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

        June 24, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Charging for Design  

Charging a fee for design work is one of the foundations of true professionalism across multiple disciplines. That's why Michael W. Nantz won't give away his watershape ideas, partly because it's a solid revenue stream, but also because it builds up a base of pride and self-esteem.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Riding the Lazy River
Animating water in the form of a lazy river inspires many prospective pool owners, explains Mike Farley. But the cost and level of difficulty quickly narrow the opportunities, both for clients concerned with affordability and builders who need an important set of design and technical skills.  [more]


DO NO HARM
     
Bad Exposures

Tying form boards to structural steel is a huge mistake, says Paolo Benedetti:  There's no standard or rationale that supports the practice, and as he notes here, that's simply because doing so conjures a host of problems and can result in structurally incompetent walls and shells.    [more]
ESSENTIAL

Integrated View        

A spectacular site is often the foundation for extraordinary watershapes and landscapes, observes Melanie Mackenzie -- and that certainly proved to be the case with this project.  As seen here, she built upon elements suggested by the site and its surroundings to develop a fully integrated approach that ties the front and rear yards together in ways that delight the eye, cheer the spirit and encourage the contemplation of distant horizons. 
   

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

Graceful Reflections

The potency of water's reflective nature is a component of watershaping that is all too often left to chance, notes Anthony Archer Wills, who recommends considering it from the outset of a project and using its subtle brilliance to transform the central experience of seeing water.    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Conservation Works

At a time when good news seems hard to come by, Eric Herman bucks the norm by sharing some facts and figures about water conservation over the last 40 years that give us all genuine cause for hope.  Indeed, we may have more control over water use than most people think.    [more]

LIVING BLUE

Achieving 
Blue Mind:  Part II 
The aquatic lifestyle offers its benefits for everyone who participates. That's why the Live Blue foundation is focused on expanding and celebrating the role of water in our lives.  It's also why, as Wallace J. Nichols discusses here, we all need to be conscious of the peace and vitality that results from aquatic experiences -- and then go find them!   [more]
WOLFPACK CORNER
Why
the Wolf?
Not long after Watershape University was established last summer, organizers decided to adopt the Wolf as the mascot and use the Wolfpack as the team nickname. 

While it all was done largely in good fun, there are also some deeper "lupine" meanings that reflect WU's values and long-term goals -- as you will see by clicking here.
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Pioneering Effects: Installed a century ago, Longwood Garden's fountains were 'smart' by any standard.   [more]
And the technology was more advanced than you think.
Keeping Track: A tool for those who want to stay current with global trends in water-resource management.   [more]
Heaps of useful and current data, all at your fingertips. 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Custom Spas from Bradford Products    
 
Bradford Products (Leland, NC) produces pre-manufactured, custom, stainless steel spas to suit a wide spectrum of applications, including resorts, luxury hotels, private residences, aquatic centers or day spas. Ideal for rooftop and elevated-deck installations, the durable units are shipped fully fabricated, plumbed to stub-outs and ready for installation. For details, click here.
Splinter Works Offers Hammock Baths
 
Splinter Works (Somerset, United Kingdom) has combined the functionality of a bathtub with the comfort and shape of a hammock to create a line of unique vessels called Hammock Baths. Made of layered carbon fiber and foam, the vessels are designed for easy access and can be adapted to a variety of architectural and interior styles. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        June 10, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Tasteful Extravagance  

Patience, creativity and adaptability defined the design and installation process for this unique and beautiful project in Plantation, Fla.  Along the way, explains Andrew Kaner, the project team navigated multiple challenges while easing the way for clients who expected nothing but the best.   [more]
GOURMET WATER

Imagine a World
Steve Kenny believes it's time for aquatic professionals to add a new specialty -- one devoted entirely to elevating water quality in both commercial and residential settings. The first step, he says, is imagining a world in which excellence in water quality is simply the norm.   [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Hot-Weather Shotcrete

Placing shotcrete in hot weather can be a risky proposition if you don't follow basic guidelines.  Success under these conditions, reports William Drakeley, calls for controlling concrete temperature and mix design while also managing details of the installation and curing processes.     [more]
ESSENTIAL

Suburban Spaces        

You really can find opportunities in unexpected places, insists Mehrnoosh, a Los Angeles architect and designer who enjoys making refined aesthetic statements in previously plain suburban environments.  To illustrate her point, she takes us to a project in a modest neighborhood to define how simple architectural and landscape elements -- and water -- can bring elegance and tranquility to otherwise overlooked and underappreciated spaces. 
   

