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

 
        June 25, 2014                                                                                                                                                                         www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Sculpted for Fun             

It's easy for watershapers to get wrapped up in the beauty and creativity involved in design and construction of their projects -- and he's no exception, says fabricated-rock specialist Richard Winget.  But that doesn't mean swimming pools can't be fun.  That in mind, he takes us on a survey of user-friendly rock features that make his pools work for the young and young at heart while getting high marks for their remarkably 'natural' looks.


This article, originally published in June 2001, 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

Straight and Narrow
 
When he's confronted by an access challenge, says Randy Beard, he draws on lots of experience in developing ways to get around and through obstacles -- including, as this video shows, transforming a stairway into a ramp, even if it's hemmed in by some ultra-tight clearances.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE
An Odd One

Sometimes a quirky fountain can be great fun, writes Jim McCloskey, but other times the experience is, well, not quite so satisfying.  Here's one from the latter classification he came across on a cool, blustery day in Portland, Ore., not too long ago.  [more] 
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS
Eastern Eclectic       

More than five years in the making, the project profiled here pushed the design team to its creative limits.  The result, says Ben Dozier, is a set of garden rooms that use French and Asian details along with statuary, fine hardscape treatments -- and, appropriately, lots of water.    [more]  

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Springing Back

Watershapes have been in the news lately -- and they aren't always being shown in the best light.  Jim McCloskey sees it as little more than seasonal muckraking -- and maybe a necessary evil -- so he's moving right along to the usual summer fun, starting off with great movie clips!   [more]

Stephen Colbert Asks 'Why?!'
Jacksonville Jaguars Build
Swimming Pools in Stands


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Now You See It       

Inspiration is where you find it -- even with humble drain covers, wrote David Tisherman back in June 2004.  That's why he's so motivated to get out and see what others have done with his own eyes.  [more]
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

We still have a few complete sets of WaterShapes magazine's back issues available for sale -- now at a reduced price!  Click here for information on obtaining a complete library of the publication that changed the face of the watershaping business!

THE SHOPPING CART

 

Hayward Releases the SwimClear Cartridge Filter
Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) announces the introduction of the SwimClear C7030 cartridge pool filter.  Encompassing 700 square feet of effective filtration area, the large, efficient units feature heavy dirt-holding capacity, allowing for extra-long cycles between cleanings and thereby minimizing water consumed in backwashing.  For details, click here.
Delta Ultraviolet Brings the EP Series to Ponds
Delta Ultraviolet (Gardena, CA) has introduced its EP Series for fish ponds - particularly those that host koi.  Made from mirror-polished 316L stainless steel, the units offer long lamp life, dedicated electronic ballasts for maximum lamp efficiency and control and a sealing system designed for easy lamp changes and quick cleaning.  For details, click here.   
THE AQUATIC QUIZ
One Country's Swimmers Risk Being
Banned from International Competitions

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


1.
   All competitive swimmers from one country are at risk for being excluded from international swimming events due to four positive tests for banned substances since the 2012 London Olympics -- this according to the country's sports minister, as quoted on reuters.com. What country?

          a. Russia                         b. Ukraine                  c. Albania                     d. Serbia.

2.  A license to repair a leaking roof over a Welsh public swimming pool was recently rescinded, allegedly to protect living creatures spotted at the facility. Unfortunately, the grant to make the repairs stipulates that the project must be completed by the end of June, so local swimmers may be out of luck. According to cambrian-news.co.uk, what creatures are being protected?

          a. Pigeons                        b. Bats                       c. Eagles                      d. Hornets.

3.  What, says a report on latimes.com, inspired the design of a new, tiny, swimming robot?

          a. Newborn guppies       b. Eel embryos        c. Human sperm         d. Frog larvae.

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

 
        June 11, 2014                                                                                                                                                                         www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Concrete Expressions           

Concrete is the primary building material used by most watershapers, but it seems to award-winning concrete artist/architectural designer Fu-Tung Cheng that designers and installers alike should be encouraged to exploit more of the material's flexibility and power when developing aesthetic elements in and around water.  Here, he offers his perspective on creating interior and exterior waterfeatures with this amazing potential in mind.


This article, originally published in March 2011, 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

It's a Wrap!
 
Closing out his monumental, 21-part video series on the design and construction of a backyard pond and waterfall, Eric Triplett reveals a secret about the project -- one that that shows his dedication to the cause of pond education and his respect for a voracious family pet.    [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Little Amphibians

The children's play area in Boston Common was reshaped a few years back to serve the needs of a diverse population while respecting its historic setting.  Lynn Wolff and John Copley know that the resulting Tadpole Playground is well worth a visit the next time you come to town.  [more] 
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Soothing Sounds      

Evoking strong images, emotions and associations, the sound water makes in moving through a landscape adds a powerful aesthetic component to even the simplest of designs.  That's why Rick Anderson recommends paying attention to the 'aural factor' -- right from the start.  [more]  

VIDEO GALLERY

 

Who Made This Stuff?

