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

 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        May 16, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                      www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE

Pop Goes the Pool

This wasn't one of those cases where a popped pool could be coaxed back into place.  Instead, Shane LeBlanc had to remove not just one, but two old shells -- and set up a new system while easing any fears city officials might have had about their watershape ever moving again.   [more] 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Nature's Ways

When a pond's fish shift to spawning mode, all sorts of things start happening in a hurry -- in turn whipping new pond owners into a frenzy right alongside their fish.  At these times, Mike Gannon counsels restraint and helps novices recognize and follow what's happening.   [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Mystical Moments  
A recent trip to California's Central Coast gave Jim McCloskey the opportunity to spend time with a fountain that's the key to appreciating an entire resort property.  It's well worth a visit the next time you're in Paso Robles to savor the region's blossoming wine culture.   [more] 

ESSENTIAL

Artful Ambition 

In the course of expanding the boundaries of what he calls 'themed construction,' David Long has worked with lots of people who crave the truly special, from commercial clients to homeowners.  While his main focus is on artificial rock structures and water, he and the talented artists who participate in his Idaho-based company are all about delivering the entire package -- complete, expressive environments marked by a wonderful authenticity.
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in November 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Water Gone Wild
Among all the problems he's observed as an expert witness, Scott Cohen is particularly aware of what can go wrong when water starts moving where it's not wanted.  Often it's a cosmetic issue; sometimes, however, serious damage can result -- and can be costly to address.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Renovation Time

The start of a new swim season has confronted Jim McCloskey with the full extent of the deterioration of his beloved backyard pool.  It's time, he writes, to dig in, explore the possibilities and get moving with a long-delayed campaign to get things back in shape.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .


Go with the Flow Dept.:   Closing a spa cover proves an impossible dream for a plucky but hapless woman.   
There's nothing like a breeze to complicate simple tasks.
 
Go without the Flow Dept.:  Walden Pond researchers ask visitors to refrain from acting natural in the water.   [more]
Pee is the culprit behind the damage to Thoreau's retreat.
 
 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Considering Small Spaces      

While every landscape professional hopes for big projects, clients' yards tend to be small -- a fact, Stephanie Rose noted back in May 2003, that calls for more advanced skills and even greater creativity.   [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
 
Intermatic Introduces Electronic Valve Actuator
     

Intermatic (Spring Grove, IL) has launched the ReadySet Electronic Valve Actuator for use in pool and spa applications.  Designed to speed installations, the device mounts to most common two- and three-way diverter valves and allows for establishing valve-position set points without unscrewing the actuator casing.  For details, click here.  
 
Anoma Stone Releases Stone Pool Grates

Anoma Stone (Noida, India) has introduced Ripple Pool Gratings.  Designed with a two-inch thickness that ensures structural integrity but also lightweight enough for easy removal for routine servicing, the marble panels come in two sizes -- 30 by 30 inches and 30 by 72 inches -- and feature rippling forms that mirror the water's undulations.  For details, click  here.
 
WPN UPDATE


Collective
Persuasion
 
Those of you who design and build pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, waterfalls and other forms of contained, controlled water have an amazing ability to produce works of great beauty.  But you also face real challenges when it comes to conveying messages about your skills and talents to consumers and prospective clients who might be interested in having you help them make water part of their daily lives.
 
That's where the WaterShapes Professional Network can help:  We've built a web presence in which dozens of designers and builders of watershapes of all types participate as an Internet colossus -- a grouped entity large and interconnected enough that the search engines have to treat it 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? 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        May 2, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                       www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE

Lake Effects

The position and basic shape of the pool may have been predetermined, writes Scott Cummings, but the visual drama he added with his finish selections and a perimeter-overflow/vanishing-edge design made all the difference in optimizing the site's cool water-on-water views.    [more] 
WHAT IS IT?
     
