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

 
         
       December 18, 2013                                                                                                                                                                 www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Shaping the Night                


Effective landscape lighting requires a careful balance of several key elements, explains Janet Lennox Moyer, the chief among them being the fine art of lighting plant material.  In this feature, one of the world's leading authorities on the subject of exterior lighting describes the way she approaches this part of her projects, revealing the thought processes and practicalities involved in making greenery come alive when the sun sets.  

This article, originally published 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.

 

TRAVELOGUE
Frosted Plumes

If you are among those who live where it gets really, really cold this time of year, Jim McCloskey recommends bundling up, braving the great outdoors and seeking out local watershapes that present their viewers with rare and wondrous winter spectacles.  [more]
PONDCRAFT 101

A Pond After Dark

It's a simple fact that many working homeowners see their backyards after the sun goes down more often than they see them in daylight.  That's why Eric Triplett installs lighting in almost all of his ponds -- a process he covers in splendid detail in this video.   [more] 


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Reindeer-Proof Holidays

The holiday season is a time for caring and sharing, observed Scott Cohen at this time last year -- but feeding Santa's reindeer when they stop by is asking too much.  Here are some timeless planting suggestions that will help guide these marauders elsewhere.   [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Eastern Eclectic


Years in the making, this project pushed its designers to their creative limits.  The result, says Ben Dozier, is a set of French- and Asian-influenced garden rooms highlighted by plants, sculptures, garden ornaments and fine hardscape treatments -- oh, yes, and plenty of water.  [more]
WHAT IS IT?

#10:  Acrylic Pool Wall


Those thick, clear acrylic panels that are being included in more and more pool projects these days are definitely as cool as Mike Farley declares in this recent video.  But as he points out here, success with the look requires the installer to be  fully up to speed with a few key details.  [more]

The True Spirit of Sportsmanship:           
Florida Boy Gives Swim Meet
Trophy to Hospitalized Rival

WATERSHAPES WORLD
On the March

Progress with WaterShapes.com is coming so steadily that it can go unnoticed, observes Jim McCloskey, which is why he's calling attention here to the completion of a major project that promises to bring WaterShapes to a new generation of aquatic professionals.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

A long time coming, the digital archive of all 131 back issues of WaterShapes is now complete and ready for reference by watershapers, their clients and everyone else who wants to know more about a fascinating art form.  To gain access and have a look around, click here!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Young Swimmers Evacuated from Changing
Room Because of Prosthetic 'Pool Pervert'

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

 

 
1. When staff at a swim center saw a foot sticking out at the bottom of a changing room cubicle, they evacuated the youngsters who were getting back into their street clothes after a swimming lesson. But, the website of the Mirror newspaper reveals, "...when they opened the changing room door, they saw the suspected pervert was a prosthetic leg innocently left by a disabled man while he went for a swim." Where did this amusing case of mistaken identity take place?
 
          a. USA                        b. France                               c. Italy                                       d. UK

2. And speaking of alleged pool perverts:  Dailytelegraph.com.au reports that an Afghan man seeking asylum in Australia has been arrested for "indecently assaulting" a number of teenage girls at a Sydney swimming pool. The man allegedly grabbed "the girls around the waist, touching their thighs, bottoms and breasts." What, according to his lawyer, is his defense?

          a. Bad eyesight        b. Bad swimming skills     c. Bad nutrition                        d. Bad English

3. Around two-dozen feral pigs that inhabit a tiny Caribbean island (now referred to as Pig Island) love to go swimming in the warm waters surrounding their home. What country does the island belong to, according to deepseanews.com?

          a. The Bahamas      b. Jamaica                            c. Dominican Republic         d. Grenada

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

 
 
        December 4, 2013                                                                                                                                       www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Graceful Reflections                


The potency of water's reflective nature is a component of watershaping that is all too often ignored or left to chance, says renowned environmental artist Anthony Archer Wills.  When considered from the outset of a project, however, the brilliance and subtlety of a reflection is something he uses to completely transform the experience of viewing water in ways that become ongoing sources of delight and fascination for his clients.  

This article, originally published in February 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

PONDCRAFT 101

A Stitch in Time

All sorts of interesting things happen on a job site.  Eric Triplett knows, for instance, that the misplaced jab of a shovel occasionally means that a pond liner will need a bit of emergency repair work -- a process he walks through step by step in this important video.   [more] 
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Ground Work

There's no room for guesswork when it comes to structural engineering, says Ron Lacher, especially with concrete structures designed to contain water.  Here, he discuses the precise planning and attention to workmanship that are often the keys to watershaping success.  [more] 

VIDEO GALLERY
Keep It Clean

No pool owner wants to spend his or her free time netting leaves or fetching sunken debris.  That's why, as Lew Akins relates in this brief video, he's so determined to bundle an automatic cleaning system of some kind into virtually all of his watershape projects.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

