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2017 Editions (July-December)

2017/12.2, December 20 — Healthful Analogies, Intricate Lighting, Regal Waterworks and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
December 20, 2017 www.watershapes.com

THE NON-TOXIC POOL

Interventions

Tireless in his quest for information about and approaches to the creation of toxin-free pools and spas,John Cohenhasspent years weighing observations of nature and the human body and figuring out ways to use what he’s learned to help people swim in pure, clean, safe water. [more]

POOLSCAPES AFTER DARK
Shaping with Light
Lighting the various planes, elevations and contours of today’s swimming pools is a challenge: It takes familiarity with the capabilities of modern LEDs, notesGraham Orme, but it’s also important to think about safety, angles, intensity and the goal of producing a warm, beautiful glow. [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Water as Power
A masterful feat of hydrology and engineering, theMachine de Marlyfed water to the Gardens of Versailles for 130 years. It’s no longer around, but asJim McCloskeysuggestshere, it’s worth a ‘visit’ because of its role in creating an awesome collection of watershapes. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Good Aerations

The health and welfare of a typical pond or lake depends on a long list of factors — not the least of which, says engineerErich Altvater, is proper aeration. If you get it right, he says, you can improve water quality; miss the mark, however, and many man-made ponds or lakes will fall into an unwelcome imbalance. Here, he explains what it takes to understand the water’s needs and guide clients to the proper aerating system.

This article, originally published inWaterShapesin September 2000, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Raising the Floor

Many renovation projects include lifting the floor of an old pool to make it possible to play games such as volleyball, notesScott Cohen.So it’s a good idea to know what’s really involved in the process — and learn how to avoid the serious errors he describes in this article.[more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Reciprocal Energy

His usual year-end exercise in reviewing recent trends, events and personal perspectives takesJim McCloskeyto a happy place this time — and leads him to pay tribute to professionals who, one and all, make him proud and pleased to bear witness to their progress. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Santa’s Helper Dept.:A guy in a red suit rides a red sled to rescue a young deer caught on a frozen lake. [more]

OK, so he’s not Santa — but try telling that to the deer!


Santa’s Helper Dept., Pt. 2: A
London firm repurposes its floating hot tubs to spread chilly holiday cheer. [more]

It’s creative, but I’m not sureMrs.Claus would approve!

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Stepping Up

Back in 2007,Brian Van Bowerobserved that landscape designers and architects were gravitating toward the water to an unprecedented degree. Are those design professionals still moving in that direction? [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Hayward Debuts Smart Controller for Pools
Hayward Pool Products(Elizabeth, NJ) has released the VS Omni variable-speed pump system. Designed as an easy way to add scheduling and smart control to pools, the units work with existing equipment and control up to four devices from almost all suppliers. The systems include a hub, a relay and a control pad, all manageable with a smart phone. For details, clickhere.
Vortex Arranges Water Journey for Kids

Vortex Aquatic Structures(Montreal, Quebec, Canada) offers Water Journey, a collection of four moveable, touchable, low-water-depth “events” that may be used individually or collectively to provide different play experiences for toddlers and young children in water parks, municipal parks, urban spaces, hotels or family entertainment centers. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Getting a
Jump on 2018
Manywatershapers have, through the years, invested heavily in building their own beautiful web sites, then wondered why prospective clients haven’t been beating paths to their doors. The hold-up? It’s a simple fact that building a strong web presence as a stand-alone site is a daunting challenge — and that’s precisely why we started theWaterShapes Professional Network.

By building a collective presence in which dozens and, eventually,hundredsof sites participate as an interlinked colossus,WPNbecomes a group entity the search engines can’t overlook. So if it’s a strong (or stronger) web presence you’re after, check it out.

TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/12.1, December 6 — Distant Design, Toxin-Free Pools, Fountain Evolution and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
December 6, 2017 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
A Faraway Hill
Designing watershapes for construction by others in remote settings isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The keys to success, reportsAndrew Kaner, include specific, multiple forms of contact and communication — as outlined here in a profile of a breathtaking project in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [more]

THE NON-TOXIC POOL

Nature’s Blueprint

For years,John Cohenhas dedicated himself to meeting the needs of clients averse to using traditional sanitizers. As he reports in the first in a series of articles, his quest began with a narrow-minded ‘expert’ and has since pulled him toward a biologically inspired set of solutions. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Making Spaces
Emerging technologies have changed the ways designers look at fountains. This makes it an opportune time, writesRobert Mikula, to step back, survey the evolving state of the art and figure out the best ways to make water a must-have component for our public places. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Perfected in Place

California’sSkip Phillipshas been a vocal advocate for excellence in swimming pool design, engineering and construction for the past three decades. In recent years, he has pressed his point far away from home, collaborating with Canadian builder Gene Brown in producing watershapes that exemplify what he calls true excellence in construction and, from his perspective, show just how good watershaping can and should be.