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

Picture Perfect

In a project so detailed it was covered in three early editions of WaterShapesDavid Tisherman pulled it all together in this feature on the completed project, offering a guided tour of a special space defined by views, physical and visual relationships and the sounds of moving water.    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Big Silver Lining

Is the residential swimming pool industry benefiting from the COVID-19 pandemic? According to designers and builders across the nation, notes Eric Herman, phones are ringing with calls from homeowners looking for at-home recreation to find ways to more fully enjoy sheltering in place.    [more]

LIVING BLUE

Achieving Blue Mind:  Part 1 
Author Wallace J. Nichols coined the term "Blue Mind" to represent the positive state of mind that can be achieved by interacting with water. Click here to read on as he begins a new series looking at how that phenomenon can unfold in our daily lives.   
WOLFPACK CORNER
Ready
to Return
Mark your calendars as Watershape University readies numerous courses for late summer!

Basic construction and other core courses are open for registration now.  And if you're concerned about COVID-19's impact on future travel, simply reserve your seat for upcoming classes with zero risk!  To learn more, click here.
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

How Water Works: As this text reveals, water treatment is ever-present, complex -- and indispensable.    [more]
This is something every watershaper should know well.
World's Prettiest Waters:  Enjoy a tour of the most beautiful waters on the planet with just one click.  [more]
Absolutely no doubt about it, you'll wish you were there!
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Pentair Introduces LED Laminar Jets    
 
Pentair (Sanford, SC) produces MagicStream Laminars that add dramatic sights and soothing sounds to any watershape environment with LED-illuminated streams that reach up to seven feet high and project outward up to eight feet at adjustable angles. The laminars come fully assembled and ready to install and are designed for easy service. For details, click here.
Outdoor Great Room Offers Fire Tables
 
The Outdoor Great Room Co. (Burnsville, MN) offers the Havenwood, a gas fire-pit table that features contemporary style with ease of use. The textured top is made of stone-grey Everblend, and there's a powder-coated gray metal base for a clean and durable look. Every tabletop is handcrafted with variations in color, texture and pattern. For details, click  here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        May 20, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com  


POND INSIGHTS
     
Pond-Construction Chaos  

Managing clients' mood is as much a part of the pond-installation process as installing the liner.  This is why Dave Garton works to build realistic expectations and keep thoughts trained on positive outcomes, seeing them as keys to problem-solving and long-term satisfaction.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Fountain Fascination
The Station Park show fountain in Farmington, Utah, uses technology to attract and delight consumers in a competitive retail environment. With its cast of programmable effects choreographed to popular music, says Chris Thomas, it's brought a certain theatrical flair to the setting.   [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Why Colored Plaster Fades

Fading colored plaster is quite common, note Kim SkinnerQue Hales and Doug Latta.  But it can be prevented with relative ease, they add, through awareness of a handful of factors driving color loss -- the first step in making sure problems don't arise with your clients' pools.    [more]
ESSENTIAL

Les Fontaines Internationales        

Even under favorable circumstances, installing watershapes beyond the borders of your own country can offer formidable challenges.  For his Canada-based fountain company, says Paul L'Heureux, success in establishing effective communications, eliminating wasteful snags and performing up to clients' expectations means following a clearly defined process -- one that keeps his team and its work on track from start to finish, around the globe.      


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March 2000, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
SPATIAL CONNECTIONS

Vertical Pursuits

As is true of all architectural forms, watershape design calls for thinking in three dimensions.  In fact, note Paul Ryan and E.C. Medley, the integration of a vertical dimension is crucial in contrasting with the sublime flatness of the water's surface while also echoing the architectural setting.  [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

By the Numbers

As familiar as water may be, there are so many things about it most don't know -- or choose not to consider.  But it's a fact, says Eric Herman:  The world of water is full of fascinating factoids that can surprise, captivate, terrify and inspire even the most conscientious users of H20.   [more]

LIVING BLUE

Angry Shores 
Access to water has become so scarce and restrictive in certain areas there are some people who will stop at almost nothing to protect their spot on the shore. That's one indication, observes Eric Herman, of the value of owning a pool where true privacy and complete safety can be assured.   [more]
WOLFPACK CORNER
Nurturing
Leaders
Watershape University is dedicated to creating an educational and certification structure that nurtures and empowers the industry's next generation of leaders. 
We know that any profession is only as good the people who populate it and we exist to nurture tomorrow's leaders today. To learn more, click here.
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Beyond the Swamp: As these scientists tell it, natural wetlands absolutely teem with ecological diversity.  [more]
They may well be even more beautiful than you think.
Profitable Lagoons: Massive pool/lagoons have opened in spots across the U.S.-- with many more to come.  [more]
The big question is, are they really worth the investment?
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Twinscape Offers Moveable Floors   
 
