevnick) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:47:51 -0700
Community in Action https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/community-in-action.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/community-in-action.html


The hope-challenged hamlet of Wyandanch, N.Y., needed something special to set it on a new path, writes Joseph Serpe, and that’s what he and his working partners provided in the form of a wilderness-themed spray park filled with interactive waterfeatures – and two big trees.By Joseph M. Serpe

When New York’s Long Island comes up in conversation, most people think about the Hamptons, exclusive summer resorts, incredible estates and beaches by the mile.

But that image has a flip side:  For many years, in fact, Wyandanch, a hamlet within the town of Babylon, N.Y., has been a community that has had very little go its way, with poverty-stricken streets, gang activity and not much going on that would make its citizens hopeful about

jm@watershapes.com (Joseph M. Serpe) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Wed, 08 Oct 2014 09:54:55 -0700
Falling Water https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/falling-water.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/falling-water.html


When coherent sheets of water fall gracefully from a height and down into just about any pool, spa or basin, you can bank on the fact that onlookers will be hooked.  The effect is a true feast of sight and sound, says waterfall supplier Maria Hetzner, and it’s well within reach of any watershaper.  Here, she briefly explains what makes these systems tick, then conducts a tour of a variety of sheet-fall applications in both residential and commercial settings.By Maria Hetzner

As customer demands continue to push the creativity of watershapers to new limits, industry professionals need to stay atop the trends – and nudge those of us on the supplier side to new levels of creativity as well.

In some cases, this means learning how to construct new environments, such as the vanishing edges and beach entrances so many clients now want. In other cases, this expanded creativity comes from a need to know what products are available from manufacturers.

Although once they were the product of on-site construction skills, sheeting waterfalls now fall largely into the category of

jm@watershapes.com (Maria Hetzner) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Fri, 01 Sep 2000 12:30:49 -0700
Vertical Pursuits https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/vertical-pursuits.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/vertical-pursuits.html


As is true of all architectural forms, the design of watershapes calls for thinking in three dimensions.  In fact, say Texas pool builders Paul Ryan and E.C. Medley, the integration of a vertical dimension is crucial to success, both as a way to contrast to the sublime flatness of the water’s calm surface and to echo surrounding architectural styles and motifs.By Paul Ryan & E.C. Medley

Given the way bodies of water interact with gravity, a great deal of the personality of any swimming pool is set by the flat surface of the water and its reflective qualities. In our work, we’ve found a variety of ways to capitalize on that flatness by creating focal points that are distinctly vertical in nature.

In fact, we’ve found that working on the “y axis” and focusing on upright structures as diverse as arches, walls, columns and waterfalls can yield a variety of stunning visual effects:  Exterior spaces and vistas can be connected or distinguished, architectural shapes can be contrasted or echoed, shadows or reflections can be cast, and privacy or openness can be enhanced.

The fact that these effects cut both ways makes them appealing to a custom builder who strives to give clients something unique and lets the characteristics of the individual setting drive the design process.  It makes the work more challenging, yes, but it also makes it more fun and rewarding.

In many cases, the vertical elements we use can be subtle and retiring – a slightly raised bond beam, for example, or a small waterfall.  More often than not, however, we gravitate toward the bold and declarative by integrating water into architectural forms and creating dramatic and

jm@watershapes.com (Paul Ryan, E.C. Medley) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Tue, 01 Aug 2000 09:13:54 -0700
Little Great Lakes https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/little-great-lakes.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/little-great-lakes.html


From golf courses to private estates, small lakes have become a familiar part of both urban and suburban landscapes.  But few people give much thought to these mostly man-made bodies of water, says lake designer George Forni, or to how they are designed, engineered, built and maintained.  To fill that information gap, he surveys the basics with an eye toward defining qualities that make lakes both beautiful and enduring.By George Forni

What is good lake construction?  What makes some pristine and beautiful while others seem fetid and slimy?  To discover the answer to these and other questions, we need to start by defining what we mean by “lake.”

It may seem arbitrary, but the distinction can be an important one, especially to people who own them.  You don’t want to insult anyone by calling their lake a pond or lagoon, for example.  By the same token, you don’t want to seem ill-informed or unprofessional in referring to their waterfeature as a lake.  Given the different

jm@watershapes.com (George Forni) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Wed, 01 Mar 2000 09:41:23 -0800
Invitations to Play https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/invitations-to-play.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/invitations-to-play.html


First created for use in the supercharged, hyperactive environments of aquatic theme parks, interactive waterplay systems now offer the designer of public and semi-public spaces an arsenal of fun-inducing features.  They work in just about any setting, says Pam Pasotti of manufacturer SCS Interactive – anywhere you think people might take up the invitation to get wet in the name of pure, unadulterated fun.By Pam Pasotti

Interactive watershapes are all about invitations to play.  