#30:  Tiled Finger Ledge

Who says a pool's safety features have to be visually intrusive?  As Mike Farley discusses in introducing his brief video on an often-dull detail, even a finger ledge can, with the right client, the right pool and a bit of imagination, contribute significantly to a project's easy beauty.   [more]

NEPTUNE POOL RENEWAL

Defining Delicate Tasks  
After sizing up the situation with the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle, William Rowley took the next step and developed an engineering plan to aid in restoring the plumbing system, structure and overall functionality of one of the world's most recognized and celebrated watering holes.    [more] 

ESSENTIAL

The Power of Passion 

Landscape designer Melanie Jauregui believes there's much more to good exterior design than an understanding of project parameters, sound engineering and tight planning and execution.  That's why she takes time to uncover the aesthetic and thematic preferences as well as the emotional motivators of each client -- a process that enables her to create landscapes and watershapes that not only function as desired, but speak to the heart as well.
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April 2001, has been digitized for all readers.  Click hereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TRAVELOGUE

Stone Impressions
Stone, writes Bobbie Schwartz, is a highly expressive material that imparts a sense of antiquity while giving impressions of permanence, security and serenity.  Here's a brisk tour of some of her favorite places, every one of which you can visit to enjoy their rock-enhanced beauty.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Water Wonders

His eyes light up when he sees cool articles having to do with watershapes or water in general.  In recent weeks, Jim McCloskey was inspired enough by two such items -- one on a commercial pool complex, the other on water itself -- that he felt obliged to call them to your attention.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .


Clumsy Me Dept.:   Ace BBC sports reporter trips and falls into water while seeking to interview swim team.   
No innocent microphone should suffer such indignity.

Creepy Them Dept.:  Women barred from U.S. Senate's pool because a few men act like spoiled children.   [more]
The thought of seeing them swim in the nude is horrifying.
 
 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

We Can Do Better      

Back in May 2003, Brian Van Bower went off on a behavior that particularly bothered him in  some of his industry colleagues -- and pointed out that there were (and still are!) simple ways to get things right.    [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Clearwater Tech Offers Compact Ozone System
    

Clearwater Tech (San Luis Obispo, CA) manufactures Microzone CD550, a corona-discharge ozone generator for small bodies of water, including spas, ornamental waterfeatures and aquariums.  Easy to install and maintain, the wall-mounted unit requires no air preparation and reduces or eliminates chemical dosing while eliminating odors.  For details, click here.
 
Aquascape Introduces Pond Filter Urns

Aquascape (St. Charles, IL) has unveiled Pond Filter Urns to provide efficient mechanical and biological filtration for smaller ponds -- including preformed ponds or container-based watergardens. The decorative filter housing can easily be integrated into almost any setting, adding the sight and sound of trickling water to ponds without waterfalls or streams.  For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE


Standing Out 
from the Crowd
 
Watershapers have a distinct ability to produce spectacular work -- and, to hear you tell it, 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? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        April 18, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                         www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE

Peninsular Charm

Working atop a rocky prominence through a harsh winter on a short schedule?  It was enough to make Kurt Kraisingertake a unique approach to the project, drawing support from near and far to get things done -- from extensive site preparation through to on-time completion.    [more] 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Public Pursuits

Adding three big waterfeatures to a prominent Philadelphia streetscape was a logistical challenge, reports Robert Nonemaker, as was being among the smallest players in a high-stakes project.  Handling the pressure took patience -- and a self-reliant approach to project management.  [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Simple Mastery  
Long an admirer of Lawrence Halprin's work, Jim McCloskey recalls Portland's Lovejoy Fountain as the high point of a recent visit to the Pacific Northwest:  It's a captivating composition that gets even livelier when artists take advantage of it as a performance space.   [more] 

ESSENTIAL

Harvesting Rain 

At a time when droughts seem to be aligning with increasing populations to ratchet up the pressure on our supplies of fresh water, the concept of using ponds and streams to capture and store rainwater is one whose time may well have come.  Here, Aquascape's Ed Beaulieu describes the installation of a prototype rainwater-harvesting system in a backyard in drought-plagued Georgia, where fresh water has recently become a precious commodity.  
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Water on the Move
Water has a will of its own, observes Scott Cohen, and takes advantage of whatever pathways it can find -- quite often to go where you don't want it to go.  Unchecked, it can lead to staining that will seriously mar a watershape's good looks, not to mention a homeowner's good mood.  [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Memorable Milestone

A road trip to California's Central Coast brought a flood of memories back to Jim McCloskey as he recalled the early days of the Genesis movement -- curriculum development, good times, and the laying of foundations on which so much has been built in the past twenty years.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .


Cultural Vessels Dept.:  Article tracks the appeal, history, influence and social role of vanishing-edge pools.   [more]
The text is lengthy but sensible -- and the photos are great!
 
Swimming Art Dept.:  Web site highlights the best underwater swimming photographs taken in 2017.  [more] 
It's the hidden beauty that appears when motion is frozen.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Identifying the Issue      

Back in April 2008, university-level instructor Mark Holden noted that watershapes are underrepresented on the curriculum for future landscape architects.  Is this a gap that still needs addressing?    [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
LED Pond Lights from Atlantic Water Gardens
   

Atlantic Water Gardens (Mantua, OH) has introduced the model SOLW6, a compact LED fixture for both submerged and open-air applications. Made with solid brass for durability and longevity, the quick-connect, warm-white units match halogen or incandescent beam intensity, have 45-degree beam angles and feature and easy-to-replace diodes. For details, click here.
 
Bellatrix Concrete Enhancer from Deck-O-Seal

Deck-O-Seal (Hampshire, IL) offers Bellatrix to enhance and protect concrete pool decks and patios. Formulated using dual-protection technology combined with unique hybrid polymers, the durable, breathable, VOC-compliant, satin-finish barrier is ideal for previously sealed swimming pool decks and patios where a clear protection system is desired. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE


Getting in Shape
for a Strong 2018
 
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 eyes 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 the WaterShapes 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.
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard? 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        April 4, 2018                                                                                                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE

A Steep Achievement

The unique, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home had a lot going for it, but it needed a truly daring addition to reach its full potential.  William Drakeley was more than ready to meet the need -- despite a steep slope, a tricky stone ledge and a bold, multi-phase approach to construction.   [more] 
VIDEO GALLERY
     
Progress Report

The old pond had been around for years, but it had never been anything special.  Revising it with a jolt of visual energy was a big job, reports Mike Gannon -- and as this video demonstrates, reflects today's practices while showing how far he and pondcraft have come.   [more]

NEPTUNE POOL RENEWAL

Assessing a Masterpiece  
Just visiting Hearst Castle's Neptune Pool is awe-inspiring.  But being asked to evaluate its condition and make recommendations toward its rehabilitation?  That, says William Rowley, was like a waking dream -- and a major recent milestone in his long, distinguished career.   [more] 

ESSENTIAL

Designing a New Paradigm 

There was a time not long ago when the mere thought of pool and landscape professionals getting together on equal footing and having meaningful conversations about backyard design would have met with skepticism:  There was not, it seems, much love lost between the trades.  But times have changed, and one of the pivot points in that transition was a dialogue that took place in rural Ohio in August 1999 -- evidence of just how much can be gained when communications channels are thrown wide open.  
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in December 1999, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text.
TRAVELOGUE

Back to the Fair
The subject of massive restoration projects leading up to its centenary in 2004, St. Louis' Forest Park is famed as the site of the 1904 World's Fair.  Here, Kerry Friedman and Mike Perkowski describe their work on two of the park's watershapes -- and prime you for a great visit!    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Long, Strange Trip

The occasion of the 20th anniversary of Genesis put Jim McCloskey in mind of the origins of WaterShapes those same 20 years ago -- and prompted meditations on the practical and philosophical links that have kept the two organizations in close contact from the get-go.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .


Bobbing Food Dept.:  Purveyors of pool floats are entering the 2018 season with tasty (and often silly) ideas.   [more]
Would you actually use one, or just watch it drift by?
 
Role Model Dept.:  Just shy of his hundredth birthday, this Aussie swimmer has broken a string of records.    [more] 
'In the water you're weightless,' says an ageless inspiration.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Devils in the Details      

Back in 2003, Brian Van Bower wrote about the sorry state of the art with respect to pool plans and argued for applying commercial-level standards to residential projects.  So where do things stand today?    [more] 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
CMP Launches Brilliant Wonders LED Control
  

CMP (Newnan, GA) has introduced the Brilliant Wonders LED Lighting Control, the first such unit with an interactive, digital LCD screen. Designed to control lights, create schedules and set up custom shows with ease, the unit may be installed indoors or out in place of a standard light switch and is compatible with most LED pool lights. For details, click here.
 