 
Sometimes, notes Lew Akins, clients will have done their homework and settled on the brands of equipment they think they want to use on their watershapes.  That's great, he says, but it can catch you up in some interesting negotiations as you define what's really needed.  [more] 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Handoffs

The current edition of WaterShapes EXTRA brings one long video series to a close while it also sees the launches of two new article sequences.  But what Jim McCloskey really wants to discuss is a curious trend in collegiate football's locker-room decor.   [more]

To Isolate Hirsute Flotsam . . .
U.K. Public Pool Pioneers Special
Lane for Men with Hairy Backs  

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Solid Foundations      

Back in 1999, Brian Van Bower shared his personal and professional insights related to an Asian perspective on ways of influencing people and gaining results.  To see his 'key' to success, click here.
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

We still have a few complete sets of WaterShapes magazine's back issues available for sale -- now at a reduced price!  Click here for information on obtaining a complete library of the publication that changed the face of the watershaping business forever -- and for better!
THE AQUATIC QUIZ
With the 2014 Hurricane Season About
to Begin, What's a Poolowner to Do?

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


1.
  What measure does Bradenton.com -- Web site of the Bradenton Herald newspaper in Manatee County, Fla. -- say poolowners should take to deal with hurricanes?

          a. Drain the pool before the storm hits
          b. Drain the pool immediately after the storm passes
          c. Super-chlorinate the pool before the storm hits
          d. Don't do anything; the pool will be fine.


2.  NaplesNews.com -- Web site of the Naples [Florida] Daily News -- also offers advice about approaching hurricanes to residents with backyard pools. The site recommends that people living in low-lying areas should:

          a. Turn off the power to the pool pump             b. Unhook the pump's plumbing hoses
          c. Lift the pump to a higher position                  d. All of the above.

3.  Sun-Sentinel.com -- Web site of Fort Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel newspaper -- offers this suggestion:   If you cannot store loose objects such as plastic or PVC chairs, tables, pool equipment and toys inside a building and your pool is concrete, throw them in the pool to help shield them from the winds.

          a. True                                                                     b. False

To find out how many you got right, click here

 
 
        May 21, 2014                                                                                                                                                                           www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Passion in the Heartland          


Creating eye-catching outdoor living spaces is a process of pure passion for watershaper Robert Bledsoe, who prides himself on distinctly bold, vivid projects rich with fine details and artistic touches.  Working in the Kansas City area, he has built a reputation for high-end work that is always informed by unbridled enthusiasm and a freewheeling style tailored neatly to clients who have big expectations -- and budgets to match. 

 


This article, originally published 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.

 

PONDCRAFT 101

Developing an Edge
 
Of all the tasks of pond installation, setting the edges is always among Eric Triplett's favorites.  In this video, he discusses a wide range of available possibilities and demonstrates why the work takes concentration, dedication and, perhaps most of all, a certain artistic flair.    [more]
TRAVELOGUE
A Windy City Wonder

The Chicago River is a marvel of hydrological engineering, writes Jim McCloskey, so it's appropriate that the fountain celebrating its history is something you should behold with your own eyes if your travels ever take you to the waterfront of this great American city.   [more] 
FEATURE ARTICLE
Perfecting a Quartz Pool Finish     

When it comes to new quartz pool finishes, Kim Skinner has two big questions:  Why challenge the fresh, vulnerable surface with acid?  Why not use other, less aggressive methods to expose the colorful beauty of this premium exposed-aggregate look?   [more]  

PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

 

Back to the Fair

 
Working on historic fountains calls for sensitivity to the original designers' intentions as well as the ability to integrate modern ideas, say Kerry Friedman and Mike Perkowski -- an outlook that guided their approach to two big projects in St. Louis' celebrated Forest Park.  [more] 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Toddler Prep

A time-honored, annual rite of spring has taken on a different sort of imporance for Jim McCloskey
this year as he prepares his backyard -- and especially its pool and spa -- for close, safe and nurturing encounters with his family's newest member.   [more] 

The Answer Is Found in the Feet!
Mystery Solved:  Why Bees Are
Attracted to Saltwater Pools


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Preserving History     

Neighbors can get touchy about what's happening with a nearby project, wrote Stephanie Rose in her column of May 2004.  Click here to see how difficult the navigating can be when the waters get rough.
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

Our all-digital archive is now complete!  All columns and articles from the magazine are now easily searchable -- and the author index (click here) includes live links to every feature we ever printed!  It's a treasure trove ready for easy exploration by using the MAGAZINE tab on our home page!
THE AQUATIC QUIZ
The Olsen Twins' Posh New Boutique
Includes an Outdoor Swimming Pool
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including a report connected to the three questions below.

