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2019 Editions (July-December)

2019/12.2, December 18 — Working the Views, Fountain Precision, Inventive Mythology and more

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

December 18, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
A Desert Delight

Presented with great views, willing clients and a nearly blank slate,Rick Chafeytook full advantage of the opportunities the site offered while also providing the homeowners with one-of-a-kind details that captured the essence of their ambitions for a new hilltop home.[more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Fountain Assets

This long, narrow fountain was aimed at transforming a building’s huge atrium into a relaxing space for its collection of high-stress tenants. Executing the job took creativity, writesRobert Nonemaker— but it also required detailed planning and monumental, step-by-step efficiency.[more]

TRAVELOGUE


Elusive Meaning
Visiting the New York Botanical Garden last September,Jim McCloskeyfound himself in front of the ‘Fountain of Life.’ After studying it for a while and doing some research back home, he’s still puzzled by the sculpture — but admires nonetheless what it does to energize the space. [more]

ESSENTIAL

The Art of Finishing

No matter the scale or scope of the aquatic or landscape environment, notes master watershaperAnthony Archer Wills, the finishing touches are generally those that matter most. Here, in an article about a huge project for a lakefront Midwestern estate, he demonstrates the intricate truth of that simple assertion by discussing his approach to completing the work — and accepting the fact that things will change as the future unfolds.


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


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Cutting a Channel

Stream building can be hard work, saysRick Anderson, but it isn’t terribly complex or exotic. All it takes to be successful in creating one that looks ‘natural,’ he explains, is a good plan, a thorough understanding of the site and a generous dose of thoughtful spontaneity. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Prolonging the Thought
At the close of every December,Jim McCloskeyreviews the previous year’s concluding blog to see how he did as a prognosticator. He found some flawed thinking in his 2019 forecast, he concedes –then doubles down and reasserts the same basic prediction, this time for 2020. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Aquatic Arts Dept.:Architects show they’re seeing water’s full potential in this fascinating set of projects.[more]

These folks get it, and the results are often breathtaking.

Nailed It Dept.: Residential tower designed for Cyprus captures the pure spirit of water, level after level. [more]

It’s both original and ingenious. Here’s hoping they build it!


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Designing a New Paradigm (Part 2)
Back in 1999, a meeting in Ohio brought together professionals with varied perspectives on how backyard environments come together. Here’s a look at another part of their detailed roundtable discussion. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Fiber Creations Offers Pool Stars Kits

Fiber Creations(Phoenix, AZ) assembles Pool Stars Kits to capture the universe in a pool or spa. Designed for use in new construction or in extensive renovations, the system includes a color-changing, twinkling LED light source, fiberoptic cables and termination kits that put fibers flush with a pool’s interior surface for safe, trouble-free operation. For details, clickhere.

Westminster Teak’s Double Lounges
Westminster Teak(Live Oak, FL) manufactures the Horizon double-chaise set to bring a timeless look to resorts and spas. Offered along with cushions and side tables, the sets feature minimal moving parts and marine-grade 316L stainless steel backrest supports. They can be used separately or linked as double lounges and are stackable for easy storage. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Ready for a
Strong 2020?
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 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?


2019/12.1, December 4 — Saving the Day, Sharing Insights, Glass-Tile Glory and more

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

December 4, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
The Best Remedy

Called in to clean up a mess made by another pool contractor,Grant Smithfound that the problems were worse than met the eye. But he still managed to save the day, pulling together a lovely pool, spa and deck that aligned closely with the client’s original desires. [more]

POND INSIGHTS

Hard-Won Wisdom

In his career as a pond designer and installer,Dave Gartonhas used his acquaintance with nature to inspire and refine his efforts. Here, in a new occasional series, he shares what he’s learned along the way — and offers guidance in avoiding an array of all-too-common errors. [more]

WHAT IS IT?