Twinscape North America (Campbell, CA) produces Hydrofloors, moveable-floor watershape systems made of stainless steel beams and plates. Units can be built to almost any required size and are engineered for reliable and easy operation with cable-and-pulley system and water-based hydraulic cylinders that move the floor to desired depths. For details, click here.
Clearwater Tech's Ozone for Small Watershapes
 
Clearwater Tech (San Luis Obispo, CA) offers its Microzone Series, which uses corona discharge (CD) technology to eliminate odors and reduce chemical usage while providing superior ozone performance in a compact housing - perfect for residential spas, ornamental waterfeatures, small aquariums and a variety of small-scale watershapes. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        May 6, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                     www.watershapes.com  


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Elevated Ambitions

This elevated project included an eye-popping rooftop pool/spa combination, a massive entryway reflecting pond and a host of precise construction details. Making it all work, explains Rick Chafey, required detailed computer modeling as well as multiple layers of waterproofing.    [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Discovering Xeriscapes  

Xeriscaping is all about creating landscapes that thrive in dry climates -- but that doesn't mean these spaces are devoid of life.  In fact, writes Michael Logsdon, water-wise landscapes can be surprisingly vibrant and colorful once you think beyond the rocks and prickly pears.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

The Waters of Washington
Eric Herman has made it his business to understand how water impacts the human condition and learned a great deal in the four years he and his wife lived in Washington State amid stirring examples of water's ability to shape lives. Here, he shares the essence of that experience.   [more]
ESSENTIAL

The Hidden Source        

Creating natural-looking cascades and waterfalls requires the deft handling of a range of technical and aesthetic details - the chief of which, observes watershaper Bob Dews, is effective concealment of the water's source.  Here, this specialist in ultra-natural watershapes for residential and commercial clients discusses strategies he uses to hide the headwaters and conjure some distinctly 'natural' impressions.    


This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
SPATIAL CONNECTIONS

Small Wonders

Great things can be achieved in small spaces, writes Keith Davitt.  He works mainly in the urban surroundings of Brooklyn, N.Y., and makes the most of areas that many would consider too confining by focusing on selecting and juxtaposing plants, hardscape and water.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Planting Presence

Water and plants go together like wine and cheese, notes Eric Herman, which is why WaterShapes has always made a point of covering the use of plants in spaces that feature water.  But unfortunately, he knows too many watershapers who still approach softscaping as an afterthought.   [more]

LIVING BLUE

Finding Your Water 
Drawing from the language and philosophy of Wallace "J" Nichols, author of Blue MindLauren Stack defines the importance of water during these uncertain times. What each of us can do to bring more people to water, she asserts here, has never been more important to the physical and emotional health of our customers and society.     
WOLFPACK CORNER
WU Launches 
Wolfpack Webinar Wednesdays
Watershape University is now offering online instruction every Wednesday afternoon in an ongoing series of webinars called 'Wolfpack Webinar Wednesdays.' 

The idea is to provide easily consumable bites of relevant information across a range of important topics, from business strategies to technical and product-oriented subjects.  For details on today's session, click here
To borrow an iconic phrase 'of the people, by the people, for the people,' that is Watershape University. We are an ever-growing, evergreen TEAM of individuals and companies working together to ensure the long-term prosperity of the aquatics industry through an educated workforce and an educated world that knows the benefits of being near, in, on and under water for life.
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Pricey shores:  From lakes and lagoons to lazy rivers and fish ponds, watershapes drive real estate values.  [more]
There's definitely a fair quantity of gold in those waters.
Is water weird?  Although it is often taken for granted, in scientific terms water is simply extraordinary.    [more]
You'll be surprised by how often H2O breaks the rules.
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Hayward's ColorLogic LED Lighting System   
 
Hayward Pool Products (Berkley Heights, NJ) offers Universal ColorLogic color LED lighting to transform outdoor environments with cost savings and installation versatility for new pools, spas and fountains. Their all-plastic, low-voltage design includes thin, all-plastic UCL niches that eliminate the need for bonding, grounding or GFCIs. For details, click here.
Pacific Concrete Offers Coping Molds
 
Pacific Concrete Images (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) has introduced Formliner. Used in fabricating poured-in-place pool copings, wall caps, stairs and countertops, the reusable forms are made of both flexible polyethylene foam and rigid polystyrene foam in 16 standard profiles with matching finishing tools. Custom profiles are also available. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        April 22, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                    www.watershapes.com  


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Guided by Sight

Establishing primary and secondary sightlines within a space is one of the first design tasks on almost any project, observes Mike Farley. Doing so sets the stage for numerous decisions that follow and allows you to maximize visual impact from indoors -- and outdoors as well.  [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Dawn of the Swimming Pond  