1.  Former child stars, now business moguls, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen -- whose combined wealth is reported to be approximately $300 million -- have opened a high-end boutique that spotlights their own fashion brand.  The store and brand are both called The Row.  An article on Web site dailymail.co.uk notes that the twins' new enterprise boasts an outdoor swimming pool so customers can take a refreshing dip while shopping.  Where is The Row located?  

           a. Los Angeles               b. Chicago                  c. New York                    d. London

2.  Curbed.com reports that in one Asian city, an empty, 1970s indoor swimming pool has been converted into a fancy boutique named Pool Ayoma -- where shoppers stroll around on a glass floor suspended over the pool's worn bottom.  In what city was a decades-old vacant pool transformed into a boutique?

          a. Beijing                          b. Seoul                        c. Tokyo                          d. Manila

3.  According to torquayheraldexpress.co.uk, panic and chaos ensued when a wild critter somehow wound up in a public swimming pool in England.  When a swimmer gallantly tried to save the animal from drowning by flinging it out of the water, he was rewarded with a bite to one of his fingers.  What critter was it?

          a. Rabbit                           b. Ferret                        c. Guinea pig                d. Squirrel

To find out how many you got right, click here
 
 
        May 7, 2014                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Classic Persuasion         


More than two years of paying full-time attention to thousands of tiny details:  That's what this project was all about, says landscape architect, contractor and watershaper Mark Holden -- not to mention close collaboration with a determined client who inspired Holden to reach for levels of craft, creativity and practical improvisation that have informed his approaches to design, construction and watershaping in every project since.

 

This article, originally published in August 2003, 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

Bright Ideas
 
As Eric Triplett demonstrates in this video, making the electrical connections that will ultimately bring a pond to life is a fairly routine matter.  But there are a couple of details that need emphasizing -- tips that will make certain the pond has what it needs for the long haul.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE
Everyone's Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is among the most beautiful of all outdoor spaces in the United States.  Famous for its design diversity, stunning watershapes and flawless execution, its a inspirational place Ron and Suzanne Dirsmith believe every watershaper should visit.  [more] 

TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Powerful Grounds
 
It's often said that what you don't know can hurt you -- and that's seldom truer, write Larry Parmelee and Wayne Schick, than when the unknown in question has to do with what's beneath a watershape.  Here's a look at some of the many subsurface forces that may be at work.  [more] 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
All Lined Up

A huge project is now complete, reports Jim McCloskey:  As of May 1, every article and column ever printed in WaterShapes magazine from 1999 to 2011 has now been fully digitized for use by all WaterShapes.com visitors -- professionals and consumers alike.  [more]

Amazing Twists and Turns!
Ex-POW/Past U.S. Ambassador to
Vietnam Teaches Its Kids to Swim

VIDEO GALLERY
Working with Challenges    

From long experience, Lew Akins knows that watershaping projects at any level of complexity should never begin without one key pile of information in hand -- that is, full soils and geology reports from qualified engineers.  He explains why in this brief video discussion.  [more]  


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Gearing Up    

It's too late, wrote Bruce Zaretsky back in May 2009, to wait until the busy season starts to take stock of tools and equipment and get them ready to go.  As discussed here, he believes in a  more systematic approach.   
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
Now at WaterShapes.com . . . 

Our all-digital archive is now complete!  All columns and articles from the magazine are now easily searchable -- and the author index (click here) includes live links to every feature we ever printed!  It's a treasure trove ready for easy exploration by using the MAGAZINE tab on our home page!
THE AQUATIC QUIZ
Everything You Wanted to
Know About Chlorine -- and More
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including a report connected to the three questions below.

 


The Web site bbc.com recently ran an article ("Chlorine: From toxic chemical to house cleaner") about the manufacture and use of chlorine -- obviously, a substance very important to the watershaping industry.  How much do you know about chlorine?

1. The word chlorine comes from the Greek word chloros. What does the Greek word mean?

          a. Purification                       b. Additive                   c. Blue                          d. Green

2. The distinctive "smell of chlorine" in swimming pools does not emanate from the chlorine itself; rather, it emanates from a compound created when chlorine combines with organic substances in the water (such as human sweat and urine). What is the compound called?

          a. Chloratyne                        b. Chloratane            c. Chloramine            d. Chloramax

3. Until recently, the process to produce chlorine from salt involved use of a highly toxic substance. Now that substance is gradually being phased out from the manufacture of chlorine. What is the substance?

          a. Mercury                              b. Sarin                      c. Arsine                       d. Oleum

 

To find out how many you got right, click here
 
 
 

        April 23, 2014                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Organic Artistry        


To see what happens when a watershape is completely, entirely, organically linked to architecture, you need look no farther than the work of John Lautner and many of the projects he completed before his death in 1994.  Mentored by Frank Lloyd Wright, Lautner saw pools and other waterfeatures as integral components in compositions of great and enduring beauty, says Helena Arahuete, who was in turn mentored by Lautner and is now the principle  architect in the firm that still bears his name. 