#36: Glass-Tile Finish
Concluding his run of ‘What Is It?’ videos after seven eventful years,Mike Farleygoes out on a high note with coverage of what he — and many of his colleagues — consider to be the ultimate interior finish for clients who are obsessed with having nothing less than the best. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Heritage Trails

The restoration of historic watershapes can be both exciting and satisfying, says engineer and commercial pool specialistWilliam N. Rowley. But, he adds quickly, it can also be incredibly challenging as well, raising a host of issues few watershapers ever confront in their careers. To highlight these considerations, he discusses three California properties he’s recently helped rejuvenate, defining what it took to restore them to their former glory.


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


TRAVELOGUE

The Weight of History

Working on a grand fountain in the royal Garden of Versailles was an amazing challenge, writes David L’Heureux — and now his team’s care, professionalism and determination to perform at the highest level are on display the next time your travels take you to France. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Fast and Glorious

The news about the acquisition of WaterShapes.com and its associated assets by Watershape University is a big part ofJim McCloskey‘s ongoing reality these days. And it’s a step he welcomes, he says, because of the caliber and character of his new professional associates. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Spectacular Beauty Dept.:Award-winning project draws attention to the value of great landscape design.[more]

This may be the most gorgeous manmade garden –ever.

Crowd Abatement Dept.: Officials in Rome are imposing broad, new restrictions to protect Trevi Fountain. [more]

Sadly, barriers are on the way to keep visitors at a distance.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Designing a New Paradigm (Part 1)
20 years ago, five education-oriented watershapers representing both the pool and landscape trades sat down to share their views on an emerging ‘philosophy of design.’ Here’s one key part of their discussion. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
CMP Introduces Line of Copper Scuppers

CMP(Newnan, GA) now offers copper scuppers in a range of styles and configurations for use in pools, spas, water walls and other waterfeatures. Designed to provide bubbling, lively streams of water, the units have angled baffles that create glass-like sheeting effects. Each unit develops its own brown, blue or green patina, so every installation is unique. For details, clickhere.

S.R. Smith Offers Commercial-Grade Lounges
S.R. Smith(Canby, OR) manufactures the Destination Lounger. Designed for light weight and durability, the heavy-duty lounges are easy to place and move around in hospitality and commercial-pool facilities in water up to 12 inches deep. The units come in a range of fade-resistant colors and are easy to drain, remove and store when not in use. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Putting Your
Projectsto Work
Watershapers have a distinctive ability to produce spectacular work — but oftentimes real 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 theWaterShapes Professional Networkcomes in:By building a collective web presence in which dozens and, ultimately, 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.
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?


2019/11.2, November 20 — Island Wisdom, Show-Stopper Spa, Central Park Stunner and more

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

November 20, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Specific Efficiency

Designing watershapes in locations where electricity and water are scarce and expensive has taughtShane LeBlancthe value,whereverhe’s working, of focusing on conservation. A case in point is this project — one in which the client started out as an efficiency skeptic. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Safely Elegant

The interview withAlison Terry,Dave PentonandJimmy Reedthat began in our last edition concludes here with their discussion of an amazing spa and the high-wire act they performed to complete it while finishing the renovation of what was once an oddly inadequate backyard. [more]

TRAVELOGUE


An Unexpected Treat
Rising up to a prominence on a walk through New York’s Central Park,Jim McCloskeylooked left and was startled by the composition he saw unfolding before him. It’s a gem amid Frederick Law Olmstead’s masterpiece — and features a cool story about a pioneering artist’s role.[more]

ESSENTIAL

Spanning Space and Time

The art and craft of building wooden bridges has been overtaken through the years, with steel and reinforced-concrete structures almost entirely supplanting them for the past 100 years or so. But designer/builderDan Moosmanhas bucked the modern trend, providing his clients with Craftsman-style wooden bridges that now grace landscapes across the country and make strong aesthetic statements wherever they’re placed.


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


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Where Streams Live

Designing and building a big stream is no small task, with the scale of these projects and high client expectations ratcheting up the stakes. To sort it all out,Rick Andersonapproaches his wandering-water projects by keeping a great resource uppermost in mind.. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Changing Times

It’s not often thatJim McCloskeyis overcome by joy, but there’s nothing he’s ever experienced quite like the elation he feels in transferring the assets of WaterShapes.com to the folks behind Watershape University. If only they’d included an ‘s’ in the most important word . . . [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Home-Saving Dept.:Los Angeles firefighter says a pool-pumping system gives homeowners a major edge.[more]

It’s an approach we’ve advocated for years in areas at risk.