This article, originally published inWaterShapesin May/June 2010, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.

TRAVELOGUE

A Window into Nature

Microsoft’s corporate campus near Seattle features a watershape with a scope and complexity that reflect the scale and grandeur of the giant software company, notesJon Mitovich–andis something you can see for yourself the next time you travel in the Great Northwest.[more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Thank Goodness

Celebrating Thanksgiving far away from home ledJim McCloskeyto experience a pool in a suspended state he’d never directly experienced before. The encounter gave him a fresh sense of regional distinctions and an admiration for those willing to own watershapes in cold places.[more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Odd Prank Dept.:Fountain at New York’s Lincoln Center runs bright yellow as police seek those responsible.[more]

I don’t condone the act, but the new look is startlingly vivid!


Odd Award Dept.:
Image of vaulted pool in China wins honors as architectural photograph of the year. [more]

I’m biased, but I see nicer watershape images every day!

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Finding the Look

Ten years ago,David Tishermanresponded to a reporter’s question by making a strong case for watershaping as being about more than her inquiry implied. Was he on target with his response? [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Blue Thumb Now Offers LiquidArt Products
Blue Thumb Distributing(Saginaw, MI) has acquired the LiquidArt line of pondless fountains, including the Round Ripples Pottery Fountain. Handcrafted by clay artisans, the units are 36 inches in diameter and come with 70-gallon water reservoirs as complete, ready-to-install packages. They’re available in two colors — sky blue or oil green. For details, clickhere.
Slot Drain Offers Deck-Drainage System

Slot Drain Systems(Manitoba, Canada) manufactures the 6000 Series of one-piece, built-in, sloped, open floor/surface drain systems. Featuring a linear design that eliminates grates that can be weak, trap bacteria and are difficult to clean, the units are available in stainless or galvanized steel and come in four-foot, ten-inch or nine-foot, eight-inch sections. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Making Headway
on the Internet
Ifyou design and/or build pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, waterfalls or other forms of contained, controlled water, you have a proven ability to create projects of great beauty. But how do you spread the word about your skills and talents to those who might want you to help them make water part of their daily lives?

TheWaterShapes Professional Networkcan help you there. We’vebuilt a web site where dozens of designers and builders of watershapes of all types participate as an Internet collective — a grouped entity large enough and interrelated in ways that make search engines treat all participants with respect. So if it’s a strong (or even just a stronger) web presence you’re after, please do take a look and get involved.
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/11.2, November 15 — Tiny Spaces, Lazy Rivers, Public Waters and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
November 15, 2017 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
Pushing Limits
Working with great clients in their tiny backyard,Tanr Rossfaced a choice: Erase items from their wish list, or find creative ways to includeeverything. Here’s how he pulled it all together — and ended up making a compact space seem a good bit larger than it really is. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Making a River Flow

The architect wanted a pool with a long lazy-river to highlight the hotel’s big deck area, andBuffy Neumannknew just how to approach the task: She did her homework, called in a key supplier for technical assistance and executed the project in award-worthy style. [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Water Everywhere
While he didn’t see the grand fountains and water displays he was expecting to find during his time in Venice,Jim McCloskeywas nonetheless fascinated by thefontanasthat grace more than 100 plazas, both great and small, that dot this hauntingly beautiful Italian city. [more]

ESSENTIAL

On Common Ground

When a homeowner in suburban Chicago asked for a waterfeature and swimming pool that were aesthetically linked to one another and their surroundings, watershaperLou Downesknew that close collaboration with the landscape architect would be crucial. The resulting composition offers a perfect testimonial to the value of getting client, designer and contractor all squarely on the same page.


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin April 2003, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.

TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Gophers Got You Down?

Gophers may be cute, but they can also wreak havoc on slopes with ponds installed atop them. And it gets even worse, explainsScott Cohen, when the client expectsyouto pay for the resulting damage, even though you’ve given fair warning about the risks of rodent infestations.[more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Breakout or Breakdown?