Whether ponds are built for it or not, many will encourage a swim, inspire a dive or invite a cooling dip. That's why Larry Carnes guides his clients who want to get wet toward naturalistic pond designs that are also deliberately made for easy access, bather comfort and everyone's safety.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Outdoor Connections
Selling dreams and making memories are at the heart of the watershaping process, says Scott Payne.  Taking design from the outdoor-lifestyle perspective, he notes, is the best way to create spaces that connect with clients' lives while also generating new revenue streams.    [more]
ESSENTIAL

A Master at Work        

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


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

The Unfolding Garden

It's why art museums are arranged in spatial sequences and why so many people love reading mystery novels:  As Bobbie Schwartz suggests here, surprise is a powerful tool watershapers can use to bring wonder and delight to those who approach or wander near the water's edge.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Upon Higher Minds

Like most professions, watershaping has a rich history of innovations and groundbreaking achievements -- but lacks a Hall of Fame to celebrate its pioneers.  If there were such an institution, writes Eric Herman, lots of recruits could be found right here on the pages of WaterShapes.    [more]

LIVING BLUE

Meetings of Blue Minds 
One of the exciting facets of Watershape University is its support for the Live Blue Foundation (LBF) and it's high-minded ambition of promoting aquatic activities and lifestyles.  
Click here to learn more as WU's Lauren Stack explains the big ideas behind LBF and how promoting the "Blue Mind" in all of us will benefit not only the watershaping industry, but people in all walks of life.   
WOLFPACK CORNER
A Launch
Interrupted
As is true of so many organizations working through this unprecedented time, Watershape University's course offerings have been temporarily stymied by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Undaunted, WU is preparing to bounce back with a dynamic set of educational offerings, both live and online.  For details, click here
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Healthy Waters:  Research shows the ways in which geothermal waters build wellness and enjoyment.   [more] 
It's looks as though it's even better than we dreamed! 

The Mystery in Tiny Bubbles:  Research scientists track the strange behavior of microbubbles in pipes.   [more] 
There's more to those gaseous spheres than meets the eye.
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Pentair Launches Line of Water Bowls 
 
Pentair (Sanford, NC) has introduced MagicBowl Water Effects, a line of fountain bowls that bring strong visuals and soothing sounds to poolscapes. An architectural and auditory accent by day, by night the bowls combine LED lights with the flowing water to add a new tone. The durable units are available in seven finishes with round or square shapes. For details, clichere.
Keystone Introduces Panorama Supra Pavers
 
Keystone Hardscapes (Minneapolis, MN) has added the Panorama series to its Supra line of pavers for outdoor applications. With rectilinear shapes, riven surfaces and rounded edges that suggest the look of cut flagstone, the units install quickly and are made of durable concrete colored with iron oxide pigments to prevent UV-related fading. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        April 8, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com  


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Elegant Ingenuity   

Solving tough technical challenges often takes cooperation and collaboration in a team setting, says builder William Drakeley. Here, he explains how this award-winning project required innovative solutions to overcome a set of uniquely tricky hurdles.    [more]


POND INSIGHTS
     
Smiling in the Rockyard  

Pond specialist Dave Garton believes the effort spent maintaining happy and engaged clients is crucial to the success of almost any watershape project. Here he shares one of his favorite strategies -- getting his clients excited about rocks.    [more]
 
GOURMET WATER

The Builder as Chef
Chemistry may be the big concern for service techs, but it's builders who determine the method of treatment during the equipment selection process. Builder/servicer (and former chef) Steve Kenny believes those decisions set the table for creating what he calls 'gourmet water.'   [more]
ESSENTIAL

Light Dances        

Scientist, artist, inventor and glass-tile manufacturer David Knox knows a lot about the nature of light and how it can be manipulated in the laboratory, in a factory or in a watershape. Here, he explores the subject of light's physical nature, sharing his own experience in applying optical physics to glass-tile production and defining ways in which those same principles apply to the art of shaping water in harmony with the materials that contain it. 

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

Pebbles, Pozzolons & Polymers

Last year, the pool and spa industry lost one of its greatest educators, plaster expert Greg Garrett. In this vintage technical article, he shed light on three key ways that pool plaster has evolved to become more durable, as well as aesthetically pleasing.    [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Times of Change

Returning WaterShapes.com editor Eric Herman believes that embracing change with grace and optimism is the surest path to success in an uncertain future. That's true now more than ever, he adds, as the industry undergoes significant changes in leadership and direction.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Resourceful Rays: A solar-powered desalination plant in Kenya set to provide fresh water to thousands.   [more]
Is this the ultimate solution for worldwide water shortages? 