Ready-Refill Dept.:Architectural Digestsurveys the world’s most beautiful ocean-fed swimming pools. [more]

Many are spectacular, but somedolook a bit bone-chilling.

WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Pools of Light

As a lighting designer,Mike Gambinocame out strongly in November 2009 with his thoughts on the power of a particular combination of design elements to create visually spectacular projects. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Bobé Launches Series of Water/Fire Bowls

Bobé Water & Fire(Phoenix, AZ) now offers the Builder Series, which combines water and fire in cost-efficient single-bowl designs. Available in various sizes and material options and in custom formats, the units are available in copper, stainless steel or hammered copper as well as in powder-coated versions in slate, walnut, terra or midnight. For details, clickhere.

Spray Feature for Splash Pads from Water Odyssey
Water Odyssey(San Marcos, TX) has released Mushroom Maze, a spray feature for splash pads that emits a crystal clear sheet of water spanning four to eight feet – a dome large enough for children to play inside. The stainless steel unit is three feet tall and has low-profile, rounded flanges that are easy on the feet and reduce toe-stubbing. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Moving
Things Along
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 theWaterShapes Professional Networkcomes 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,WPNgives 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.
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?


2019/11.1, November 6 — Embracing a View, Multi-Layered Design, Diving Options and more

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

November 6, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
The Magic Carpet

Brought in on what was originally a simple resurfacing job,Jimmy Reed,Alison TerryandDave Pentonended up completely reworking this backyard. In Part 1, we look at what it took to convert a sad, old pool into a vibrant, highly textured work of art fully suited to a great setting. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Creative Linkage

Faced with a blank slate and a design-oriented, home-builder client,Juliet Woodlistened closely and created just the sort of backyard fun zone the homeowner wanted for active children — not to mention a place to entertain friends, work with clients and find herself some relaxation. [more]

WHAT IS IT?


#35: Diving Platform
For a whole range of reasons, saysMike Farley, he’s never been much inclined to include diving boards in his designs. This is why, as he discusses in a brief video, he guides his plunge-hankering clients toward an array of safe, fun and — most important –visually unobtrusivealternatives. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Building toward Clarity

Having begun his career decades ago as a residential pool/spa service technician on Long Island, N.Y., watershaperSteve Kennyhas a profound appreciation of superior water quality — one he developed, he says, despite a near vacuum when it came to high-caliber industry education on the subject. Today, this self-taught expert applies what he’s learned in building pools that combine unusual hydraulic designs with sophisticated water treatments.


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin May 2011, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TRAVELOGUE

A New Oasis

The Sierra Vista Aquatic Center is a dream come true for a remote desert town 50 miles south of Tucson, Ariz. Well worth a side trip, the facility includes a unusual competition/ wave pool and other active-use features described in detail here byWilliam RowleyandScott Mackey. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Seats at the Table

A pair of articles featured in this edition of the WaterShapes newsletter promptedJim McCloskeyto think about collaboration — and how much progress watershaping professionals have made in the realms of design and project development through the past 20 years. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Nordic Vertigo Dept.:Architect’s proposal for a hotel in Norway suspends a pool 2,000 feet up on a cliff.[more]

It’s the perfect nine-room spot for adrenaline-rush addicts.

Feline Surveillance Dept.: Video records kitty-on-kitty pranking at the edge of a family’s swimming pool. [more]

Scroll down to see a cat acting a lot like a teen-aged boy.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Feeling Right at Home

Hitting the road can be a good thing, observedStephanie Rosein her Natural Companions column from 15 years ago this month. Here’s a look at why she sees so much value in fresh perspectives. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Hayward Introduces the AquaVac 6 Series
Hayward Pool Products(Elizabeth, NJ) has launched the AquaVac 6 Series of robotic pool cleaners. The units have WiFi operability as well as six variable-speed-driven rollers with adaptive traction to offer wall-to-wall cleaning on any pool surface; a system designed to provide constant suction; and a quick-release debris canister for easy cleanup. For details, clickhere.