Conversations he had at the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo encouragedJim McCloskeyto a strongly positive attitude about 2018 — but also had him wondering whether businesses still smarting from past traumas will be entirely ready to take advantage of emerging opportunities.[more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

High and Wild Dept.:A technical look at the structure holding up the world’s most breathtaking pools. [more]

The water’s great, but the three towers are a true marvel.


Wedding Day Heroics Dept.:
The groom spots a child in distress and starts married life in an unusual way. [more]

My guess is that it’s a day the couple will never forget!

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Ready, Set, Goal

Setting and pursuing goals has long been a key to his business success, wroteBrian Van Bowerback in November 2002. Is his brand of goal-setting still a valuable exercise in today’s business environment? [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Deck-Toned Skimmer Covers from CMP
CMP(Newnan, GA) manufactures Natural Wonders Deck Covers as a custom design element intended to keep skimmer covers from becoming unwanted visual distractions. The heavy duty units are available in four natural finishes — White Stone, Sand Stone, Gray Stone and Brick — selected to complement common decking systems. For details, clickhereand scroll down.
Grand Effects Offers Illuminated Bowl Bases

Grand Effects(Irvine, CA) supplies illuminated stone bases for use with its lines of fire bowls, fire-and-water bowls and water bowls. The units are hand-crafted in translucent quartz using special techniques that beautify the effect when they are lit from within by white or colored LEDs that can be synchronized with a pool’s lighting system For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Getting in
onthe Process

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned in the past 20-odd years, it’s that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that most often takesyearsfrom initial idea to installation.
That’s why a web forum like theWaterShapes Professional Networkis so important: It gives homeowners and decision-makers an easy, anonymous way to gather early, basic information before reaching out to make direct contact with professionals whose work they admire. Clickhereto check it out — and get ready for your future!
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/11.1, November 1 — Design Audacity, Tile Mastery, Image Elevation and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
November 1, 2017 www.watershapes.com

LOUISIANA DREAMIN’, Part 1
Layering Experience
Given the opportunity to dream big on behalf of a willing client,Shane LeBlancdelivered a trio of watershapes that go far beyond the ordinary — including one with a 100-foot-long vanishing-edge wall that brings a slice of Las Vegas liveliness to a laid-back Louisiana riverfront. [more]

LOUISIANA DREAMIN’, Part 2

Edges with a Difference

Project after project, making incredible complexity seem routine is whatJimmy Reedand his tile installers are all about. That unwavering finesse is particularly on display in this sublime poolscape, with its tilting, undulating vanishing-edge wall and uniquely configured spillover spa. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

In Pursuit of Art
In 2008,William Drakeleywas at a crossroads and saw this big, uniquely challenging project as a way to separate himself from the crowd. lt was a bit more than he bargained for, but he persisted — and knows that making it all work changed the regional perception of his business. [more]

ESSENTIAL

One for the Sun

The beautiful pool complex seen here is among his crowning achievements, notes watershaperRandy Beard, representing as it does something of a harmonic convergence among great clients, amazing architecture, a beautiful setting and top-notch design and construction teams — all gathered on a challenging hillside lot. The outcome, he says, is a deceptively simple watershape tucked neatly into a sublime environment.


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin July 2009, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.


TRAVELOGUE

Reflective Glory

Working fast on a major art installation with a need for secrecy: That was the taskBryan Weberfaced in building two reflecting pools that raised ‘Sky Mirror’ in front of the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. You can see it for yourself on your next visit to the Lone Star State. [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Milestones

The 2017 International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo is here, and the coincidence of having his latest blog appear on its opening day leadsJim McCloskeyto reminisce briefly about events at the same show 20 years ago — this before offering his fond farewells to two old and cherished friends.[more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Travel Relief Dept.:An airport in the Dominican Republic is putting an outdoor pool right on the tarmac. [more]

I love pools, but I don’t know about taking a dipen route.


Ill-Advised Twirl Dept.:
A Miss Universe candidate learns the hard way the heels and pool edges don’t mix. [more]

It’s such an awkward gaffe that it almost seems deliberate.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Making Light

From the start of a project, wroteBruce Zaretskyin 2007, he has ideas about a certain finishing touch in mind — and refuses to let them go, no matter what comes up along the way to knock him off the path. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Aquascape Unveils Basalt Column Fountain Kits
Aquascape(St. Charles, IL) now packages sets of three Mongolian basalt columns in complete fountain kits. The easy-to-install systems include 24-, 30- and 36-inch-tall basalt columns; a subsurface water basin with a 98-gallon capacity to minimize maintenance and refilling; an energy-efficient pump; and all required pipes, sealant and fittings. For details, clickhere.
Hidden Garden Sounds from PlanterSpeakers

PlanterSpeakers(Bridgeport, CT) makes speaker systems hidden within classic planter formats, including the Model 6.17 pots, which come with either a granite or terra cotta finish. Made of polyethylene using molds imported from Italy, the 16-inch diameter pots contain 6.5-inch coaxial drivers. A model containing a woofer is also available. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Come See
Usat the Expo!