Just Amazing


In converting past columns from the magazine to the web site, Jim McCloskey couldn't help noticing that there was something special about a standout element of many of those items -- that is, the profound artistry of Rick Leddy, the magazine's longtime art director.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE
A Villa for the Ages

The Getty Villa hosts what may be the world's greatest private collection of Greco-Roman antiquities.  But as Eric Herman reports, it's also a visitor's delight for its classical architecture, subtle gardens and elegant watershapes -- not to mention great views of the Pacific Ocean.   [more]


Are Diamonds a Swimmer's Best Friend?  
Million-Dollar Swimsuit:  Wretched
Excess with a Wacky Tan Line!
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 6 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!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Golden Goggles Award:  Which Swimmer
Was Named 'Female Athlete of the Year'?

 


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

1.  According to Web site espn.go.com, USA Swimming recently named Ryan Lochte "Male Athlete of the Year" at its annual Golden Goggles awards ceremony. Who was named "Female Athlete of the Year" at the event?

           a. Missy Franklin          b. Haley Anderson           c. Katie Ledecky           d. Allison Schmitt

2. Swimvortex.com reports that longtime national swimming coach Mitch Ivey -- who was a teammate of Mark Spitz at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games -- has been banned by USA Swimming for his alleged history of sexual misconduct with young female swimmers. For how long is Ivey now banned from the sport of swimming?

          a. 10 years                      b. 15 years                        c. 20 years                    d. Life

3.  A number of great white sharks were videotaped recently swimming right under surfers off a beach of one California community. Happily, notes americanlivewirre.com, no one was attacked. Where did this take place?

          a. Manhattan Beach at El Porto                              b. Mission Beach at San Diego
          c. Capistrano Beach at Dana Point                       d. Big Kahuna Beach at Barstow

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

 
 
                   
       November 20, 2013                                                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Riding a Golden Wave                 


Completing the fountain for Disney's California Adventure theme park presented watershaper Dave Wooten and his company with immense technical and operational challenges:  In crafting a huge artificial ocean wave that serves as the park's symbolic core, he and his staff not only pushed the limits of hydraulic and mechanical design, but also met incredible standards for planning, performance and system serviceability set by an awesome client.  

This article, originally published in September 2006, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 

PONDCRAFT 101

Rocking and Rolling

It may be fun to place rocks and boulders and watch a pond really take shape, says Eric Triplett, but as this detailed video attests, it's also lots of hard work.  What keeps him going, Triplett adds, is the fact that this part of the project is also a grand exercise in artful improvisation.   [more]  

TRAVELOGUE
Olympian Aspirations
Any trip to Atlanta, writes Jim McCloskey, should include a pilgrimage to Centennial Park for a long look at the Fountain of Rings -- a monument to Atlanta's spectacular hosting of the 1996 Olympic Games that's been a great public gathering place ever since.  [more]
WHAT IS IT?
#9:  Leaf Cover

It's not a glamorous detail, notes Mike Farley, but in many parts of the country at a certain time of year, a leaf cover can be a crucial part of the full pool/spa package.  Here's a video that shows their annual autumnal value -- and how intricate these fabrications can become.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Paying It Forward       

While at his booth during the recent International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo, Jim McCloskey met a young watershaper who had an unusually probing question about this digital newsletter on his mind -- and, it turns out, plenty of ambition to go along with it.  [more] 
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

At Play in the Fountain of Life

Extraordinary scope and logistical coordination:  That's what the design, engineering and construction of 'The Fountain of Life' project was all about.  But that was only part of the story, says Eric Dobbs, with playfulness, whimsy and a blistering desert sun having their roles, too.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 7 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!

The Poor and Women Need Not Apply, but . . .        
Swimming Is All the Rage for
Some in Kabul, Afghanistan
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Nature's Way

Back in November 2008, Brian Van Bower turned his attention to the natural side of watershaping -- and elaborated on a familiar set of constraints he encountered along the way.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Michael Phelps Doesn't Want
Anyone to Compare Him to . . . 

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

1.  Michael Phelps passed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency drug tests he took in the third quarter of 2013, opening the possibility of his return to competitive swimming. According to olympictalk.nbcsports.com, Phelps was quoted as saying: "If I decide to keep going and swim again, then I'll compete. If I don't, I guess I'll re-retire. Just don't compare me to ____________."  Fill in the blank with the correct name.

          a. Floyd Mayweather       b. Brett Favre         c. Lance Armstrong       d. Michael Jordan.

2.  Washingtonpost.com | The Associated Press reports that Ryan Lochte will not compete in next month's Duel in the Pool swim meet in Glasgow, Scotland, due to a physical injury. What part of his body was injured?  

          a. Left knee                      b. Right elbow       c. Left ankle                     d. Lower back.
 