For designers, interactive watershapes provide invitations to use water and the control of flowing water to create unique play environments.  For children, teenagers, parents and other adults, they are invitations to play with one another in a safe and exciting aquatic playground.

It’s a form of invitation that’s rapidly gaining popularity in an era when playtime for both children and adults has become excessively passive and dominated by surfing the net, playing computer games or staying glued to

jm@watershapes.com (Pamela Jay Pasotti, Pam Pasotti) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Sat, 01 Sep 2001 13:45:37 -0700
Splash Factors https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/splash-factors.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/splash-factors.html


They’re big, bold and colorful – a natural magnet for kids seeking thrills and fun.  And they’re downright beautiful to operators of commercial and public pools, who have turned to closed-flume slides as a way to offer a safe and affordable alternative to the high-cost entertainment found at the big waterparks.  The outcome, says slide manufacturer John Stupfel, is the revival of community pools and a whole new reason why slides are back on track.By John Stupfel

When today’s kids show up at a municipal swimming pool for a day of fun and excitement, they’re not looking to swim laps.

To be sure, the standard for what can be called “aquatic fun” has been set pretty high in recent years by huge water theme parks, with their wave pools and whitewater rides and huge, twisting, open-flume slides.  Nowadays, older “flat-water pools” just can’t compete for summertime attention among active, thrill-seeking children – except in one arena.

Indeed, the availability these days of

jm@watershapes.com (John Stupfel) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Sun, 01 Jul 2001 09:20:07 -0700
Liquid Glass https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/liquid-glass-2.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/liquid-glass-2.html


The relationship between glass and water can be a powerful one, says John Gilbert Luebtow, a modernist sculptor who uses water to spectacular effect in some of his work.  Here, he explores the nature of that relationship while describing three major projects in which the ‘visual dance’ between water and glass is expressed in multi-dimensional shapes and sweeping, organic lines.By John Gilbert Luebtow

As a designer and artist, I believe that water and glass walk hand in hand:  Both are transparent and translucent.  They distort and reflect surrounding colors and forms.  And depending upon whom you ask, water and glass are both liquids.

The visual and physical resonance between these two fascinating materials is important to me:  I know that their interplay adds an entirely different dimension to my work that enhances the effects I can achieve using glass, metal and ceramics, so I’m always eager to explore artistic solutions when my customers want the project to include water.

In this article, I’ll examine three of my projects that use water to accentuate and reflect the sculpture while providing the soothing sounds that create an overall feeling of peacefulness in the surrounding space.  But first, a bit more about what I do – and how I do it.


As with many forms of sculpture, working with glass requires technical know-how and, like many modern artists, I have acquired a background in construction and fabrication techniques.

Back in school my

jm@watershapes.com (John Gilbert Luebtow) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Mon, 01 Jan 2001 10:08:53 -0800
The Power of Flowers https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/the-power-of-flowers.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/the-power-of-flowers.html


The renovation of San Francisco’s historic Conservatory of Flowers became that elusive, once-in-a-career opportunity for George Forni and the specialists in the design, construction and maintenance of living watershapes at Aquatic Environments:  Not only was their work important to the preservation and sustenance of incredible aquatic plants, but it was also a project that saw a young firm get involved in salvaging a part of California’s cultural history.By George Forni

Long a fixture in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Conservatory of Flowers is one of the most photographed structures in a city famous for picturesque beauty.  

At 125 years old, the facility is the oldest surviving public conservatory in the western hemisphere.  Originally built in 1878 and then rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1883, it’s also an architectural and engineering treasure – an extremely rare example of a prefabricated Victorian-era structure that had withstood the test of time.  In 1995, however, a severe storm caused extensive damage and led city building officials to deem it unsafe for public use.  

Despite that decision, a dedicated group of paid staff and volunteers doggedly maintained and managed the site and its plants in a gallant effort to stave off further degradation, all with the hope that someday the Conservatory would be restored.  They bit off no small challenge, as many of the facility’s “botanical residents” are difficult and expensive to maintain – including a 100-year-old Philodendron with five-foot tall leaves that fills much of the space beneath the Conservatory’s towering central glass dome.  