TheWaterShapes Professional Networkwill be on hand in Orlando from November 1-3 at the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo. Please do stop by Booth 857 — right in the heart of the Genesis Pavilion — to learn more about theNetworkand discuss its future plans.

Participants in the program have shared their listings with thousands of the consumer-oriented site’s visitors in the past year — and those encounters have resulted in significant traffic from theNetworkdirectly to the listed companies’ own web sites. It’s a marvelous marketing opportunity — inexpensive and ‘consumer-friendly’ in the richest sense of the term.

TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/10.2, October 18 — Mansion Memories, Lighting Dynamics, Fountain Miscue and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
October 18, 2017 www.watershapes.com

IN MEMORIAM
The Birth of a Dream
The recent passing of Hugh Hefner leads us to revisit a project so remarkable for its time that it’s difficult to imagine the existence of whole classes of modern pools without its abundant innovations.
It also offers us the opportunity to remember the pool’s designers,RonandSuzanne Dirsmith. They’ve both passed away, too, Ron in September 2016 and Suzanne, his partner of 62 years, last January. But they live on through their work for Mr. Hefner and for numerous other clients who benefited from their talent, insight, creativity and dedication to Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of organic architecture.
May they rest in peace. For now, however, let’s celebrate their legacy by taking another look at the Dirsmiths’ account of their Playboy Mansion project by clickinghere.

POOLS AFTER DARK

Looking at Lighting

Recent advances in light-emitting-diode technology have changed the nature of the pool-lighting task, notesGraham Orme. To explore this expanding range of illuminating possibilities, he begins here by defining the dynamics of lighting some familiar contours in all-new ways. [more]

TRAVELOGUE

The Unheard Music
A chance encounter with a fountain he spotted on his way out of New Orleans last year ledJim McCloskeyto consider the importance of what seemed to be missing from an otherwise impressive celebration of parades, Mardi Gras and the Crescent City’s unique cultural heritage. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Wings on the Water

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


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin July 2003, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Mastering Outdoor Fire Features

The popularity ofoutdoor fireplaces has increased dramatically in recent years. Here,Scott Cohencovers key issues related to producing them successfully and safely, discussing materials, heat transmission, smoke direction and proper oxygen draw along the way. [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Please Stop By!

It’s nearly time for the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo —Jim McCloskey‘s annual opportunity to get your feedback at first hand while completing a couple of crucial missions for WaterShapes.com. As always, that includes talking with you about a very important topic! [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Top-Down Fun Dept.:An overly enthusiastic Brit carpets an old BMW and turns it into a rolling hot tub.[more]

Sloshing is a fun factor, as is drowning the barbecue.


Non-Fair Weather Dept.:
A waterspout touches down on a Greek pool, turning umbrellas into flying saucers.[more]

The wispy funnel was scary enough — but look out below!

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Learning to Say ‘No’

Back in the glory days of 2007,Bruce Zaretskyexpressed the need for watershapers and other design professionals to have the gumption to turn away projects. Ten years later, is that again a possibility? [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
W.R. Meadows Offers Dual-Layer Waterproofing
W.R. Meadows(Hampshire, IL) offers Clay-Tite, a dual-layer waterproofing system consisting of virgin HDPE (20 mil), sodium bentonite and a protective layer consisting of a non-woven polypropylene. The polypropylene protects the bentonite during shotcrete application; bentonite’s self-sealing capabilities ensure puncture protection. For details, clickhere.
Stone Forest’s Ribbed Sphere Fountains

Stone Forest(Santa Fe, NM) produces ribbed sphere fountains in three diameters: 20, 24 and 36 inches. As water flows over the irregular, saw-cut granite surfaces, they create wavy, mesmerizing flow patterns. Installation kits in square and round formats are available for the smaller sizes; the large one requires a custom base. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Checking in
on Opportunity

TheWaterShapes Professional Networkwill be on hand in Orlando from November 1-3 at the International Pool|Spa|Patio Expo. Please do stop by Booth 857 — right in the heart of the Genesis Pavilion — to learn more about theNetworkand discuss its future plans.