3. The usnews.nbcnews.com web site notes that a giant sinkhole in one Southern state swallowed (among other things) one homeowner's entire backyard pool.  What state?

          a. Alabama                      b. Louisiana          c. Mississippi                  d. Florida.

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

 
 
                   
       November 6, 2013                                                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Shimmer and Shine

 

Looking for a surface material as unique as the resort itself, the designers of Jade Mountain turned to David Knox of Lightstreams to create completely original tile products for use in the structure's 25 vanishing-edge pools, with each one to have its own unique colors and optical qualities.  Here, Knox describes the process of deploying glass tiles throughout one of the world's most unique and extensive watershape environments. 

This article, originally published in April 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail. 


PONDCRAFT 101
Setting the Skimmer 

Proper installation of a skimmer is crucial to the success of most pond projects, both hydraulically and aesthetically.  As Eric Triplett demonstrates in detail in this video, getting this step in the process right is all about good planning -- and plenty of precision on the job site.  [more] 
 
FEATURE ARTICLE

Working Multi-Year Relationships

For Dan Lenz, completing a watershaping project is often just the beginning of a long-term relationship with his clients -- one that will, if he handles things properly, carry him back into homeowners' yards for periodic updates, upgrades and even major renovations.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Expansion Solutions

When the soil expands under a concrete pool deck, the pressure can turn the finest slab work into an unsightly clash of cracked planes and angles. There are ways to overcome this expansiveness, says Ron Lacher, but first you need to know what you're up against.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Family Fun   

The approach of Thanksgiving and November's national pool show has Jim McCloskey thinking about turkey and family fun -- and about the changing state of the art with WaterShapes as it moves into the future with all sorts of new items on the agenda.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Amazing Grace

Fallingwater -- Frank Lloyd Wright's sublime interweaving of architecture, forest and water -- is one of the world's most photographed and studied residences.  It's also a favorite travel stop for David Tisherman, who marvels at a grandeur that has never been matched.  [more]    

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 6 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!

Sports Poisoned by Politics:           
Israel and Its Athletes Discriminated
Against at Swimming World Cup

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
It's Always Something!
You need to take care in selecting plants, advised Stephanie Rose ten years ago in her Natural Companions column, because making the wrong choice might lead you on 'invasive' adventures.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Ugh!  Video of Blood-and-Guts
Food Fight in a Swimming Pool


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

1.  In honor of Halloween, London-based mobile network giffgaff produced a gory, campy video with 150 people hurling fake blood and internal organs at one another, all at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. The disgusting video images are accompanied by "Walk of Shame" by American rock duo __________.

          a. Deap Vally                    b. Deap Cavrn                    c. Deap Oshin                 d. Deap Rivr

2.  The opera company of one major U.S. city recently mounted a production of "Orpheus & Eurydice" at a local natatorium, with the facility's lap pool standing in for the River Styx. In what city did the watery production appear?

          a. New York                      b. San Francisco               c. Miami                            d. Chicago.

3.  A structure that claims to be "the world's biggest building" has opened in a large Chinese city; it is reportedly three times bigger than the Pentagon and includes, among many other facilities, a waterpark. Where is the mega structure located?  

          a. Beijing                           b. Shanghai                       c. Chengdu                      d. Guangzhou

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

 
 
                   
       October 23, 2013                                                                                                                                                                      www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Viewing a Dream               


There is no way to describe this home other than as 'art,' says watershaper Steve Dallons.  It was a mountain of a project that demanded every bit of skill and craft he and everyone else who worked on site could muster, but the opportunity to work on a world-class project designed by a renowned architect made everything worthwhile, even enjoyable.  And the proof of the achievement is in the photographs, as this feature amply demonstrates.

This article, originally published in June 2004, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 

PONDCRAFT 101

All Lined Up

As Eric Triplett sees it, the process of making a pond is about performing a sequence of tasks so well that no problems can ever arise.  In this video, he shows what that means when it's time to install the underlayment and all-important liner for this project.  [more]  

TRAVELOGUE
A Fair to Remember

Visits to New York tend to focus on Manhattan, notes Jim McCloskey.  While that makes a certain amount of sense, he nonetheless recommends a side trip to Queens to see the magnificent, literally global fountain that was the symbol of the 1964 New York World's Fair.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Designing for Access


Setting up a pool and spa for a client who uses a wheelchair involves the designer and builder in myriad critical details that, as Lew Akins discusses in this video, are all dedicated to the cause of making it as easy as possible to get into and out of the water.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Welcome to Paradise


When it comes to listing the most ambitious of all uses of water in recreational settings,  says Steve Kaiser, the resort known as Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, should quickly come to mind because of its multiple pools, slides, fountains and marine exhibits.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Helpful Heat

An arm's-length list of home improvement projects has kept Jim McCloskey hopping in recent months -- and a note from a friend has renewed his conviction that his favorite form of watershape is an incredibly versatile, valuable source of comfort and relaxation.   [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 7 remaining 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!