This article, originally published in November/December 2000, 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

The Driving Force
 
Dropping a submersible pump into the skimmer brings this pond project a big step closer to completion.  Along with showing how it's done through this video, Eric Triplett takes the opportunity to sound off emphatically on a couple of important installation-related topics.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE
Safe Lighting Around Pools

Lots of contractors operate under the assumption that it's safe to use low-voltage lighting systems close to their watershapes.  But they're wrong in most cases, writes Paolo Benedetti, citing important (and often overlooked) provisions of the National Electric Code[more] 

TRAVELOGUE

Art for Art's Sake
Draped across a mountaintop overlooking Los Angeles, the Getty Center is truly monumental and well worth a visit.  If you can pull your attention away from the galleries while there, observes Jim McCloskey, you'll see spaces uniquely moderated and defined by the use of water[more] 
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS
Healing Waters   

Located at a major California university, the Brown Center is a teaching facility designed to help caregivers figure out ways to meet patients' specific needs.  Here, Belinda Stillwell describes how this resource serves not only students, but also the surrounding community.  [more]  


Swimming Pools in the American Mind:
Cadillac 'Poolside' Commercial
Sparks Controversy, Derision


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Advancing Technology   

When Mark Holden wrote about the importance of being open to new ideas and technologies back in April 2009, he didn't mince any words -- as you'll see here in an extract from a classic 'Currents' column.  [more]
 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Triple Play

In preparing this edition of WaterShapes EXTRA, Jim McCloskey enjoyed his recollections of how three of its stories came together -- and shares details of the behind-the-scenes discussions that led to some unconventional choices with respect to authorship.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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 a special, newly discounted offer, click here!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
He's baaaaaack!  Michael Phelps
Returns to competitive Swimming
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.

 


1.
  According to CNN.com, U.S. swimming superstar Michael Phelps has revealed his intention to return to competitive swimming despite his announced "retirement" after the 2012 London Olympics. CNN describes Phelps as "the most decorated Olympian of all time."  How many Olympic medals has Phelps won?  

          a. 18                              b. 20                                c. 22                                 d. 24

2.  The Web site theguardian.com reports that the competitive career of longtime Australian Olympic swimmer Ian "the Thorpedo" Thorpe reportedly may be coming to a final end because of a serious infection he contracted following recent surgery.  (Like Michael Phelps, Thorpe retired previously but later attempted a comeback.)  What part of his body did the surgery involve?

          a. Leg                           b. Shoulder                    c. Back                             d. Neck

3.  A "revolutionary," small-scale, solar thermal plant developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle will produce both electricity and heat -- the latter to be used for heating a public swimming pool.  In what country are both the University of Newcastle and the demonstration solar plant located?

          a. U.K.                          b. New Zealand            c. Canada                       d. Australia

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

 
 

        April 9, 2014                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

All About the Water       


Specialists in land planning for large-scale developments, the Hilton Head Island, S.C.-based landscape architecture firm of Wood+Partners believes in building communities that harmonize with nature.  In late 2003, report Perry Wood and Mark Baker, they were asked to generate a master plan for Hampton Lake, a planned community that dovetailed with their company philosophy by linking luxury living to responsible environmental stewardship.


This article, originally published 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.

PONDCRAFT 101
A Graveling Experience
 
Setting up a pond's filtration system is generally a straightforward process, observes Eric Triplett -- but in some cases it really helps if you've given thought to the approach you're going to be using (and its physical requirements) from the planning stage forward.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Function Before Form
A few years back, Mark Holden set out on a mission to document some of Italy's most striking watershapes, seeking out glorious uses of water in beautiful courtyards and piazzas.  The result is a travelogue that encourages all of us to go see these places for ourselves.  [more] 
VIDEO GALLERY
Nightmares Under Foot

Ever been surprised by something uncovered during a project's excavation phase?  You're not alone, observes Lew Akins, who knows that how the unexpected is handled can make all the difference between moving forward or having the work grind to a sudden halt.  [more] 
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Rough Edges  

Pools with vanishing edges are among the most distinctive of all watershapes. Unfortunately, that popularity produced a rash of errors and structural failures in the walls used to create the edge effects -- an epidemic that led Ron Lacher to look for the causes and recommend solutions.  [more] 


'Improved Hygiene Habits' Needed
New Study:  Urinating in Pools
Poses Serious Health Dangers

WATERSHAPES WORLD
The Preservation Arts

 

The announcement of formation of a new pool-preservation group in England caught Jim McCloskey's eye the other day -- ample cause, he believes, to share some additional thoughts on the need to preserve and protect treasured watershapes in the United States as well.  [more]
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Operating on a Higher Level  

Working with upper-echelon clients takes a special level of preparation and skill, wrote Brian Van Bower back in 2004 -- with one key factor highlighted here outpacing all the rest in importance.  [more]
 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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 a special, newly discounted offer, click here!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
New Subspecies of Animal Found
In a Columbian Swimming Pool
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.