The ongoing campaign to save

jm@watershapes.com (George Forni) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Sat, 01 Nov 2003 09:46:00 -0800
Water in the Desert https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/water-in-the-desert.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/water-in-the-desert.html


Inspired by the unique relationship between the Arizona landscape and the water that shapes it, The Oasis waterpark in Phoenix is unusual for the fact that it was designed to blend in seamlessly with the desert that surrounds it as well as the luxurious resort of which it’s a part.  As John Jennings and Jean Garbier explain, the challenge was linking a theme-park spirit to the resort’s desire for complete visual integration and high standards for aesthetics.By John Jennings & Jean Garbier

It’s striking and even awe-inspiring to observe the ways in which water can shape a desert.  Probably the most spectacular example of this phenomenon to be found anywhere on the planet – and unquestionably the most prominent hydrological feature of Arizona’s landscape – is the winding course the Colorado River takes through the Grand Canyon it created.

The terrain surrounding Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix is another special creation that draws much of its character and interest from the presence of

jm@watershapes.com (John Jennings, Jean Garbier) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Sat, 01 Nov 2003 08:49:00 -0800
Light, Space and Water https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/light-space-and-water.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/light-space-and-water.html


Contemporary artist Eric Orr and his protégé, Sean So, both use the flow of water to lend texture and bring distinction to basic, geometric forms.  For them, these small flows embody ‘transformation,’ which stands as the ideological core of the Light and Space Movement they both represent.  Here, So explains the tradition and creative essence of the movement and brings it into perspective as part of today’s commercial waterfeature market.By Sean So

The Light and Space Movement first emerged in the beachfront community of Venice, Calif., during the 1960s, when a group of artists collectively began to explore and redefine the way art was observed and appreciated.  

Leaders of the movement – painter and sculptor Eric Orr; Robert Irwin, who later designed the gardens at the Getty Center in Los Angeles; and environmental artist James Turrell – started by breaking down the transformative processes of art and minimalism, defining the character of their movement through

jm@watershapes.com (Sean So) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Mon, 01 Sep 2003 10:26:00 -0700
Wings on the Water https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/wings-on-the-water.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/wings-on-the-water.html


There’s much more to a birdbath than one might think, says Bill Fintel, an expert in the art of setting up small bodies of water to attract our feathered friends.  For many years, in fact, Fintel has studied the way birds act around water and has made a career of applying what he knows to creating avian watershapes that have what it takes to satisfy a winged clientele – and delight homeowners who are passionate about their backyard ornithology.By Bill Fintel

Just as few sounds blend so beautifully or evoke such sensations of peace and calm as the sweet tones of birds singing along with the relaxing music of moving water, I’d also have to say that few sights in nature delight the eye more than watching migrating robins queuing up for a bath, hummingbirds darting through a mist or a bold vireo “plunge bathing” in a rippling pool.

For most of my life, I’ve been inspired to observe the beauty and freedom of birds and am among those who have spent hours in the wild hoping to catch a glimpse of a

jm@watershapes.com (Bill Fintel) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Tue, 01 Jul 2003 09:36:22 -0700
Standing Tall https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/standing-tall.html https://watershapes.com/other-waterfeatures-from-birdbaths-to-lakes/standing-tall.html


Made with fallen trees or driftwood, the vertical forms sculpted by Steve Kuntz evoke the classic totem poles of the Pacific Northwest, but they are eerily modern just the same.  This is particularly true in those cases where he includes running water as part of the composition, turning his sculptures into watershapes that explore the special relationship between wood and water in ways that are both soothing and surprising.By Steve Kuntz

The fire came swiftly, sweeping through the dry, late-summer undergrowth, and the land was quickly blackened and denuded.  A month later, the rains came, hard and lashing, and rivulets of water ran down the hillside.  Torrents of mud and stone ground away the soil and washed out the base of a tree that happened to be in the way.

The tree fell.  Branches became splinters on the ground.  The noise the tree had made as it fell was intense:  a cracking and groaning sound followed by crackles as limbs snapped against still-standing trees.  Now it lay there, its roots all but pulled from the ground.

Ten years passed, and as the tree’s bark rotted, small saplings had begun to grow from its base.  The creek ran close by, gurgling and never-ending, its water wending its way among the rocks and other fallen trees toward the ocean just half a mile away.  This tree would serve a purpose in its death:  In my work as a sculptor, I seek out

jm@watershapes.com (Steve Kuntz) Other Waterfeatures (from birdbaths to lakes) Sun, 01 Jun 2003 08:23:09 -0700