Exercise, Excitement and Safety  . . .          
Open-Water Swimming Vacations:
The Latest in 'Adventure Travel'

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Planting Places

Back in October 2008, Brian Van Bower shared his thoughts on looking beyond the boundaries of pools and spas and looking for the potential in the rest of the site -- especially one key area.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
While Snorkeling in the Pacific, Marine
Science Instructor Finds 'Sea Monster'

 

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

 

 
1.  While she was snorkeling off Catalina Island near Los Angeles, marine science instructor Jasmine Santana came across a dead specimen of the rare oarfish, which resembles a mythical giant sea serpent. Although the specimen she encountered was "only" 18 feet in length, how long can oarfish grow?

          a. 30 feet                             b. 50 feet                     c. 80 feet                        d. 100 feet.

2.  OxfordDictionaries.com defines wild swimming as...

          a. Swimming in the nude                                      b. Swimming while intoxicated or high
          c. Swimming in natural bodies of water            d. Swimming while playing water polo.

3.  The dramatic impact of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake on a swimming pool was captured on video. In what Asian country did the temblor take place?
 
          a. The Philippines                                                  b. Republic of China (Taiwan)
          c. Japan                                                                    d. Cambodia

To find out how many you got right, click here.
 
 
                   
      
       October 9, 2013                                                                                                                                                                       www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Troughs and Trenches               


The design and installation of the circulation, filtration and chemical-treatment systems for the pools at St. Lucia's Jade Mountain was a task of monumental proportions and extreme technical, physical and logistical difficulty.  The effort was spearheaded by watershaper/hydraulics expert Chris Barnes, who spent months on site installing precision systems engineered to provide years of nearly maintenance-free service.

This article, originally published in April 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

PONDCRAFT 101

Safe and Secure

Those involved with ponds have a responsibility to see to the safety of the fish that inhabit them, notes Eric Triplett.  That's why he devotes this pivotal video to defining the value of including hiding places that will keep fish from harm -- and shows how to build them, too.  [more] 
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Motive Power

At the heart of almost every pool or spa is a pump driven by a motor of one type or another.  As Steve Gutai reveals here, there are distinctions among those types you need to know to maximize a watershapes' energy efficiency and ensure its proper hydraulic performance.  [more] 

WHAT IS IT?
#8:  Poolside Pottery

If you want to make maintenance easy for homeowners, says Mike Farley, you need to think ahead and pay attention to key details from the planning stage forward.  As discussed in this brief video, that includes some important matters having to do with humble potted plants.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

To a Healthier World


Evidence of the health-related benefits of watershapes of various kinds mounts up day by day, writes Jim McCloskey.  That's a fact of which every watershaper can justly be proud -- and should think about communicating effectively to all potential watershape owners.  [more]
TRAVELOGUE
The Enchanted Hill

The jewel of California's central coast, Hearst Castle is the most public of all 'private' residences.  Its two pools may in fact be the best known on the planet -- but Skip Phillips urges visitors to take a look around and give the estate's other beautiful watershapes their due.  [more]  

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 7 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!

A Message to Inner-City Youth . . .
Celtics Forward Brandon Bass
Takes Swimming Lessons at 28
 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Trouble with Liners

The majority of pond builders rely on liners to create their bodies of water, noted Douglas Roth back in October 2003.  But when it comes to creating high-quality naturalistic watershapes, he wrote, there's a better way.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Three People Swim Together from
Alcatraz to San Francisco . . . So?!


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

1. Three people - ages 17, 19 and 24 - made headlines by swimming together from Alcatraz to San Francisco. Many others have swum the treacherous, 1.25-mile course, so what was the big deal?

          a.  All three are autistic                                          b.  All three have Down syndrome
          c.  All three are blind                                              d.  All three are missing a limb

2. A landlord in Richmond County, Ga., was sentenced to jail for failing to clean or fill in a neglected swimming pool on a property he owns. This came some two years after he was first advised to take care of the pool by Richmond County Mosquito Control. He received the maximum jail sentence possible. What was it?

          a. 30 days                          b.60 days                     c. 90 days                       d. 120 days

3. One Canadian city plans to build the country's first chlorine-free, naturally filtered public swimming pool in 2014. The project is slated to cost $14.5 million (Canadian). Which city is it?

          a.  Vancouver                     b.  Calgary                   c.  Winnipeg                   d.  Edmonton

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

 
 
                   
       September 25, 2013                                                                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com
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ESSENTIAL   

 

Teaming Perfection               


Every great watershaping project involves a measure of design inspiration followed up by an equivalent measure of excellence in execution.  In some cases, notes watershaper Brian Van Bower, a single entity or person drives both processes, but it's increasingly common these days for superb projects to be the result of a team effort -- as in the project discussed here, where there was a collaboration among architects, designers, contractors and subcontractors aligned in pursuit of a shared goal.