 


1. 
According to newswatch.nationalgeographic.com, a boy swimming in a pool in the eastern part of Colombia recently discovered a new subspecies of a well-known creature. From the article:
The 1.5-inch-long (4-centimeter-long) [fill in the blank from the list below] "is rather strange-looking -- it's quite fat with short legs and bright orange spots on its sides," said Luis German Naranjo, WWF [World Wildlife Fund] Colombia's conservation director.
          a. Lizard                           b. Frog                           c. Grasshopper                    d. Beetle

2.  Legendary long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad -- who recently was named an "Adventurer of the Year 2014" by National Geographic -- was quoted as saying the following on the Web site adventureblog.nationalgeographic.com:

"It's intense. In every way. I can't speak, of course, for the other competitors.... But for me, this is a fully new world, akin perhaps to going to Mainland China to learn Mandarin in a compressed few weeks. Every word, every movement, every transition is brand new to me."
To what new adventure was she referring?

          a. Participating in an amateur mountain-climbing competition
          b. Becoming a professional lady wrestler for the WWE
          c. Being a contestant on the TV show "Dancing with the Stars"
          d. Training to compete in an over-60 triathlon

3.  The U.K.'s Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced new guidance for the country's public swimming pools -- among a number of types of facilities -- to strengthen the ban on discrimination against a certain group of people. What kind of discrimination did the commission address?

          a. Racial discrimination                                                            b. Anti-Muslim discrimination
          c. Discrimination against the physically challenged           d. Age discrimination

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

 
 

       March 19, 2014                                                                                                                                                                        www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Glass Works      


Exploring the synergy among glass, light and water is what SWON Design is all about.  From their roots as glass blowers and neon artists, the firm's founders, Michael Batchelor and Andrey Berezowsky, have branched out to create elaborate, vivid sculptures for architectural and landscape settings -- all reflecting their interest in developing shapes, colors and textures that both complement and accentuate the surroundings in which they appear.  

This article, originally published in October 2005, 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
An Illuminating Exercise

Knowing that his clients will almost certainly want to spend time enjoying their ponds after the sun goes down, Eric Triplett
makes a point of including lights as part of all his projects.  As this video demonstrates, it's an easy step -- but only if you're properly prepared for it.   [more]
WHAT IS IT?
#12:  Equipment Room

As Mike Farley discusses in this brief video, not many of his projects (or anyone else's, for that matter) include a fully enclosed equipment room or vault.  They're great, he notes, but they also bring along some challenges that must be addressed if everything is to work as desired.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE

A Prairie Experience
Any watershaper faces an embarrassment of visual riches while touring the sights in Chicago, but Jim McCloskey points out one among the city's many aquatic attractions that's too easily overlooked -- even though it should be near the top of any water-loving visitor's list.  [more] 
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS
The Art of the Rectangle 

The pool and spa are simple in shape, notes David Tisherman, yet the project was anything but:  Built on an unstable hillside and intertwined with extensive remodeling of the clients' home, the serene finished product contrasts starkly with the work that went into assembling it.  [more]
WATERSHAPES WORLD
The Fullness of Time

 

WaterShapes was originally built as a three-legged stool set on posts of hope, recalls Jim McCloskey.  Two of them have been solidly in place virtually since the beginning, and it seems as though, at long last, the third may finally have a chance to take its place as well.  [more]
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
Powering the Press 

Among all the things he's done to build his business, wrote Brian Van Bower in his March 2004 Aqua Culture column, the one tactic discussed and linked here stands out head and shoulders above the rest.
 

Cotton T-shirts and Non-Muslim Dresses:
Two New Brouhahas About Proper
Swimming Attire in Public Pools

© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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 a special offer, click here!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Aussie Marathon Swimmer Sets
Swim Spa Endurance Record
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.

 


1.
  Australian long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel recently swam in a Melbourne swim spa for 16 hours nonstop, reportedly breaking the endurance record for such vessels. (Last year, she failed in an attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida due to numerous stings from box jellyfish.) According to an article about McCardel's recent feat on the Web site abc.net.au, what did she say upon finishing the swim in Melbourne?

          a. "There weren't any [expletive] jellyfish, so it was a breeze."
          b. "I think I'm going to sleep for two days."
          c. "I'm not tired yet; I want to go out and party."
          d. "I should call Diana Nyad right away and let her know."

2.  According to boston.com, thieves walked into a West Springfield, Mass., branch of Leslie's Swimming Pool Supplies, pulled out a gun, held it on an employee and made off with an inflatable pool worth $500.  How big was the pool?

          a. 15 feet                        b. 17 feet                        c. 20 feet                         d. 22 feet

3.  A leisure center has received great public praise for dedicating its pool one afternoon a week to be used exclusively by wounded, injured and sick members of the armed forces -- both active-duty and veterans -- so they can further their rehabilitation and improve their overall health.  Where is the leisure center located?

          a. Sydney, Australia                                              b. Toronto, Canada
          c. Paris, France                                                     d. North Yorkshire, England

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

 
 

       March 5, 2014                                                                                                                                                                          www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Living Art     


The process of creating watershapes and landscapes is more than a simple exercise in orchestrating aesthetics, say rock designer Philip di Giacomo and watershaper Mark Holden.  To these like-minded professionals, the purpose of their art is to conjure overt and subliminal perceptions in the hearts and minds of those who move through the spaces they establish -- an ambition that lets their work influence not only individuals, but society at large.