Participants in the program have shared their listings with thousands of the consumer-oriented site’s visitors in the past year — and those encounters have resulted in significant traffic from theNetworkto the listed companies’ own web sites. It’s a marvelous marketing opportunity — inexpensive and ‘consumer-friendly’ in the richest sense of the term.

TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/10.1, October 4 — Expanding Vision, Watergarden Art, Cascading Splendor and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
October 4, 2017 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
Organic Emergence
Though his long career,John Cohenhas had a knack for finding clients who appreciate his passionate approach to watershaping and, as was true for the project on display here, come to enjoy the unconventional ways in which ideas, themes, echoes and details evolve on site. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Watergardens as Art

Transporting us to another time and place,Mike Gannondiscusses one of the great artistic and horticultural convergences of all time — and brings it all up to date by defining the ways he uses that historic collaboration to inspire his designs in the here and now. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Lights on the Side
Cascades look great in daylight, but lighting them has always been a challenge — andJeff Chapmanhad three of them on his plate. Fortunately, he also had access to a new LED technology — a system that made his work just as compelling at night as it is by day. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Standing Tall

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


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin June 2003, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.

TRAVELOGUE

Carving in Jade

For more than 25 years,Nick Troubetzkoyenvisioned a uniquely natural resort on the island of St. Lucia: Called Jade Mountain, that dream is now a marvel of organic architecture and host to more than two dozen vanishing-edge pools — and you, if you choose to visit! [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Genesis Evolution

A recent experience in a Genesis University classroom has reinvigoratedJim McCloskey‘s longstanding interest in technical education — and leads him to offer some observations on the value of adding structure and discipline to the unique Genesis approach.[more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Formerly Buzzing Dept.:California scientist studies the mass of insects found dead in backyard pools.[more]
One man’s life’s work is another’s daily annoyance.

Civic Duty Dept.:San Francisco turned off a notorious fountain to save water, faces huge bill to restart it.[more]

It’s not beloved, but it’s future shouldn’t be so uncertain.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Professional Relations

Back in 2002,Stephanie Rosewrote about the importance of forming networks of professional contacts. Have events and realities of recent years done anything to alter the validity of her comments?[more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Fox Pool Offers Drop-In Spas
Fox Pool Corp.(York, PA) offers pre-plumbed PoolMate Spas to drop into a deck alongside or near a swimming pool. The units include a pump and filtration system along with a 250,000 Btu heater. They also have easy-access steps and an insulated cover, offer 12 or 25 jets and come in Sparkling White or Gray Granite. For details, clickhere.
Pentair Commercial Offers Acu Drive XS

Pentair Commercial Aquatics(Sanford, NC) manufactures Acu Drive XS, a variable frequency drive that reduces aquatic facilities’ operating costs by minimizing energy consumption as well as routine maintenance, because the units also feature motor soft start and decrease water hammer to protect shafts and impellers. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Getting Ready
the Year to Come?

These days, the Internet is the information resource of choice for those looking for goods and services. But it’s tough for an individual business to capture attention and interest amid the bewildering array of options facing consumers as they try to find ways to make water part of their home or working lives

That’s why we started theWaterShapes Professional Network— a place consumers are using to get basic information about pool. pond and fountain designers and builders before they start making direct phone calls to arrange for site visits and bids. It’s a new way of making initial contacts and getting in the game.

TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

2017/9.2, September 20 — An Inspired Edge, Gravel’s Virtues, Iceland Vistas and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
September 20, 2017 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Artful Additions
Renovating a pool for a client who is keenly engaged in the process can be a challenge, writes Andrew Kaner. But with a home and setting like this, the desire to get past it and deliver an amazing transformation lightened the load — and, in this case, led to spectacular results. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Rock-Bottom Value

There was a time when lots of ponds were set up without gravel, notes Ed Beaulieu. But as he discusses here, there are so many advantages to lining their interiors with rocks of various sizes that it’s time to push that old practice out of the pond-making picture, once and for all. [more]

TRAVELOGUE

My Icelandic Saga
He figured that Iceland would be a place with lots of water on display, so Jim McCloskey was somewhat disappointed by how little of it he found. But those few examples were pretty special, and one of them — the famous Blue Lagoon — was uniquely odd. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Core Value

Most watershapers would agree that it’s relatively easy to build excellence into projects that come with large budgets — and that it’s much harder to stay on the path to quality when working in the mid-range market. Rather than compromise and degrade the product (which happens far too frequently, says G. Bruce Dunn of Mission Pools), the savvy contractor should focus on finding ways to deliver at the highest level, even for clients of modest means.
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July/August 2002, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

High Waterlines, Bad Leaks

For the most part, writes Scott Cohen, builders have little trouble with water levels in pools, where they generally set the mark at about the midpoint of the tile line. But with raised, attached spas, things can get trickier — an issue he seeks to remedy here with some timely advice. [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

The New WaterShapes.com!