Trex Offers Pergola/Shade Structure
Trex Pergola(Fredericksburg, VA) manufactures a pergola with a retractable canopy system that provides customizable shelter from the sun. The aluminum-reinforced-vinyl pergolas will not rot, warp, split or fade and come in 20 standard sizes as well as custom designs; lighting, heaters and curtains can be added to perfect the outdoor-living experience. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Settling into
the Process
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?


2019/10.2, October 23 — Organizing Beauty, Assembling Components, Roberto’s World and more

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

October 23, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Entertaining Possibilities

If there’s one thing he’s learned in completing projects for clients who can afford whatever they want,it’s that planning is the key. But before that, notesRyan Hughes, he needs a design that makes sense, suits the site and gives him every opportunity to pursue both fun and beauty. [more]

DESIGN DYNAMICS

Shaping an Environment

Wrapping up a four-part series with a look at a project he’s been covering detail by detail,Kurt Kraisingerpulls it all together by unveiling the completed poolscape — and offering some concluding observations on working with clients while keeping an eye on design integrity. [more]

TRAVELOGUE


Communing with Roberto
Unable to resist,Jim McCloskeytraveled across the country last month to seethe New York Botanical Garden’s exhibition on the art of Roberto Burle Marx just a few days before it closed. It was a revelation, he says, and gave him an even deeper respect for the artist and the man. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Bent to Last

Locked in the middle of walls and floors in everything from tiny fountains to gigantic commercial swimming complexes, a proper cage made up of steel reinforcing bars is the hidden strength that allows a concrete vessel to hold its form, come what may. Here, veteran steel contractorLarry Longtakes a look at this key shell-shaping material, explaining what it takes to set up structures that will last a lifetime — and beyond.


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


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Soothing Sounds

Evoking strong images, emotions and associations, the sound water makes in moving through a landscape adds a powerful aesthetic component to even the simplest of designs. That’s whyRick Andersonrecommends paying attention to the ‘aural factor’ — right from the start. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

‘Big Easy’ Bound

With the New Orleans pool show fast approaching,Jim McCloskeyis ready to learn all he can about what’s happening on a number of important fronts — at Genesis in particular, but also at the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and with a whole flock of acquaintances new and old. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Spread the Word Dept.:An article from U.S. Masters Swimming defines the many benefits of swimming.[more]

Seems like the perfect message to share with prospects.

Aquatic Excess Dept.: Video report covers four huge U.S. estates that have their own backyard waterparks. [more]

Not to my taste, but I know lots of kids who’d love them all.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Power in Partnering

On watershaping projects, even minor conflicts or disputes can lead to courtroom battles. Back in 1999,Curt Straubdefined a way to avoid these lose/lose scenarios through a simple up-front agreement. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Deckorators’ Voyage Composite Decking
Deckorators(Prairie du Chien, WI) has launched Voyage, a line of vertical-grain, simulated-wood deck boards designed with textured embossing for enhanced traction. Available in four colors — Sierra, Tundra, Costa or Mesa — the strong, lightweight base material has a fiber-like structure similar to wood but experiences no thermal expansion/ contraction. For details, clickhere.

White/Gray Fountains from Blue Thumb
Blue Thumb(Saginaw, MI) offers white-and-gray stone fountain kits. The three-column assemblies come in 18-, 24- and 30-inch heights, all 8-1/2 inches square and smooth on four sides. The kits include 48-inch fountain basins, 1,495 gallon-per-hour mag-drive pumps, flow-control valves, plumbing, tubing and polished black pebbles for the basins. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Settling into
the Process
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned in the past 30-odd years, it’s that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that takesyearsfrom initial idea to installation.

That’s why a web forum like theWaterShapes Professional Networkis so important: It gives homeowners and other decision-makers an easy, anonymous way to gather information and, eventually, reach out to make contact with professionals whose work they admire. Check it out — and get ready for your future!
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?