 

This article, originally published in October 2004, 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

Right to the Finish


Deciding on their pool's interior finish has always been a big call for homeowners, notes Lew Akins.  But as he notes in the text introducing his video on the subject, it's a hard one to make these days because there are just so many options when it comes to materials, colors and textures.  [more]
PONDCRAFT 101
Spillway Finesse

On the long list of tasks to be performed during a quality pond installation project, Eric Triplett knows how important it is to get the details of the waterfall's spillway just right. That's why he covers all the ins and outs of this process in such great detail in this crucial video.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE

National Wonders
As is true of many watershapers, Rick Driemeyer is an avid explorer of nature.  For years, in fact, he's made a practice of regularly visiting national parks and wilderness areas for professional inspiration -- and urges other designers to get out and do the same by sharing some favorites here
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Bad Benchmarks


All too often, observes Ron Lacher, pool builders experience failures of steps and benches in their concrete watershapes.  It's a pattern that led him to investigate the causes -- and share what he's learned about a crucial workmanship error that seems to be to blame.  [more]
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Speaking the Language


Five years ago, Dave Peterson stepped up as a strong, early advocate for watershaping's involvement with a key set of standards.  Click here to see what he was after -- and size up how far the industry has come.
 

After a Fiasco in London . . .
Aussie Competitive Swimming:
Will It Get Its Groove Back?

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Artful Engagement

 

The appearance in this newsletter of a classic article by Philip di Giacomo and Mark Holden brought all sorts of memories back to Jim McCloskey, who writes here about a man he considers to be a mud-manipulating magician as well as the poet laureate of concrete.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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 a special offer, click here!
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
$175K for Video about Swimming
Habits of Fish in the Northern Rockies
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late -- including reports connected to the three questions below.

 


1.
  The tidy sum of $175,000 is about to be spent on producing a video showing the swimming abilities of fish in the Northern Rockies, washingtontimes.com reports.   Where will funding for the video come from?

          a. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation            b. The state of Montana
          c. The state of Idaho                                              d. The U.S. federal government

2.  Firefighters in one U.S. state rescued a bull that escaped from a ranch and fell into a homeowner's backyard pool, according to British Web site telegraph.co.uk. Where did this happen?

          a. Texas                        b. Arizona                          c. North Dakota                 d. South Dakota

3.  The Web site stuff.co.nz says that a community pool in New Zealand has been forced to close unexpectedly several times. Why?

          a. A family of kiwi birds -- which are protected by law -- was in the pool.
          b. A large number of "poo" deposits were found floating in the water.
          c. A series of small earthquakes rattled the area.
          d. Cracks in the pool caused the water to leak out.

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

 
 

       February 19, 2014                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Refined Expressions    


The designers at the landscape architecture firm of Janet Rosenberg & Associates believe that water can be used in almost every setting to add interest, beauty and a sense of tranquility to their work.  What that means in design terms will change in response to a setting's needs and a client's expectations, say Janet Rosenberg and Glenn Herman -- and can lead to solutions from the simple and retiring to the bold and complex.
This article, originally published in September 2002, 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
Plumbed for Convenience

Most steps are common to just about all pond-installation projects, notes Eric Triplett, but the one covered in this video is an exception -- and was driven by the choice he made with respect to the filtration system while the pond was still on the drawing board.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE   

Pocket Park's Glory
The level of thought behind a small park he countered in Seattle years ago is still on Jim McCloskey's mind today -- enough to make him urge every watershaper to go see Waterfall Garden Park for themselves to find a bit of rest and whole load of inspiration.  [more] 
WHAT IS IT?

#11:  Diving Platform


Aesthetics are important, says Mike Farley, which is why lots of designers avoid visual intrusions on their pool decks.  But as he shows in this video, there are some satisfying compromises to be found -- with diving boards, for example    -- if you apply some creativity to their development.   [more]
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Coordinated Perspective


Working together for the first time, designer Stephanie Rose and builder Randy Beard became allied in their effort to complete a challenging project.  The clients were collaborators as well, and the result is an understated watershape in a garden filled with outstanding art.  [more]
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Finding Ways


Ten years ago, Brian Van Bower opened up with pointed observations about the direction of the watershaping industry.  Click here to explore his still-relevant insights.

'Sexualizing' Little Girls' Toys?
Brouhaha over Swimsuit Barbie
Spread in Sports Illustrated

 [more] 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
Enduring the Water Wars

 

California has seen drougths before, but this one seems different (and scarier) to Jim McCloskey.  Here are his thoughts on what's happening -- and on a constructive way to push past the usual scapegoating of swimming pools that often comes along with water shortages.  [more] 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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
Sleep in a Swimming Pool
Without Even Getting Wet!

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

 


1.
Love spending time in swimming pools so much that you wish you could sleep in one? According to laughingsquid.com, now you can -- well, almost.  Get your ZZZZs on realistic pool-themed bedding from a design firm in one European country.  Can you guess the country?

