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Mothers of Invention
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Mothers of Invention

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WaterShapes LogotypeEric Herman

One of the best things about watershaping from my point of view is that it can be so interesting. I’m fascinated, for example, by what happens when watershapers connect with clients, discern their wants and needs and then work within the parameters of a setting to pull great projects together.

To me, this is a big part of what the word “creativity” is all about – and believe me, creativity is fun to watch.

Through the past five years, I’ve observed first hand that the same sort of creative spark and ingenuity are often displayed by people and companies that design and supply products used by the various watershaping trades. With finish materials alone, for example, the recent past has seen incredible progress with tile, stone, artificial rock, exposed or polished aggregates and stamped or textured concrete (to name just a few).

In other words, it’s abundantly clear that a great many extraordinarily talented people work on both sides of the watershaping business and are involved together in helping create finished products of great beauty and enduring value.

All this is by way of explaining why we occasionally run feature articles that illuminate some of the more adventurous examples we find in the realm of product development and manufacturing. This can be tricky, and we watch carefully to make certain we don’t lose sight of the boundaries between editorial content and advertising messages. But the simple fact is that when we spot something unique, we see no reason at all not to invest in some ink and move it into print.

A story in this issue is a case in point: In “Artistry in a Seashell” by Barbara Zigann (click here), you’ll read about the evolution of a product called SeaStone – an innovative, unusual, planet-friendly product borne of a simple need to find a substitute for a popular natural product that is no longer readily available.

Her story is one of aligning a need, some research, a bit of cement and a mountain of waste material to create a product that mimics the colors and something of the appearance and texture of natural coral. I’ve been around the watershaping industry since the late 1980s, and hers is one of a handful of products I’ve seen that offers an elegant, simple and obvious solution to a critical need among designers – especially in Florida, where good-quality natural coral is getting harder and harder to obtain.

It’s a neat story, and we think you’ll enjoy it whether you come to use the product or not, basically because it says a lot about other materials and products you use and the challenges of keeping you supplied as you encounter a universe of clients with constantly shifting wants and desires.

To be sure, this is an unusual story for WaterShapes and it’s not something you’ll see in every issue or more than once or twice a year. For us, it’s all about highlighting an extension of the spirit of innovation and creativity we see every day in the work of the watershapers who fill the rest of our pages: It’s a tendency we want to encourage and call attention to when we can.

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