2019/10.1, October 9 — Dual-Role Design, Fountain Gymnastics, Lighting Insights and more

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

October 9, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Committed to Balance

It’s tough to develop a landscape design that satisfies the social needs of a family while also meeting the practical needs of a thriving home-based business, writesColleen Holmes. Ever consider what’s involved in setting up a parking lot so it also serves as an off-hours retreat? [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Grand Solutions

Now familiar with the unusual realities of the huge fountain-renovation project they’d undertaken,J. Wickham ZimmermanandChris Royhad to figure out how to proceed despite difficult access, limited pipe penetrations and, of course,super-high civic expectations.[more]

FEATURE ARTICLE


Lighting by Design
To watershape designers and landscape professionals who see lighting as uncharted territory,Bruce Dennisoffers simple encouragement: Apply what you already know about artfully organizing spaces and working with contrasts and textures and you already have a big head start.[more]

ESSENTIAL

An Elegant Edge

Peter Cattanohas built a distinguished watershaping career by creating quality swimming pools in many of the Northeast’s most beautiful settings. Here, he profiles a project he counts among his firm’s finest achievements: a vanishing-edge pool in a spectacular woodland setting — and the product of an artful collaboration among the clients, Cattano’s staff at Paco Pools and the talented landscape architects at Schlick Design Group.

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


TRAVELOGUE

Good Medicine

The watershapes that literally embrace this hospital in Ogden, Utah, are crucial to the success of the facility’s self-consciously relaxing, curative environment, saysDerk Hebdon. Its 65-foot water plume and soothing, 170-foot-wide waterfall are worthy of a non-medical visit. [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

When It Rains

The news from Skip Phillips about his separation from Genesis promptsJim McCloskeyto take another look at where we’ve been while pondering upcoming possibilities for an industry that needs good technical training and professional education, now more than ever. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Pretty Amazing Dept.:Ballet dancer dives into a pool, performs as long as she can hold her breath. [more]

She’s great, but I wonder what the lap-swimmer thought?

Aquatic Fantasy Dept.: Artist uses hand-painted tiles to connect a round pool with a vivid splash zone. [more]

Called ‘Gateway,’ it asks you to explore a cosmic amoeba.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

It’s Easier Being Green

In his October 2009 Aqua Culture column,Brian Van Bowercame down resolutely in favor of what was then an emerging movement — and here’s another look at why he felt a need to speak up about it. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Hayward Offers VGB-Compliant Outlets
Hayward Pool Products(Elizabeth, NJ) manufactures the WG Series of VGB-compliant square drain covers for residential and commercial pool applications. Available in a wide range of sizes and flow designs and designed for use on concrete pools for new construction or renovations, the low-velocity units limit flow to 1.5 feet per second. For details, clickhere.

Belgard Offers Stone Fireplace Kits
Belgard(Atlanta, GA) assembles linear fireplace kits made with Weston Stone. Designed for a clean, sculpted look, the 40-inch-tall units are just over eight feet wide and three feet deep and come with step-by-step installation guides, natural-gas-burning pans/burners (with a propane option), all required stone components and a special adhesive. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Getting a
Jump on 2020
Many watershapers 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, hundreds of 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?


2019/9.2, September 18 — Fountain Maneuvers, Double-Duty Waterfeatures, Trip Planning and more

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

September 18, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Grand Expectations

Approaching the renovation of an historic fountain set over an existing, untouchable structure is daunting enough. But it gets tougher, writeJ. Wickham ZimmermanandChris Roy, when the original documentation is sketchy and you have no choice but to figure out how to proceed. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Backyard Detailing

Poolside waterfeatures are awesome, saysBruce Riley, filling an area with sound and controlling key views into and out of the yard and around the water. Here’s a look at ways to assess what clients need from these details — and address a few issues they might not anticipate. [more]

TRAVELOGUE


Fun on the Road

When he heard stories about a friend’s fun- and fountain-oriented family vacation,Jim McCloskeywas pleased to recall the role he’d played in shaping the trip and making it special for everyone as they balanced her desire to see great watershapes with their passion for thrill rides. [more]

ESSENTIAL

Powerful Grounds

It’s often said that what you don’t know can hurt you — and that’s seldom truer than when the unknown in question has to do with the soil and geologic conditions that underlie watershapes. On hillsides in particular but even on certain flatlands, say prominent engineering geologistsLarry ParmeleeandLarry Schick, accommodating the forces at work beneath the surface is critical for professionals working to maximize the integrity and longevity of their installations.