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

2. The water in the biggest public swimming pool of one major Canadian city was dyed pink in honor of Valentine's Day.  In what city did this happen?

          a. Montreal                     b. Toronto                                   c. Vancouver              d. Ottawa

3. According to an Asian Web site, innumerable porno movies in the country of the site's origin have been filmed at a single indoor swimming pool. Because of that, the pool has become a much-recognized national icon of sorts.  Which country?  (The name of the Web site will be revealed on the landing page so as not to give away the answer.)

          a. Japan                          b. China                                     c. Thailand                d. South Korea

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

 
 

       January 22, 2014                                                                                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

On Sails of Stone   


Through 35 years of crafting watershapes ranging from small fountains to large waterfalls and streams, landscape artist Frederick L. Gregory always sought to harmonize the primordial splendors of nature with modern times and settings.  Today, he sculpts granite and creates his harmonies by deftly merging the asymmetry of the Japanese garden with the sensual abstractions of tropical Brazilian landscapes -- compositions that often involve the mesmerizing qualities of water.
 

This article, originally published in April 2004, 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
The Acid Test

It's a phenomenally helpful substance when used at recommended levels to stabilize the chlorine in outdoor pools.  But some say cyanuric acid can harm plaster finishes, which prompts Kim Skinner to defend it here against what he sees as an unwarranted charge.  [more]

PONDCRAFT 101 


Sealing the Deal
It's the home stretch for this series of videos (both literally and figuratively) as Eric Triplett wrestles the liner into place, attaches the  faceplate to the waterfall/filter unit and makes some crucial adjustments needed to complete the pond's most riveting visual detail.  [more] 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Planting Pains


Back in February 2009, Bruce Zaretsky wrote with great agitation about the state of the art in landscape architecture, design and contracting -- and a trend that had him keenly concerned about the future.   [more]
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

When Pools Crack


When watershape shells fail, it can take an expert's eye to pinpoint the cause.  But you don't need an engineering degree to avoid trouble in the first place, says Ron Lacher, who outlines how he investigates failure cases here while suggesting ways to avoid common problems.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Spirited Waters


Palm Springs, Calif., hosts an unusual sculpture that artfully moves water through the hot desert air.  Devised by David Curt Morris, 'The Rainmaker' celebrates the life-giving power of water in the driest of climates -- a great place to visit, cool off, relax and play.   [more]

Digging Luxury Underground:
Wealthy Brit to Build $16 million
Basement for Swimming Pool

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Penny-Wise, Fountain Foolish

 

A story out of New Zealand underscores the importance of planning ahead and attending to details on the drawing board, writes Jim McCloskey -- especially when the problems that might result have such obvious (and even dire) consequences.  [more] 
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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
Backyard Pool Converted into
Underground Marijuana Farm

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

 


1.
  According to sfgate.com, police in a suburb of one large U.S. city busted a marijuana-growing operation inside a backyard swimming pool. The report says a concrete roof was built across the top of the pool, and the pool's interior was connected
to a bedroom in the house via a tunnel. The bust was made in a suburb of what city?

          a. San Francisco                b. Los Angeles               c. Miami                      d. Atlanta

2.  The Web site mirror.co.uk reports that two 31-year-old male tourists visiting Tenerife, largest of the Canary Islands, were injured when they "dived into an empty swimming pool for a midnight swim." One "reveler" suffered a sprained ankle; the other fractured his skull and is "seriously ill in hospital." What nationality are the men?

          a. British                              b. Irish                               c. Australian              d. Canadian

3.  This year's Beijing International Swimming Pool SPA Bath Show will be held April 1-3, 2014 at the China International Exhibition Centre. What number show will this one be?

          a. Second annual              b. Third annual               c. Sixth annual          d. Ninth annual

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

 
 

       January 22, 2014                                                                                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

A Master at Work  


When it comes to identifying those who've shaped his life and work, acclaimed landscape architect Raymond Jungles doesn't hesitate in naming Brazilian designer Roberto Burle Marx as a singularly profound influence.  Famous for bold arrangements of plant materials and architectural forms, Burle Marx's gardens are among the world's most celebrated and studied -- a legacy Jungles describes here as a close friend and student of the master. 

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.

PROJECT PROFILE
Caribbean Outpost -- North

When clients in New York asked Bruce Zaretsky
to create a tropical paradise in their Frost Belt backyard, he hesitated for a bit -- then pulled out all the stops and presented them with a subtly themed poolscape that met their hearts' desires.  [more]

PONDCRAFT 101 


Cascading Exertion

Building waterfalls for ponds may have fun results, but as Eric Triplett demonstrates in this sequence of four detailed videos, it's also hard, painstaking work that requires patience, persistence -- and, as he and his crew can attest -- plenty of brute strength.  [more]  


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Hard Choices


Early in 2004, Stephanie Rose wrote passionately about the effective use of rocks in landscapes and gardens.  Click here to see why she assigned such importance to these materials.
PLATINUM REFLECTIONS

Digging the Quarry


The watershapes and landscapes at Quarry Golf Club at La Quinta, Calif., are points of great pride for golf-course designer Ken Alperstein.  Here, he describes what went into the waterfalls, streams, ponds, rockwork and plantings that lend the setting such powerful charms.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Getting in Step


Running across a new type of watershape is unusual for  Jim McCloskey after all these years of studying them in detail.  That's why he wanted to pack his bags and head to India when he saw a video about a truly unique solution to providing access to well water.  [more]