LevelSmart Wireless Autofill from Kona Labs

Kona Labs (Kailua-Kona, HI) manufactures the LevelSmart autofill kit for most pools, spas, ponds, fountains and other watershapes. Easy to retrofit with no deck destruction and simple to install with new projects, the system operates with up to 1,000 feet of communication distance and has a built-in fail-safe system that eliminates overfilling. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE


Making 
Connections
 

If you 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? 

The WaterShapes Professional Network can help you there.  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? 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        March 21, 2018                                                                                             www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
Seeking Engagement

Getting down to cases, Robert Mikula and Simon Gardiner conclude a two-part series by highlighting three great fountains and discussing how planning for multiple layers of community involvement have resulted in their emergence as indispensable urban resources.    [more] 
 
POOLSCAPES AFTER DARK
     
Flowing in Light

It's a challenge designers and builders face every time they work with raised spas, waterfalls, grottoes or vanishing edges:  Saving the best for last, Graham Orme completes his four-part series on underwater-lighting techniques by focusing here on various forms of water in transit.    [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Ozark Spectacle  
While visiting friends in southwestern Missouri last year, Jim McCloskey noticed big changes in Branson, a resort town noted for its entertainment venues.  This includes addition of a must-see musical fountain intended to help broaden the town's appeal to a younger crowd.   [more] 
ESSENTIAL

Making Models Super 

The project was massive:  Four sets of spectacular model homes for a gated community set in the rolling hills above Newport Beach, Calif., and designed by three different landscape architects with each featuring its own creative use of water.  By the time he left the site, says pool builder Kent Hart, he had installed more than 20 vessels of various types, shapes and sizes at the One Ford Road development -- and found unique challenges in executing the architects' divergent visions.  
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2000, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Coping with Salt
 
They're wildly popular, writes Scott Cohen, but he's seen enough problems with salt-chlorination systems in his role as a construction-defects expert witness that he thinks it's wise to make homeowners aware of the possible drawbacks that can be associated with saline technologies.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
The Value in Sharing

The conclusion of two series -- one distinctly philosophical, the other quintessentially practical -- prompted Jim McCloskey to discuss how their value reaches beyond their basic topical categories.  It also leads him to comment on the generosity that characterizes these articles.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
Tinkling the Ivories Dept.:  Piano-oriented publication surveys swimming pools with tuneful contours.    [more]
They mostly look alike, of course, but it's a cool concept.
 
Silly Pets Dept.:  Frosty-footed feline puts on a show courtesy of an icy pond and lots of perturbed fish.  [more] 
It'd be cuter if the 'prey' knew they were completely safe.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Making Meadows      

Lawns can be beautiful, says Bruce Zaretsky, but in times of drought there are alternatives to consider -- including the wonderfully naturalistic approach he discussed back in 2008.    [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
Basecrete Offers Concrete Densifier
 

 

Basecrete (Sarasota, FL) manufactures Basecrete+, a highly viscous concrete densifier for primary waterproofing of pools and other watershapes. Upon application, the material penetrates the concrete matrix on a molecular level, filling all voids within the matrix, and bonds with calcium and lime to form a dense barrier of colloidal silicate gel. For details, click here.
 
Metal Fencing Systems from BŌK Modern

BŌK Modern (San Francisco, CA) manufactures laser-cut metal panels in standard or custom patterns for use as safety fencing, railings, stair panels, wall screens, green screens and more. Easy to install and maintain, the aluminum and steel panels are made from recycled material and have thermo-cured finishes for durability and easy cleaning. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Watching Your
Calendar?
 

It's still winter, but the 2018 season is just about ready to rock -- an opportune time to make certain that strong messages about what you do are found where homeowners and commercial clients will see them. 

One great way to spread the word is through the WaterShapes Professional Network, where increasing numbers of web searchers are finding information and support that is helping them make decisions about who to work with in adding water (and everything that comes with it) to their home and/or business environments.   
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        March 7, 2018                                                                                               www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
Monumental Pride

Working on major projects is always good for company morale, notes Denise Housler.  But in this case, the fact that it was a monument meant to commemorate veterans from their own county kicked both their emotions and their desire to nail the details up by several notches.   [more] 
 
WHAT IS IT?
     