This article, originally published inWaterShapesin June 1999, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Material Standards

Lighting design is all about beauty and making spaces come alive when the sun goes down. ButMike Gambinoknows that the product choices made in creating these effects are just as important as any he might make in positioning fixtures around a client’s backyard.[more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Product Evolution

A flurry of activity in and around the Genesis organization hasJim McCloskey‘s full attention these days. Here’s his early take on what he’s observed and the nature of what’s being accomplished — as well as some thoughts on what it all might mean for the future of watershaping. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

School Daze Dept.:French artist knocks over a school bus, turns it into an attractive little swimming pool. [more]

It’s an oddly ironic combination of vandalism and great fun.

School’s Back Dept.: Boy demonstrates killer sword skills, brings an early and abrupt end to his summer.[more]

Will his folks see swim-free living as enough punishment?


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Learning by Doing

Don’t get him started: The lack of plant literacy, wroteBruce Zaretskyin his On the Level column for September 2009, is a major deficit among professionals in a key segment of a supposedly ‘green’ industry. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
White/Gray Fountains from Blue Thumb

Blue Thumb(Saginaw, MI) offers white-and-gray stone fountain kits. The three-column assemblies come in 18-, 24- and 30-inch heights, all 8-1/2 inches square and smooth on four sides. The kits include 48-inch fountain basins, 1,495 gallon-per-hour mag-drive pumps, flow-control valves, plumbing, tubing and polished black pebbles for the basins. For details, clickhere.

Tile-Top Barstools from Meridian Tile

Meridian Tile(Phoenix, AZ) assembles modular barstool tops for in-pool applications. Pressed from porcelain and glazed, the long-lasting units speed the installation process and come in a variety of colors and decorative patterns. Custom designs and logos are available as options, backed up by a glaze lab that formulates and tests for accurate coloration. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Making a Splash
in the Marketplace
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?

TheWaterShapes Professional Networkcan 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.
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?


2019/9.1, September 4 — Modernist Detailing, True Rainfall, Revived Splendor and more

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

September 4, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Modern Mystique

It was a fairly straightforward consultation that became much more than that, writesPaolo Benedetti. He made a few practical suggestions and set the overflow system and equipment vault up for peak performance — then pitched in to aid the architect in a quest for visual perfection. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

Subtle Precipitation

When the opportunity to try something new came his way,Scott Cohenstepped up to provide this challenging backyard with a pool, a big spa, a new outdoor kitchen — and an ingenious water-wall system that did more to benefit his clients than he ever could have imagined. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE


A Basement’s Bounty

Historic restorations are typically difficult work. But asRick Randazzodiscovered 40 feet below the streets of New York in the old Woolworth Building, sometimes the frustrations and irritations of working with a landmark evaporate and the work becomes both fascinating and gratifying. [more]


ESSENTIAL

Spritied Waters

On a busy corner in downtown Palm Springs, Calif., stands an unusual sculpture that artfully moves water through the hot desert air. The work of New York sculptorDavid Curt Morris, ‘The Rainmaker’ was commissioned by community leaders who hoped the fountain would become a landmark celebrating the life-giving power of water in the driest of climates while providing passersby with a place to cool off, relax and play.

This article, originally published inWaterShapesin September 2001, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TRAVELOGUE

All Aboard!

When Denver decided to revive a historic downtown neighborhood by bringing its old train station back to life,Karen Van Heukelemand her colleagues pitched in on several levels — then crowned their efforts with a dazzling interactive waterfeature you should plan to visit.[more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Lessons in Trust

Reflecting on a difficult decision that came up at the outset of his recent home-remodeling project,Jim McCloskey conveys a tangle of observations about the way things have gone — and corrals a thought-provoking lesson or two about the nature and evolution of trust along the way. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Great Concept Dept.:Sixty-story hotel planned for Dubai to include hundreds of personal pools and hot tubs.[more]

The soaking will be familiar, but the views will be dazzling.