From Va-Va-Voom to Human Prune? 
Sari-Clad Indian TV Actress in
Pool Six Hours for Videotaping

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Back and Forth

 

The tasks involved in compiling WaterShapes EXTRA bring smiles to Jim McCloskey's face:  Not only does he get to spend time with the fabulous archives of the printed magazine, but he also gets to work with fresh content -- and make all of it more accessible than ever before.  [more]
© Alain Lacroix | Dreamstime.com
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
Russion Olympic-Medalist
Swimmer Fails Doping Test

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

 


1.  According to reuters.com, Yulia Efimova, a Russian Olympic swimmer who garnered a bronze medal at the London Games, has failed a doping test.  The report states: "The 21-year-old would be the  ________  Russian swimmer to have tested positive for a banned substance since the 2012 London Olympics...."  Fill in the blank.

          a. Second                           b. Third                            c. Fourth                          d. Fifth

2.  The Web site theleader.com (we're leaving out the rest of the URL because it would give away the answer) reports that a homeowner was seriously injured when he put stabilized chlorine granules into a bucket, added water and stirred -- rather than pouring the chlorine directly into the pool.  After 30 seconds, the mixture exploded; the homeowner was rushed to the hospital and survived. Where did this mishap take place?

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

3.  A cnn.com article about champion cliff diver Orlando Duque -- who hails from Colombia and is known as "The Duke" -- says divers who leap off a 27-meter-high platform can reach up to what speed on the way down?

          a. 35 kph (21.7 mph)       b. 55 kph (34.1 mph)    c. 75 kph (46.6 mph)    d. 85 kph (52.8 mph)

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

       January 8, 2014                                                                                                                                                                      www.watershapes.com

 

ESSENTIAL   

 

Natural Patterns                 


Widely recognized as one of the country's foremost authorities on watergardens, streams and cascades, Eamonn Hughes has produced watershapes in the Pacific Northwest that are among the most beautiful found anywhere in the world.  Here, he shares several of his favorite past projects, using them to define what it takes to achieve believable, naturalistic results with waterfalls, cascades, streams and ponds of any size, large or small, in just about any setting.

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

TRAVELOGUE
Shaped in the Heartland

In styles that range from the modest to the magnificent, the fountains of Kansas City are so tightly woven into its fabric that the town is justly known as 'The City of Fountains.'  As Curt Straub writes, these watershapes define the community -- and make the city worth a visit.  [more]
PONDCRAFT 101

Skimmer at the Ready

Securing a pond liner to the face of the skimmer can be something of a wrestling match, but as Eric Triplett

demonstrates in this video, all it takes is patience, persistence and a good measure of elbow grease to get everything securely and properly into place.   [more] 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

In Service of Trees

Back in 2009, Bruce Zaretsky wrote with uncommon urgency about the sorry ways trees are often treated on job sites, urging watershape and landscape professionals to give our leaf-bearing friends a break.  [more]
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Where Concrete Meets Steel


For the vast majority of custom watershapes, says Ron Lacher, there's nothing more important than the proper combination of pneumatically applied concrete and reinforcing steel -- basic materials most of us should understand a bit better.  [more]
VIDEO GALLERY

Decisions on Deck


When you include ways for your clients to enjoy being around the water as much as they like being in it, writes Lew Akins in introducing his video on some of the decking options consumers face, you've found the true path to making them happy for the long haul.  [more]

Is Ocean-Wave Energy Next?            
Student Generates Electricity
From Lap Swimmers' Waves

 [more] 
WATERSHAPES WORLD
A New Year's Revelation

The last days of the old year found Jim McCloskey
wrapping up and looking back on an extraordinarily busy 2013 -- and contemplating all of the great things that will be coming to WaterShapes.com and its growing number of visitors in 2014 and beyond.  [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
'Duel in the Pool' Tiebreaker:
USA Edges Out Europeans

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

 

 
1.  The Web site olympictalk.nbcsports.com reports that at the end of the recent "Duel in the Pool" swimming competition, held in Glasgow, Scotland, the U.S. and European teams each had 131 points -- thereby forcing a tiebreaker event. The U.S. team won that race, squeaking by the Europeans for the overall victory. What event broke the tie?

          a. 400-meter individual medley                           b. 200-meter mixed medley relay
          c. 800-meter freestyle                                           d. 200-meter breaststroke

2.  Decades after legendary Olympic diver Greg Louganis revealed his gay sexual orientation, bbc.co.uk notes that another outstanding male Olympic diver has announced he's involved in a relationship with a man. (There is some question about whether he is gay or bisexual.) This time the athlete is British. Who is he?

          a. Tom Daley             b. Jack Laugher                 c. Pete Waterfield           d. Chris Mears

3.  According to bayoubuzz.com, a woman in one Southern state was shocked and terrified when three black bears broke through her home's screened patio enclosure to go for a dip in her outdoor pool. Where did this happen?

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

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

 

CRYSTAL FOUNTAINS VIDEO SHOWCASE


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