#29:  Cabana

Important choices must be made with smaller lot sizes.  As Mike Farley points out in his introduction to this video, that usually means editing things down to balance client desires with the known dynamics of outdoor spaces and factors related to utility, appearance and access. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Pursuing Toxin-Free Water  
For years, John Cohen has dedicated himself to meeting the needs of clients averse to using traditional sanitizers.  As he reports in this compilation of three recent articles -- gathered together here for your forwarding convenience -- his quest is all about mirroring natural systems.   [more] 
ESSENTIAL

A Crystal-Clear Mandate 

As ponds and lakes become more common amenities for large estates and commercial properties, says George Forni, increasing numbers of clients are demanding water quality more akin to that of swimming pools than to natural bodies of water -- and very often, he adds, they want cleanliness and clarity to be attained without any chemicals.  Here, he shows how this can be accomplished, in this case in a system of large ponds on a 100-acre estate.   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March 2005, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TRAVELOGUE
The Soul of the River
 
The tale of a river is often told by the life within it, observes Hal Hagen.  Here, he explains his unique approach to restoring these waterways, discussing the Williams Fork River in such a way that anyone traveling in the area might feel obliged to stop by to see how it's doing!    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Pure Persuasion

Unusual requests from several readers interested in John Cohen's articles on his pursuit of toxin-free pool/spa water led Jim McCloskey to republish the three brief articles as one large one in this edition of the WaterShapes newsletter -- and notice a cool coincidence along the way.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
Never Do This Dept.:  Slow-motion camera specialists stage a high-elevation belly flop for science's sake.  [more]
These guys are funny, but this is truly painful to watch.
 
Photo Follies Dept.:  Photographer creates a disquieting poolside illusion to delight fans of special effects.  [more] 
It's easy to tell what's going on here -- or so it seems?

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Architect Connection      

Observing that watershaping was on its way to becoming an independent design discipline back in March 2008, architect Greg Danskin offered watershapers his insights on the unique world they were joining.   [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
Aquamatic Offers Lift Lids for Automatic Covers
    

 

Aquamatic (Gilroy, CA) manufactures the Lift Lid, an engineered system that rises to accept a retracting cover, then slowly drops to form a fixed, walkable surface. Ideal for use at pool access points, the system comes to rest on a lowered bond beam, hiding the leading edge bar of the cover and blocking almost all water from entering the cover recess. For details, click here.
 
CMP Debuts Curving LED Waterfall

CMP (Newnan, GA) has introduced Brilliant Wonders LED Waterfall 2, an illuminated waterfall system that allows for custom-cutting and use on curving walls. The cutting can be done at the factory or in the field, and the system features a sawtooth-embedded lip for interesting flow in addition to easy LED service via a front-side panel. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Working on 
Recognition
 

If you design and/or build pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, waterfalls and other forms of contained, controlled water, you have likely demonstrated an 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? 

The WaterShapes Professional Network can help you there.  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 you 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? 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        February 21, 2018                                                                                      www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
All in the Details

It's not how he usually works, notes Ben Lasseter.  But on this occasion, the opportunity to bring someone else's exceptional design to fruition made taking a secondary role the right move -- even with the awkward scheduling, unusual access issues and a few tricky alignments.  [more] 
 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
A Sense of Participation  

The circumstances in which urban fountains are created these days is complex and ever-changing, say Robert Mikula and Simon Gardiner -- a situation they discuss in the first of two articles on building a sense of multi-level participation among key groups of stakeholders.   [more]

TRAVELOGUE

Clothing Optional  
His survey of St. Louis's fountains finally carried Jim McCloskey to Aloe Plaza and 'Meeting of the Waters.' a wonderful set of river-themed sculptures, well worth a visit.  And let's not forget all of the controversy kicked up when the composition was first unveiled in 1940!     [more] 
ESSENTIAL

Fluid Melodies 

For the past 30 years, Toronto-based artist, scientist, inventor, professor and musician Steve Mann has been inventing, creating, building and playing what he calls 'hydraulophones.' Part fountain, part interactive waterfeature, part musical instrument and in all ways unusual, these systems enable adults, children and anyone who cares to give one a try the ability to manipulate the flow of water to create musical notes, harmonies and melodies. 
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2008, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Overbearing Rockwork
 