The release of today’s WaterShapes newsletter corresponds with the debut of our new, upgraded, mobile-friendly web site. It’s a big step forward, says Jim McCloskey — and a giant leap toward meeting the changing needs of watershapers worldwide. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Watch Your Step Dept.: A woman mugging for a photo-drone discovers that water is really, really wet. [more] Seems the drone operator knew what would happen . . .

Avian Upkeep Dept.: Workers who maintain Chicago’s Buckingham Fountain find unusual leftovers. [more] Gulls aren’t picky eaters, but they draw the line at bones.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Chromatic Virtues
Color is fantastic, wrote David Tisherman back in September 2002, but it’s a tough nut for any designer to crack. That’s why he suggests a diet of hard work — and use of a few helpful tools along the way. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
CMP Publishes LED Conversion Guide
CMP (Newnan, GA) has released its “Guide for Switching to Brilliant Wonders Premier LED Lighting” as a digital introduction to what’s involved in changing over from existing lighting systems to the use of LEDs. The page includes details on switching from large, niche-style lights; from other nicheless lighting systems; and from all other formats. For details, click here.
Concrete-Countertop Forms from Stegmeier
Stegmeier (Arlington, TX) manufactures forms for poured-in-place concrete countertops. Designed to simplify the installation process, the units are available with a number of profiles; are the ideal height for most applications; and can be shaped or mitered to create any angle. They also have smooth, even textures for easier, earlier stripping. For details, click here.

WPN UPDATE

Building
Step by Step
The WaterShapes Professional Network is all about building a credible, unified web presence where numerous watershapers can convey uniformly formatted, readily compared information in an easily navigated consumer resource. By doing so, WPN gives consumers initial access to the marketplace in an environment that guides them comfortably and confidently through the earliest stages of a significant purchasing decision.
True, some homeowners and facility managers are lucky enough when they start looking for watershapers to have friends or colleagues who can refer them to suitable firms. But more often these consumers are on their own — and most start their hunt by searching on the Internet, where finding individual watershapers is a hit-and-miss process. WPN takes frustration out of the quest by offering a common, neutral web resource filled with possibilities.

The Network is working just the way we’d hoped: Time to click aboard?

2017/9.1, September 6 — Tri-Level Precision, Choosing Koi, Defect Avoidance and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
September 6, 2017 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
Every Piece in Place
Seven watershapes on three levels, each one as dramatic as the next? The concept alone is breathtaking, report Claude Kershner IV and Jeremy Guillen, who say a great design and a superb project team gave them exactly the support they needed to deliver perfection. [more]

VIDEO GALLERY

Koi Selection ABCs

With many of his clients, Eric Triplett has observed that picking Koi for a new pond is an oddly overwhelming task. That’s why he recommends keeping it simple, using a systematic approach that he and a favorite supplier demonstrate here in a trio of brief videos. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Avoiding Trouble
After years of serving as an expert witness in construction-defect cases, Paolo Benedetti knows what can happen when contractors fail to deliver the expected results. Here, he covers a set of practices aimed at keeping builders on the right path — and out of the courtroom. [more]


ESSENTIAL

Powers of Imagination

Faux-rock specialist John Carlson has spent his career creating artificial structures that deftly fool the eye. Along the way, he’s applied his skills in a various settings, always pushing toward greater levels of complexity no matter whether he’s working with swimming pools, aquariums, decorative features or home interiors. As he demonstrates here, what gets and keeps him going is the flexibility of a material that seems so rigid.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March/April 2011, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.


TRAVELOGUE

Gallery Views

The Wood Street Gallery includes both watershapes and sculptures in its garden. As designed by Rosalind Reed, the balance here is such that each component looks as though it truly belongs in the setting — something you can see for yourself the next time you visit Chicago. [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Another Look

The first generations of residential pools aren’t getting any younger, notes Jim McCloskey, with all of them at a stage where renovation is more often a necessity than an option. This leaves watershapers with a couple million reasons to get involved in a wondrous opportunity. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Right Neighborly Dept.: A 94-year-old man installs a backyard pool for use by kids who live nearby. [more]
Things got too quiet for his liking after his wife’s passing.