Strange Concept Dept.: Two guys obsessed with putting hot tubs on wheels graduate to a Cadillac DeVille.[more]

At best, a sloshing good time. At worst, a sloshingbadone.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Setting Egos Aside

Ego helps keep us going, concedesBrian Van Bowerin his Aqua Culture column from September 2009. But as he observed, it it can get very much in the way when it comes to projects of a certain kind. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
RB Pool & Spa Offers Construction Software

RB Pool & Spa(Monroeville, PA) has fully integrated job-costing and job-progress management into a software package that already includes customer-relationships management, lead management, inventory, scheduling, proposals, contracts, purchase orders, bookkeeping and more. User-defined fields allow for customizing each line item. For details, clickhere.

Bobé Offers Metallic Box Scuppers

Bobé Fire & Water(Phoenix, AZ) makes box scuppers for applications with swimming pools, spas and other waterfeatures. Made with copper or stainless steel and available in seven textures and powder-coated finishes, the units feature flow rates of 15 gallons per minute and have fully welded seams, 1-1/2-inch female inlets and grounding lugs. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Getting a Foot
in the Door
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?

2019/8.2, August 21 — Spa Rescue, Clever Cards, Ethereal Gardens and more

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

August 21, 2019 www.watershapes.com


FEATURE ARTICLE
Stepping In

Asked to work on a spa after a general contractor had started its construction using an ill-advised approach,Grant Smithmoved forward knowing there’d be conflicts on site — but confident that the clients had his back as he worked to rescue a key feature of their remodeling project. [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

In the Cards

Of all the promotional toolsDave Gartonhas deployed to support his watershaping business through the years, nothing has been more effective than his business cards. Why so? As as hereports here, It’s because there’s more to them than the usual bits of contact information. [more]

TRAVELOGUE


Striking a Chord

Four acres of rocks, plants and water assembled byDavid Slawsonserves as the centerpiece forGarvan Woodland Gardens. It all sprang from his sensitivity to the site, the client’s desires and, as you’ll see when next you visit Hot Springs, Ark., the wonders of indigenous materials.[more]


ESSENTIAL

Invitations to Play

First created for use in the supercharged, hyperactive environments of aquatic theme parks, interactive waterplay systems now offer the designer of public and semi-public spaces an arsenal of fun-inducing features. They work in just about any setting, saysPam Pasottiof manufacturer SCS Interactive — anywhere you think people might take up the invitation to get wet in the name of pure, unadulterated fun.


This article, originally published inWaterShapesin September 2001, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.


TECHNICAL BRIEFING

Pools of Light

It’s a perfect partnership, writesMike Gambino. On its own, landscape lighting transforms spaces and makes them safe for use at night. But the real magic starts when water is present, reflections take shape and illuminated greenery accentuates the beauty found at the water’s edge.[more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Soul Searching

Conversations with neighbors and real-estate agents in a mature residential market have ledJim McCloskeyto become concerned about an unusual predicament facing the Watershaping Industry — and about WaterShapes’ role in fostering part of it through the years. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .

Way Too Cute Dept.:Video captures a dog being the most persistent lifeguard a baby could possibly meet. [more]

The kid was safe, but not safe enough to satisfythispooch.

Drop-Dead Gorgeous Dept.:Conde Nast Travelerhighlights ten hotel pools of jaw-dropping beauty.[more]

From Switzerland to Vietnam, it’s bag-packing inspiration.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Giving to Receive

Back in 2009,Brian Van Bowerdevoted his Aqua Culture column to a simple gesture that is almost guaranteed to produce positive client responses — not to mention strong, enthusiastic referrals.[more]

THE SHOPPING CART
Aqua Ultraviolet Offers Viper UV Sterilizers

Aqua Ultraviolet(Temecula, CA) makes Viper UV sterilizers for chemical-free water disinfection of commercial or residential ponds, aquariums and waterfeatures. Reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly, the compact units come in three models in both plastic and stainless steel for systems ranging from 14,000 to 90,000 gallons. For details,clickhere.