A swimming pool is made of steel-reinforced concrete, right?  So the shell will be fine if you pile lots of weight on top of it, right?  Wrong, Scott Cohen says emphatically -- and here he explains why no sensible builder should ever make such a potentially disastrous mistake.    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Swimming's Lessons

A bout of warm weather led Jim McCloskey to think back on summers past and how he spent two of them as a child learning to swim at the local municipal pool.  The lessons cost his parents almost nothing back then -- and left him with a life skill that seems less attainable today.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
Beautiful Dreaming Dept.:  Travel site offers 16 breathtaking views across vanishing-edge pools.  [more]
There's enough here to make me want to pack my bags.
 
Sublime Silliness Dept.:  Armed with water bottles, a youthful quartet makes much wet music together.   [more] 
Be sure to stick around for the colorful crescendo! 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

On the Verge      

Back in 2008, David Tisherman used his Details column to define an artful approach to coping and decking for pool projects -- and offer a glimpse into his design process that resonates to this day.     [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
Copper Tree Fountains from Blue Thumb
   

 

Blue Thumb Distributing (Saginaw, MI) offers Copper Tree Fountains for residential installations.  Depending on the model, each compact, hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind tree fits in a space up to 48 by 48 inches, providing an easy-to-maintain, energy-efficient focal point for either a front or backyard space without taking up much valuable room.  For details, click here.
 
Air & Water Solutions Launches Air-Cleaning System

Air & Water Solutions (Nutley, NJ) has introduced BioOx Swim, a system designed to clean the air at indoor aquatic facilities. The easy-to-install units come in three sizes for placement on pool decks and in other areas; larger facilities will require multiple units, which draw air through water injected with natural enzymes that destroy harmful toxins. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Taking Hurdles
in Stride
 

Through the years, large numbers of watershapers have invested extensively 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 huge, costly challenge -- and addressing that hurdle is 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? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        February 7, 2018                                                                                     www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
Color Clashes

If you don't prepare your clients for what will almost certainly happen to the appearance of this flashy form of decking and coping, writes Paolo Benedetti, you can find yourself facing unpleasant consequences -- from encounters with peevish homeowners to meetings with their attorneys.    [more] 
 
VIDEO GALLERY
     
Rendering Aid  

Mike Gannon is always gratified when a do-it-yourself pond owner trusts him enough to seek his professional help.  But as he relates in introducing this video on one such transformation, there's a single point he keeps very much in mind as he approaches the various tasks at hand.  [more]

COMMENTARY

The Future for Pools?  
To gain a larger perspective on what tomorrow holds for our planet and our watershapes, writes James Robyn, start by looking beyond our day-to-day lives to see what history, science and astronomy can tell us -- then consider what it'll take to ensure a long, safe, prosperous future.   [more] 
ESSENTIAL

Balancing Acts         

Michael Nantz has built a reputation for success in design work across a range of styles and settings. Here in words and images, the Dallas-based watershape designer and builder leads us through a set of projects that put him to the test, forcing him to work with challenging sites and more than a few quirky client requests -- and, invariably, pushing him to balance his instincts against the needs of his projects in developing creative solutions.  
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in May 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TRAVELOGUE
Civic Celebrations
 
Montréal's arts district has long been a venue for lively performances, exhibitions and cultural events.  As part of a recent revitalization process, notes David L'Heureux, the city commissioned the Place des Festivals -- and a spectacular watershape you simply must see!     [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Chasing Inspiration

Reading about a residence designed by a prominent Miami architect, Jim McCloskey was impressed -- and even more so when he saw it's vintage and began putting it in the context of inspirations and innovations that periodically sweep through the world of watershaping.     [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
Where There's a Will Dept.:  A determined Mainer creates an 'ice carousel' in the middle of a big, frozen pond.  [more]
The scale's remarkable, but what about horses and music? 