Traveling Inspiration Dept.: These are the kinds of places that help to shape consumers’ backyard dreams. [more]

A spectacular view is a help, of course, but not a must.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Witnessing Transitions

There are no shortcuts, wrote Brian Van Bower in September 2007: Watershapers who profess their dedication to quality must back up those declarations with top-notch performance in all of their projects. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Crystal Fountains Announces Linear LEDs
Crystal Fountains (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) has introduced the Spectra Series LED Linear Light for wet or dry applications. The four-inch-wide, low-profile, easy-to-maintain units feature RGBACL lighting technology, which produces light from the purest white to infinite color shades and tones with great precision – and simplified programming. For details, click here.
DEL Ozone Introduces the Eclipse UV

DEL Ozone (San Luis Obispo, CA) offers Eclipse UV, a disinfecting system that keeps pool and spa water clean, clear and safe. Made with a clear glow ring for easy visual confirmation of operation, the units have cooling vents coupled with a heat shield to protect the system from heat and a built-in ball valve for convenient draining and winterization. For details, click here.

WPN UPDATE

Raising
Your Profile


If you design and/or build pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, waterfalls or any other form of contained, controlled water, you have a demonstrated ability to create projects of great visual beauty. But how do you spread the word about your skills and talents to those who might want you to help them turn water into a major part of their daily lives?
The WaterShapes Professional Network is here to help. We’ve built a web site where dozens of designers and builders of watershapes of all types participate as an Internet collective — a grouped entity large enough and interrelated in ways that make search engines treat all participants with respect. So if it’s a strong (or even just a stronger) web presence you’re after, please do take a look and get involved.
The Network is working just the way we’d hoped: Time to click aboard?

2017/8.2, August 23 — Working the Views, Glowing Pools, Pineapple Days and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
August 23, 2017 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
Critical Distance
Presented with a smallish space that opened out onto a great big one, Jeromey Naugle found himself playing with views near and far in all sorts of complex ways. The result is a composition that met his clients’ desires — and offered him an interesting insight into his design process. [more]

POOLS AFTER DARK

Illuminating Challenges

The lighting of pools is much more challenging than it once was, notes Graham Orme, mostly because their contours are so much more intricate than they were even 20 years ago. Here, he starts a new series that will guide all of us toward more ‘enlightened’ results. [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Sweet Hospitality

Any visit to Charleston, S.C., can be fun — even when you’re there on business, writes Jim McCloskey — if you find time in your schedule to stroll through its Waterfront Park and make your way into its heart to find the utterly charming and most welcoming Pineapple Fountain. [more]


ESSENTIAL

Persuaded by the Past

Some watershapers see their work in primarily technical terms — as complex tasks to be completed efficiently and well. Others, notes watershaper and landscape artist Christopher Lines, see technical mastery as a starting point beyond which they pursue purely artistic impulses. He’s firmly in the latter camp, he adds, with a penchant for creating classically-inspired gardens that tantalize the senses and fire the imagination with echoes of eras long past.


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in May/June 2011, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Waterproofing Raised Spas

For generations, the pool industry has operated under the assumption that plaster is an effective waterproofing membrane. That’s not the case, notes Scott Cohen, which leads him to discuss the importance of waterproofing raised spas — and how to fix a troubled one. [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Generational Shifts

Sorting through his understanding of the dynamics of water-related businesses, Jim McCloskey recalls the industry’s last big generational transition — and holds out some hope that the one we’re experiencing now will take a somewhat easier path than the previous one. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Humor in Uniformity Dept.: Cops in pool caps make a strong case for male synchronized swimming. [more]
It would be merely silly if they weren’t so good at it . . .

Creatures Great and Small Dept.: Nevada woman saves a waterlogged lizard with a wee bit of CPR. [more]

Happily, there was no need for a mouth-to-mouth session.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Life’s Absurdities

Back in 2007, Brian Van Bower wrote with edgy wit about the vagaries of trying to work with any sort of real creativity on commercial design projects. Has the passage of time improved the situation? [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
FAFCO Offers Solar Power/Pool Heating System
FAFCO (Chico, CA) has developed CoolPV, a combined solar-power-generating/water-heating system — a hybrid that powers a home with photovoltaic modules while heating its pool with water tubes placed beneath the solar cells. As combined, the water system cools the photovoltaic modules, enhancing performance and increasing their output. For details, click here.
Bobé Releases Line of CorTen Planters

Bobé Water & Fire Features (Phoenix, AZ) has introduced a line of planters made from CorTen, a weathering form of steel that develops a unique patina as it ages. The units are available in three different models — square, rectangular and tall — and come untreated (to produce a rusted color) or with an ocean patina or clear-coated for a steel look. For details, click here.