Universal Launches Radiant Fusion Finishes

Universal White Cement(Glendale, AZ) offers Radiant Fusion, a pool-finish blend that uses micro-pebbles enhanced with iridescent Pebble Radiance glass crystals and abalone shell to create vibrant water hues and ultra-smooth surfaces. Pre-blended to ensure strength and durability, the mixes include pozzolan-enhanced cement in each formulation. For details,clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Helping Consumers
to Get Started
When homeowners or facility managers start looking for watershapers to help them realize their ambitions and dreams, where do they start? Some are fortunate 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 theWaterShapes Professional Networkcomes 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,WPNgives consumers initial access to the marketplace in an easygoing environment that guides them comfortably and confidently through the earliest stages of a significant purchasing decision.

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

2019/8.1, August 7 — An Unfolding Process, Artificial Turf, Design Emergence and more

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

August 7, 2019 www.watershapes.com

FEATURE ARTICLE
The Gradual Renovation

It was a most unusual remodeling project, notesCarla Sovernigo. Partly it had to do with its scale and complexity, but mostly it was because it took three full years to finalize the design and then another whole year to align every last detail with the clients’ highly refined ambitions. [more]

WHAT IS IT?

#34: Synthetic Grass

Beyond all of the improvements the product has seen in recent years with respect to quality and appearance,Mike Farleynotes in this brief video on the subject that there areotherreasons he’s choosing artificial turf for more and more of his clients in a widening array of projects. [more]

DESIGN DYNAMICS

From Idea to Action
Ushering a full-featured backyard design through to final form can be complicated, observesKurt Kraisinger. That’s why, as he writes in the third article in this four-part series, he guides his clients through an interactive process he credits with smoothing the pathway to success. [more]


ESSENTIAL

Timeless Impressions

Most people know Maya Lin for her bold design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. But watershapers in particular should become familiar with a range of her other works as well: For nearly 15 years, reportsWilliam Hobbs, his company has been involved in producing intricate water effects for the famous artist, whose works draw fascinating connections between observers and the mysteries of time and nature.

This article, originally published inWaterShapesin November 2002, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study them in detail.

TRAVELOGUE

Celebrating a Legend
It’s a brief exhibition that should be permanent, saysJim McCloskeyin reference to a New York event all about the career and genius of Roberto Burle Marx. It closes on September 29 — so pack your bags and head for the Big Apple while there’s time: What an opportunity! [more]


WATERSHAPES WORLD

Back in Action

Soothing daily aches and pains has beenJim McCloskey‘s most ardent pursuit for the past five weeks — more than enough time to renew his esteem for the value of a good soak in hot, bubbling water and think about making it a greater part of his health-maintenance routines. [more]

WE BROWSE SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO . . .
Artistic Impulse Dept., Part I: Voguemagazine surveys a stunning set of pools decorated by fine artists.

The one by Picasso is my favorite, but they’re all pretty cool.
Artistic Impulse Dept., Part II:Falling drops of water paint a lattice of ripples across a large, black surface. [more]
The guy may have a dark vision, but the result is gorgeous.


WATERSHAPES CLASSIC
The Designer’s Environment
Back in August 2004,David Tishermandevoted one of the most passionate of all his Details column to taking us all on a tour of a special space that facilitates his work as a watershape designer. [more]

THE SHOPPING CART
S.R. Smith(Canby, OR) has introduced Mod-Lite, a modular LED pool/spa fixture that operates without a direct connection to its power source. Designed for flexibility, convenience and safety, the lights come in two styles that screw into a base that wirelessly supplies power to the LED, thereby simplifying installation, service and winterizing. For details, clickhere.

David Harber Ltd. (Aston Upthorpe, Oxfordshire, England) offers Chalice, a mirror-polished, stainless steel fountain bowl. Water clings to the outer surface, creating the illusion of a hemisphere slowly revolving on its axis. Available in four diameters from 30 to 60 inches, the bowls can be stacked as a waterfeature and illuminated for nighttime use. For details, clickhere.

WPN UPDATE

Want in on
the Game?
These days, the Internet is the information resource of choice for consumers chasing 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 these prospects as they try to find ways to make something like 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 contact and getting in the game.
TheNetworkis working just the way we’d hoped: Time toclickaboard?

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