There's a Way Dept.:  
A New Zealand sculptor cuts glass to present phantasmagorical aquatic landscapes.   [more] 
Be sure to scroll down to see them all -- simply fantastic! 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Finding Touchstones      

Back in 2008, Brian Van Bower wrote passionately about specialization, style and establishing a design signature.  Have you chosen your own path?  More important, is that even a good idea?    [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
CMP Introduces Advanced Oxidation Sanitizers
  

 

CMP (Newnan, GA) has released the DEL AOP 25 sanitizer, a unit that aligns a plasma ozone cell with an ultraviolet light chamber to create hydroxyl radicals -- a powerful synergy that destroys up to 99.9 percent of harmful water contaminants (including chemical-resistant bacteria) and significantly reduces the required level of residual chlorine. For details, click here.
 
Pergola Kits from Amish Country Gazebos

Amish Country Gazebos (Manheim, PA) packages wooden and vinyl pergola kits for residential and commercial applications. Available in two styles (Classic in southern yellow pine or vinyl and Montana in cedar or vinyl), the kits arrive complete and ready to install, including posts, headers, rafters and stringers engineered so no braces are required. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Easing into 
the Process
 
 
These days, the Internet is the information resource of choice for those looking for a huge array of goods and services. But it's tough for an individual business to capture eyes amid the bewildering quantity of options facing consumers as they try to find ways to make something like a pool, pond or fountain part of their home or working lives.

That's why we started the WaterShapes 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!

 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard? 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        January 24, 2018                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
Perfection, Please

Perfection in tile application is an attainable goal, writes Jimmy Reed, but as a look inside this magnificent project conveys, achieving that ambition takes time, patience, skill, precision and a day-to-day awareness on site that every last detail can (and will) make all the difference.   [more] 
 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
A Plastering 'Watch List'  

Taking control of the plastering process is within reach of any quality-oriented designer or builder, declares Kim Skinner.  To help you on your way, he offers this step-by-step guide to managing what should happen on site before, during and after plaster application takes place.   [more]

TRAVELOGUE

A Monumental Fix  
One of the most prominent public fountains in Venice, Italy, features a bold repair solution to what must have been a thorny problem.  It may not be optimal in aesthetic terms, writes Jim McCloskey, but at least it keeps a towering, historically significant composition in service.   [more] 
ESSENTIAL

Hearts of Stone         

Sculptor Alan Hochman has carved out a unique niche for himself by using the visual drama of natural stone and combining it with subtle flows of water.  These works of sublime beauty and expressiveness draw inspiration from nature, eastern philosophy and a lifetime of study, but he carefully tailors each piece to suit a specific site and the needs of clients who share his passion for sculptures that play with contrasts and even contradictions. 
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in June 2007, has been digitized for all readers.  Click hereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING
Edgy Issues

Beyond doubt, vanishing-edge pools can be spectacular.  But as Scott Cohen reports, there are some all-too-common design defects that can lead to a variety of distracting performance issues -- and some of these problems aren't so easy to address!    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
Satisfying Feedback

Once each WaterShapes newsletter is released, Jim McCloskey usually hears quickly from readers with comments and criticisms.  Two of his own recent articles drew fast responses -- one of a personal nature, the other filled with fascinating additions of historical detail.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
Ouch Dept.:  Man relaxing in a spa gets smacked in the face, and it had nothing to do with anything he said.  [more]
This is not the sort of surprise guest that usually drops in. 

Irresistible Temptation Dept.:  
Pedestrians and skaters take advantage of a frozen pool in Washington.   [more] 
And it had nothing to do with the government shutdown! 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Main Ingredient      

All watershapers should be conscious of one huge fact, wrote Brian Van Bower back in 2003:  Water plays such profound role in our lives and well-being that we should avoid doing this one thing like the plague.  [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
Pebble Technology Adds Shimmering Sea
 

 

Pebble Technology (Scottsdale, AZ) offers Shimmering Sea, a combination of cultivated abalone and mother of pearl that brings subtle color to a pool's water surface.  The material is standard in ten of the company's PebbleFina finishes and five of its PebbleSheen finishes, and it can be added to any other PebbleSheen and all PebbleTec finishes.  For details, click here.
 