WPN UPDATE


Making Your
Presence Known


Through the years, watershapers have invested extensively in building beautiful web sites but for the most part have been unable to figure out how to help prospective clients find them amid the chaos of the Internet. Why so? It’s because building a strong web presence as a stand-alone site is a tough way to go — and that’s precisely why we started the WaterShapes Professional Network.

By building a collective presence in which dozens and, eventually, hundreds of sites participate as an interlinked colossus, we become a group entity the search engines can’t overlook. So if it’s a strong (or stronger) web presence you’re after, check it out.
The Network is working just the way we’d hoped: Time to click aboard?

2017/8.1, August 9 — Vanishing-Edge Pond, 24/7 Poolscapes, Algae Management and more

THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
August 9, 2017 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Split-Level Pond
Setting up a vanishing-edge Koi pond offers unusual challenges to the watershaper. First, notes Scott Cohen, you need to accommodate the fish and keep them safe. Then there are the aesthetic issues — plus a few details of installation that require extra-special attention. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

A Full Day’s Delight

A crucial part of the backyard design process these days, writes Glen MacGillivray, is motivating homeowners to venture outside after dark. Here’s a look at how he approaches this day-to-night transition, from keeping the water moving to making it glow. [more]

TFEATURE ARTICLE

Pond-Algae Strategies

Although a little algae in a pond is generally a good and inevitable thing, observes Mike Gannon, a bloom of any noticeable extent is never truly welcome. That’s why he has sized up and is ready to recommend a number of ways to help keep the intrusive greenery at bay. [more]


ESSENTIAL

Coordinated Perspective

Working together for the first time, designer Stephanie Rose and builder Randy Beard became quickly and closely allied in their effort to complete a challenging project for extremely particular clients — a couple who, from concept to construction, also became key collaborators in the project. The result is a contemporary composition that blends an understated watershape and tasteful plantings with an outstanding collection of modern art.


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


TRAVELOGUE

An Edge of Honor

The Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Worcester’s Green Hill Park was a labor of love when it was completed and dedicated in 2002: It unfolds as a serene, symbolic tribute to self-sacrifice and the anguish of war — and it’s well worth a visit to this day. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Sad Partings

Herman Silverman and John Kelley, Jr., both passed away recently, a fact that has prompted Jim McCloskey to share some thoughts on their roles in shaping the industry as we know it — and in helping a young editor find his way into its deeper history, meaning and culture. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Inspiration Dept.: Check out this photographic survey of the most amazing hotel pools in the USA. [more]
It all goes to show how much the setting really matters!

Odd Response Dept.: The citizens of Belgrade don’t seem to be taking a shine to their new musical fountain. [more]

It may be excessive, but it’ll be treasured before too long.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Straight Talk

In working on projects across a range of sizes, styles and price tags as his career developed, wrote Bruce Zaretsky back in 2007, he came to recognize key truths about the nature of the business. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Roman Fountains Offers Nozzle with LED Lights
Roman Fountains (North Venice, FL) manufactures the RRDJ2-XX-DH-LED, a flush-mounted nozzle/LED light assembly for fountain applications. The units consist of high-strength, roto-molded, polypropylene niche bodies with stainless steel grates and nozzle inserts. There are three available spray patterns and a choice of white or RGB lights. For details, click here.
Artistic Paver Introduces PlankLock Pavers

Artistic Paver Mfg. (North Miami Beach, FL) has unveiled PlankLock, a paver system designed to have the look of long, narrow planks that can be arranged in either linear or herringbone patterns. The decorative units are salt-resistant, are available in light colors for cooler surfaces, and have beveled edges to reduce trip hazards and chip-outs. For details, click here.

WPN UPDATE

Another Face
in a Crowd?


Watershapers have a distinct ability to produce spectacular work — and, to be honest, frequent difficulty when it comes to calling their skills and talents to the attention of homeowners and others who are interested in making water part of their daily lives.
That’s where the WaterShapes Professional Network comes in: By building a collective web presence in which dozens and, eventually, hundreds of sites participate as an interlinked colossus, it involves watershapers in a group entity large enough that the search engines can’t overlook it. So if it’s a strong (or stronger) web presence you’re after, check it out.
The Network is working just the way we’d hoped: Time to click aboard?

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