This article, originally published in October 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 

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PONDCRAFT 101

Digging In

In excavating a pond, you're very much caught up in the sort of hard work on display in this video.  But for many reasons, explains Eric Triplett, you should also be looking ahead and thinking about how the watershape will ultimately look when you add rock, plants and fish.  [more] 

null VIDEO GALLERY
Choosing a 'Look'
Most homeowners want to get involved in selecting their own tile and coping, observes Lew Akins.  That's why -- as he discusses in this video -- he does all he can to share his experience and ensure that his clients are ready to make well-informed choices.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Facing Our Aquatic Future     

Gaining access to the life aquatic is no longer as easy as it was when he was a kid, writes Jim McCloskey.  In light of that trend, he discusses the need to find more and better ways to provide avenues to swimming education and get kids back in the water, safe and sound.  [more]
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PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

A New American Garden

James van Sweden has designed scores of renowned public and private spaces in the United States and abroad.  Here, he profiles the Chicago Botanic Garden and its Great Basin, describing how he and his firm approached, bid and executed a project at the very highest level.   [more] 
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TRAVELOGUE
Wondrous Trouble

It may celebrate a history that many regret, notes Jim McCloskey, but there's no denying the beauty of this tribute to the man responsible for bringing water to the desert that was Los Angeles -- and for making bitter enemies of residents of a distant California valley.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 7 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!

While Committing 'Unspeakable Atrocities' . . .       
North Korea's Kim Jung Un
Visits Waterpark Construction Site
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Proportional Responses

Watershape designs can easily get out of hand, wrote Brian Van Bower back in September 2003 -- but he hoped through his column to persuade watershapers to step back and avoid getting carried away.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Has USA Swimming Banned
Anti-LGBT Discrimination?

 

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

1.  At its recent House of Delegates meeting, USA Swimming (the national governing body of competitive swimming in the United States) voted to add sexual orientation and gender expression to other categories listed in its anti-discrimination rules -- true or false?   

          a. True                           b. False

2. The city council of one Japanese metropolis is planning on turning the Dotonbori Canal -- whose water currently is filthy and unfit for human contact -- into an 800-meter-long (2,625-foot-long), sanitary swimming pool right in the heart of town.  Which Japanese city?

          a. Tokyo                        b. Osaka                        c. Nagano                          d. Kyoto  

3. A court in one European Union country has ruled that a Muslim schoolgirl must take mixed-gender swimming lessons in accordance with her school's policies. She will, however, be allowed to wear a body-concealing "Burkini" swimsuit.  Which EU country?

          a. Spain                       b. France                        c. Netherlands                  d. Germany

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

 
 
                   
       September 11, 2013                                                                                                                                                              www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Carving in Jade              


For more than 25 years, architect Nick Troubetzkoy has envisioned a uniquely natural resort on the island of St. Lucia:  No telephones, no televisions, no clocks -- just a complete separation from the workaday world in a setting of unmatched beauty.  Now he's realized his dreams in Jade Mountain, a marvel of organic architectural design and host to more than two dozen vanishing-edge pools and waterfeatures set amidst hanging gardens.
 
 
This article, originally published in April 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
WHAT IS IT?

#7:  Beach Entry

Gracefully sloping beach entries are hot commodities these days -- a fact that motivated Mike Farley to jump into a pool under construction to film a brief video showing what goes into making these features work and exploring why they've become so popular among his clients.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Avoiding 'Dead Spots'
The complexities of today's swimming pools raise the need for designers and builders to set up circulation systems that keep all of the water moving.  Here's how to get it done, writes Mike Fowler, from selecting the correct pump to doing the right thing with the plumbing layout.  [more]
PONDCRAFT 101
Setting the Wall

The installation of a pond can be a fairly straightforward process if you get a couple of the early steps right, says Eric Triplett.  In this video, he walks viewers through one of the most important of those steps:  setting up a retaining wall that will help lock key components in place.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Good Win


One of San Francisco's most significant watershapes recently squared off with the desires of Apple to remodel the retail space beside it, notes Jim McCloskey.  Given Apple's clout, the outcome was unexpected -- and very good news for fans of the city's 'Fountain Lady.'  [more]
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Over the Edge

Common to so many watershapes, weirs play key roles in the performance of everything from vanishing edges to waterfalls. But common does not mean simple, says Steve Gutai, launching into a discussion of how these edges fit in as components in hydraulic designs.  [more]    

TRAVELOGUE
Breathtaking Beauty

A visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden has long delighted those who appreciate its array of garden types and styles.  During the past 30 years, notes Kerry Friedman, many of these areas have been augmented by waterfeatures and fountains that bring new interest to the grounds.  [more]

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 8 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!