Hydrorider Introduces Aqua Treadmills

Hydrorider (Biscayne Park, FL) manufactures the Professional Aqua Treadmill for use in serious exercise or recuperation regimens.  Combining adjustable resistance and a selection of three incline angles, the unit provides lower-body exercise without strain or pressure, features full-length handlebars for easy gripping and has a shock-absorbing platform.  For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Sliding into 
the Process
 
 
For years now, conventional wisdom has told us that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that can take upward of five years from initial thought to actual commitment.  That's where the WaterShapes Professional Network is so helpful:  It gives homeowners and decision-makers an easy, private way to begin their research and an anonymous, private means of gathering information before they reach out and make contact with professionals whose work they admire. 

Check it out -- and get ready for your future! 
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard? 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS
        January 10, 2018                                                                                      www.watershapes.com  

THE NON-TOXIC POOL
Toxin-Free Choices

Wrapping up a series in which he's previously defined all of the reasons why he wants to offer his clients healthier pool water, John Cohen goes into great detail this time in describing possible system components -- then narrows things down to those he's now using in his projects.  [more] 
 
FEATURE ARTICLE
     
The Clean Slate  

If he ever had any doubts about the value of updating and maintaining his extensive portfolio, writes Kurt Kraisinger, this project -- and the fact the site had been stripped bare -- showed him the value of those images as his clients weighed possibilities and honed in on his ideas.   [more]

WHAT IS IT?

#28:  Channel Drain  
Minimizing design disruptions is a keen desire among watershapers these days.  That's why Mike Farley is happy to share this video -- and so enthusiastic about the channel drains that have come along to help him dodge the visual and physical intrusions of traditional drain covers.   [more] 

ESSENTIAL

Designs on Edge         

From standard coping and cantilevered decks to boulders and plants and rock veneers, watershapers are using an ever-broadening palette of edge treatments to accentuate and refine their designs.  In this photo-essay, veteran landscape architect Peter White illustrates the boundless possibilities that present themselves when it comes to setting up boundaries at water's edge.
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 1999, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.
TRAVELOGUE
Timeless Impressions

Most people know Maya Lin for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., but watershapers in particular should become familiar with a range of her other works as well.  Here, William Hobbs travels the country in highlighting a few of her fascinating watershapes.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD
A Toxin-Free Future

John Cohen's series on devising toxin-free pools has opened Jim McCloskey's eyes to the importance of thinking about pool/spa water in more healthful contexts -- and to exciting opportunities the comprehensive nature of the task opens for equipment suppliers and buyers.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .
'Tis the Season Dept.:  Winter's a great time for those who enjoy the delicate dynamics of frozen fountains.   [more]
This one, in New York's Bryant Park, is a frosty stunner. 

'Tis the Season Dept., Pt. 2:  
A broken pipe has awesomely awful results for a building in China.     [more] 
I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but it has a unique beauty! 

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Sustaining Quality      

Sustainability was mostly a novel subject among watershapers back in 2008 -- and Bruce Zaretsky, long an advocate of the approach by that time, jumped right in to tell his colleagues like it was (and still is).   [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART 
 
Oceanside Glasstile Publishes Catalog
 
Oceanside Glasstile (Carlsbad, CA) has released its Tile Specification Guide and Design Book -- a volume available in both printed and digital formats. After illustrating a range of applications (including pools and spas), the idea book becomes a comprehensive catalog of glass and stone tile products, most of them suitable for submerged applications. For details, click here.
 
Product Catalog Available from Ledge Lounger

Ledge Lounger (Houston, TX) has issued a catalog on its complete line of durable, comfortable, UV-resistant lounges designed for in-pool and poolside use. The 44-page booklet comes in both printed and digital formats and includes photographs of applications as well as color charts and dimensional suggestions for in-pool lounging areas. For details, click here.
 
WPN UPDATE

 

Shortening
the Distance
 
 
When homeowners or facility managers start looking for watershapers to help them realize their ambitions and dreams, where do they start?  Some are lucky enough to have business contacts or friends who can refer them to reliable professionals.  But these days, many start their searching on the Internet -- a great but indiscriminate resource filled with blind alleys, dead ends and sometimes unreliable information.
That's where the WaterShapes Professional Network comes in:  By offering a credible, unified web presence in which numerous watershapers are able to convey uniformly formatted, comparable information in an easily navigated template, WPN gives consumers initial access to the marketplace in an easygoing environment that guides them comfortably and confidently through the earliest stages of a significant purchase decision.
 
The Network is working just the way we'd hoped:  Time to click aboard? 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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