Fifth Time's the Charm . . .          
Diana Nyad Finally Achieves Her 
Dream Swim from Cuba to Florida
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

On a Wire

The Internet has been with us for some time, but that doesn't mean that everyone was fully on board (and satisfied) when Brian Van Bower wrote this insightful evaluation of the state of the art in September 2008.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Next:  Diana Nyad to Swim
48 Hours for a Good Cause


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

1.  Diana Nyad plans to follow up her successful swim from Cuba to Florida by swimming 48 hours straight in a specially designed New York City pool. The effort by the 64-year-old aquatic legend will raise money for what good cause?

          a. Helping victims of Hurricane Sandy          b. Funding breast cancer research
          c. Funding diabetes research                         d. Helping children of people killed on 9/11.

2. Princess Charlene of Monaco -- wife of Prince Albert II, Monaco's reigning monarch -- has gotten back in the water for a charity swimming event, which is aimed at raising money to increase children's awareness of water safety. Although the former Charlene Wittstock retired from competitive swimming in 2007, she represented her native country in the 2000 Olympic Games. What is her native country?

          a. Australia                 b. New Zealand            c. Canada             d. South Africa.

3. According to a recent survey in the U.K., the #1 feature that people aspire to include in their dream home has to do with a swimming pool. What did 36% of those surveyed dream of having? 

          a. A vanishing-edge pool                                 b. An indoor pool
          c. An outdoor pool heated year-round           d. A solar-heated pool.

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

 
                   
       August 21, 2013                                                                                                                                                                      www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Driving Home             


More than two years in the making, this supersized backyard watershape composition pushed designer/builder Kathy Marosz to the limits of her design skills, construction expertise and mental and physical stamina.  Here, in the last of three articles on this extraordinary project, she reflects on what it took to make it all happen and guides us through a pictorial celebration of the project's numerous (and generally exquisite) finishing details. 

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

PONDCRAFT 101

Preparing the Filter

Setting up a waterfall/biofilter unit is generally a simple process, but it's also an important one, says Eric Triplett, which is why this video goes into so much detail on how to get these units placed and squared away for years of reliable, leak-free performance.  [more]  

TRAVELOGUE
Running Wild
There's nothing quite like rounding an urban corner and finding a whole herd of wild mustangs running across a stream, writes Jim McCloskey -- a fact that makes a pilgrimage to this grand plaza essential for watershapers who want to see great work for themselves.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Sanitizing System ABCs


Helping homeowners sort and select among the long, complicated list of possible sanitizing systems for their swimming pools is a critical task, says Lew Akins in this video -- especially if your goal is their long-term  satisfaction with the overall project.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Garden Tea

With patience and understanding, says Rick Driemeyer, great watershapes and gardens will emerge from the close interaction of designers and their clients.  A case in point is the project shared here, where he transformed a simple space into a highly personalized sanctuary.  [more]   

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Pivot Points

As a busy summer comes to a close, Jim McCloskey takes the occasion to look back on events (both personal and professional) that have kept him jumping since the end of April -- and have made him distinctly hopeful about the future and what's in store in days to come.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 9 remaining 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!

As Water Takes Center Stage . . .          
Are We in a New Golden Age      
Of Aquatic Entertainment?
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Neat and Clean

Always a stickler for details, Brian Van Bower used his Aqua Culture column ten years ago to define what he considered to be a crucial and very public measure of a watershaper's professionalism.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Woman Breastfeeding in U.K.
Public Pool Ordered to Stop

 

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

 

1.  After a lifeguard spotted a woman breastfeeding her 4-month-old son in a shallow toddler pool in the U.K., she was ordered to stop or be evicted from the aquatics center -- an incident that sparked a vigorous public discussion of the issue. In what British city did this take place?
 
          a. London                    b. Manchester                    c. Liverpool                   d. Leeds.

2.  Scientists have reported that a chimpanzee and an orangutan raised by separate humans have learned to swim and dive - behaviors previously thought to be beyond the capability of lower primates. Surprisingly, the animals don't perform the dog-paddle when swimming. What movement do they use instead?
          a. Crawl                       b. Backstroke                     c. Frog kick                    d. Scissor kick.
3.  An Australian study has found that 17% of girls between the ages of 10 and 17 do not go swimming because of what reason?
          a. They're afraid of drowning.
          b. They worry about the effect of chlorine on their hair.
          c. They don't want to take time away from playing video games.
          d. They think their bodies aren't good enough to be seen in a swimsuit.  

To find out how many you got right, click here.
 
 
                   
      
       August 7, 2013                                                                                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Cutting Edges             


The pools at St. Lucia's Jade Mountain are certainly among the most ambitious watershape compositions ever attempted.  In all, the mountainside project encompasses 26 interwoven vanishing-edge vessels suspended on the side of an ultra-modern concrete structure, each one with its own shape and aesthetic scheme.  As Skip Phillips explains here, it was a steep challenge -- one exacerbated by a remote locale and a constantly evolving design program. 

This article, originally published in April 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 

PONDCRAFT 101

Pond Beginnings

Building a fish pond from a kit is a big job -- one that requires you to know what you're getting into.  Offering some much-needed guidance along those lines, Eric Triplett jumps right in with an extensive video series that starts with the basics of pond design and layout.  [more] 
FEATURE ARTICLE
How Big Is That Pool?

Lots of people know how to calculate the volume of a rectangular swimming pool, but what do you do with an irregular shape?  Here, Kim Skinner, Que Hales and Doug Latta describe a method for calculating those pools' volumes that's both precise -- and a bit surprising.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

Sound and Motion


Working with Internet technology has been eye-opening, writes Jim McCloskey.  In fact, as much as he loves the printed word, he's found that the web offers so many advantages that he wonders why he stayed with WaterShapes on ink and paper for so long.   [more]
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Balanced Force

The mathematics that define the interactions of plumbing size, water flow, pressure and head can be complex.  But for watershapers, writes Steve Gutai, understanding those relationships and working with them in the field is truly essential in developing one key project phase.  [more] 

TRAVELOGUE
Finding China

The features, traditions and characteristics of Chinese garden design are generally unfamiliar to most Westerners -- and that's a shame, observes Rick Anderson, who discovered in extensive travels through that country that they comprise an amazing art form all their own.  [more]  

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 11 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!

Booze May Have Been Involved!
German Cops Stop Convertible       
Converted into Swimming Pool
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Stone Stepping

In designing spaces for his clients, wrote Bruce Zaretsky in August 2008, he thinks about the way people will move around in them with particular care when it comes to what he sees as an often-overlooked feature.  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Barcelona:  U.S. Men's Relay Team
Disqualified After Winning Race


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


1.  At the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, the American men's relay team won the 4x100 race, only to be disqualified when it was determined that one of the U.S. swimmers dove into the pool one-hundredth of a second too soon. Which team member jumped the gun?

          a.  Ryan Lochte          b.  Nathan Adrian          c.  Kevin Cordes          d.  Matt Grevers
    
2.  FINA (the governing body of the sport of swimming)  has approved two mixed-gender relay events for future world championships: the 4x100-meter freestyle and the 4x100 medley. The mixed teams will consist of two men and two women; the order of the swimmers will be up to the teams themselves. FINA's decision applies to the Olympic Games -- true or false?

          a. True                         b. False
     
3. The location of the 2016 European Swimming Championships -- which will be held before the start of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro -- has been announced.  Where will the European Swimming Championships take place?

          a. Amsterdam            b. Paris                             c. London                    d. Madrid

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

 
 
                   
       July 24, 2013                                                                                                                                                                           www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Welcoming Waters             


The restoration of the private lake pictured in this article offered watershaper George Forni a set of challenges that ranged from completely recasting the lake's structure, filtration and circulation system to devising a variety of design features aimed at bringing both fine aesthetics and ample family fun to the setting.  The result, he says, is a project that was unusually comprehensive in scope and unfailingly remarkable in execution.
 
This article, originally published in October 2006, 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

Working the Nitrogen Cycle

Managing a pond or watergarden involves a list of familiar chores.  All it takes to help those who perform these tasks understand why their work is necessary and what it accomplishes, writes Ed Beaulieu, is a dash of information on the dynamics of the nitrogen cycle.  [more] 

WHAT IS IT?
#6:  'Hidden' Skimmer
Sometimes, preserving the aesthetics of a design calls for uncommon approaches to common features.  That's in evidence in this brief video, which shows how preserving the look of a pool's sleek, stylish coping led Mike Farley to put a fresh twist on a standard detail.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Conflicted Interests   

A program encouraging an Australian township's homeowners to convert their swimming pools into ponds grabbed Jim McCloskey's attention recently -- and inspired this brief discussion of the practicalities (and realities?) involved in these transformations.  [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Softly Modern

This project walked a narrow line between the modernist tastes of the homeowners and the property's traditional surroundings.  But walking that tightrope was easy, notes Kevin Fleming, compared to executing the installation's fine details, highlighted here in words and images.  [more] 

TRAVELOGUE
Temperate Thoughts

Our nation's capital boasts many beautiful fountains, writes Jim McCloskey -- but there are some quirky exceptions, including an odd composition that embodies one of the great social controversies of the late 19th Century and has a strangely fascinating history as well.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 12 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!

Simian Exercise Regimen . . .         
Indian Monkey Swims Daily
Laps in Mumbai Public Pool
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Keeping Control

Concerns about intellectual property were rare among watershapers until fairly recently, wrote Brian Van Bower five years ago.  But in the Internet era, it's truly a big deal -- and a fitting subject of this classic column.   [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Floating Pool for New York River
One Step Closer to Being Built

 

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

 

1. The plan to install a large, plus-shaped floating pool in New York City's East River has come one step closer to fruition after more than $273,000 was raised by the crowd-funding Web site Kickstarter. The money will be used to install a 35-by-35-foot mini version of the proposed pool (no swimming allowed) as a scientific test bed to further study the concept. How much is the full-sized swimming pool -- which will be called the + Pool and will be 164 feet by 164 feet -- expected to cost?

          a. $10 million               b. $15 million              c. $20 million                d. $25 million


2. A major U.S. city opened its river -- at least temporarily and in a small, roped-off area -- to public swimming for the first time in 50 years. The event was made possible by the river's improving water quality. What river and what city?

          a. The Hudson River in New York City           b. The Chicago River in Chicago
          c. The Charles River in Boston                       d. The Mississippi River in New Orleans


3. Turkish authorities shut down the Bosphorus Strait -- which divides the European side of Istanbul from the Asian side -- for three hours for the annual Bosphorous Cross-Continental swim. (The strait is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.) Some 1,500 swimmers from nearly 50 countries took part in this year's event. What is the length of the crossing?

          a. 4 miles                     b. 6 miles                      c. 8 miles                     d. 10 miles  


To find out how many you got right, click here.
 
 
                   
       July 10, 2013                                                                                                                                                                             www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Builder's Pride            


Conceived of as part of the home's original design and construction, this stunning rectangular pool provided the watershaping team of William Bennett and Walter Williams with the opportunity to work closely with an architect at the top of his game.  The resulting composition in concrete, glass, wood and water -- set on a steep slope in a densely wooded area -- made all participants rise to the occasion with practical, cost-sensitive solutions.
 
 
This article, originally published 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.

 

VIDEO GALLERY

Nature Enhanced

Making pondless waterfall systems work aesthetically can be a challenge, writes Mike Gannon, but by focusing on the setting and finding ways to weave the new system into its surroundings, you can create aquatic environments that truly fit in, naturally and beautifully.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Avoiding Common Design Mistakes

Through the years, Paolo Benedetti has encountered lots of designs marred by mistakes, some merely distracting, others downright deplorable.  Here's a quick look at his pet peeves, along with tips on how to avoid them while making homeowners happy at the same time.   [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD

The Weirdest Idea Ever?


A news item about a storied college-football program caught Jim McCloskey's eye a few days back -- as did reports on several great watershapes he's written about in recent months.  Oh, and then there are a few choice holiday snapshots taken in Yosemite and beyond . . .   [more]
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Equating Continuity

As watershapes have become more complex, the need for reliable hydraulic designs that maximize efficiency is more pressing than it's ever been, says Steve Gutai.  To help meet this challenge, he offers this look at the principles behind a pool's fluid mechanics and hydraulics.  [more]   

TRAVELOGUE
An Edge of Honor

It unfolds as a serene, inspiring space and a solemn, symbolic tribute to self-sacrifice and the anguish of war: The Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial was a decades-long labor of love, write Johannes Wagner and Eugene Bolinger -- one well worth a visit. [more] 

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
WHAT'S NEW?

Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 


While supplies last, you can purchase one of 13 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!

She Wore a Full Hijab, But . . .        
Female Iranian's Record     
Swim Goes Unrecognized
[more]

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Illuminating Past

Knowing what's been done before, asserted Mark Holden in 2008, is the core of design education.  So why, he asked, are colleges and universities so blind when it comes to a huge part of our design heritage?  [more]
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones:
Accidental Drowning or Murder?


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


1. Renewed allegations have surfaced that musician Brian Jones, who formed and named the legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, did not die in 1969 due to an accidental drowning in his backyard pool but was murdered instead. He supposedly was killed over what issue?

          a. Who would be the band's lead singer?
          b. Who would choose the music the band performed?
          c. Who owned the name of the band?
          d. Who would be the band's manager?

2. A YouTube video of a toddler swimming across a pool has gone viral, with more than one-million views. It has also raised some controversy regarding the advisability of such a young child learning how to swim. How old is little Elizabeth, the now-famous baby swimmer?

          a. 14 months                b. 16 months                c. 18 months                d. 20 months

3. Two different homeowners in New Castle, Ind., were startled to discover that someone had dumped live fish into their backyard pools, possibly as a prank.
What kind of fish did they find swimming around?

          a. Catfish                       b. Grouper                    c. Carp                           d. Trout

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

 

CRYSTAL FOUNTAINS VIDEO SHOWCASE


Click 'play' to watch the current showcase video

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