Opportunistic Energy: Portland installs turbines in its network of water lines to generate free electricity.   [more]
The question is, why didn't we think of this long ago?
WOLFPACK CORNER

Why Watershape 
University?
Watershape University represents an evolutionary step in the education of professionals focused on the design, engineering and construction of recreational and decorative water -- an information resource that's both made for today and built for tomorrow.  
For a quick look at the whys and hows driving the organization, along with the values that motivate and bolster our staff, faculty, volunteers and ultimately, our students, click here -- and think about joining us to see what the future holds in store. 
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Degrees of Separation 
Back in 2005, Brian Van Bower wrote candidly about the fact that lots of players on one side of the watershaping business were worried about incursions from another.  Do these 'sides' even exist today?    [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Crystal Fountains Offers Cooling Jets 
    
Crystal Fountains (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) manufactures the NEJ100 Evaporative Cooling Jet -- a stainless steel unit that produces an inch-and-a-half-diameter water column that arches up from a flush-mounted position on a deck. The 37 holes produce evaporative cooling for deck areas, with discharge streams angled for maximum cooling effect. For details, clichere.
 
Hearth Products Introduces Fire/Water Feature
 
Hearth Products Controls (Kettering, OH) has launched Evolution 360, a fire-and-water feature for residential or commercial applications. Designed to add the sound of flowing, LED-lit water to flickering flames, the durable, weather-resistant, self-contained units come fully assembled and include water filters, switch controllers, water levelers and more. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        March 18, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                  www.watershapes.com  


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
An Equine Retreat   

Designing ponds for special purposes is nothing new to Anthony Archer Wills, who recently worked on this one, meant for horses.  The result, set in the shadow of the Bavarian Alps, is beyond beautiful -- even though the four-legged part of the story involved a late twist.   [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
The Flooded Mirror   

Turning his attention to a reflecting pool after completing two other watershapes on the same property, Steve Swanson suggested using a detail that was new to him.  This bold move involved him directly in the home's overall visual impact and in a high-stakes learning curve.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Experiencing the Void
The twin fountains of New York's National September 11 Memorial have been on Jim McCloskey's must-see list for nearly a decade.  He has finally checked that box -- and now recommends the trip to anyone interested in water's ability to conjure complex emotional responses.   [more]
ESSENTIAL

Linear Grace        

It's an unusually large lap pool in a prime spot in the client's yard, notes watershape artist David Tisherman, but there was no desire to have it dominate the space.  That's why he worked with simple geometry, recessed the pool below the prevailing grade, organized a muted color palette and used warm, beautiful stone:  It was all about having the watershape blend into its environment when it wasn't being used by its avid swimmer/owner.


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

Pond Perfection

To be sure, an expanding consumer interest in ponds spells opportunity for watershapers.  But a hot market can be a two-edged sword, notes Rick Anderson, drawing in many who lack the basic skills needed to deliver quality results -- a significant gap he begins to address here.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Humble Thanks

The occasion of writing his last WaterShapes World blog has prompted Jim McCloskey to review a decades-long list of friends and colleagues who have helped him make WaterShapes what it is -- and salute a few special folks who are now committed to pushing it to all-new levels.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Uplifting Experience Dept.:  Its architect was the first to take a dip in Europe's longest cantilevered pool.    [more] 
The views will be stunning once they polish the acrylic! 
 
Must Be Nice Dept.:  Buyers of units in NYC's remodeled, repurposed Waldorf Astoria earn a supercool perk.  [more]
The residents-only pool is an incredible purchase incentive.
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Staying Current 
In her Natural Companions column from March 2005, Stephanie Rose wrote in great detail about what she does to keep her design work from falling into any sort of rut.  Want to revisit her secrets?    [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Jandy Offers the CXi Commercial Pool Heater 
    
Zodiac Pool Systems (Carlsbad, CA) manufactures the Jandy CXi commercial pool heater in 500,000, 650,000 and 750,000 Btuh models. The high-efficiency units feature digital controllers, multiple venting options, propane or natural- gas operation, two-inch Schedule 80 flange connections, low-NOX performance and protection against condensation. For details, clichere.
 
Aquascape Offers Protective Fish Caves
 
Aquascape (St. Charles, IL) manufactures faux-log fish caves as heavy-duty, natural-looking shelters that protect pond fish from predators -- including herons. Designed for use in new or existing ponds as a decorative accent that doesn't need to be hidden by rocks, the units are made from poly-resin and are 19 inches long, 12 inches wide and ten inches tall. For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE

 
Delivering
Your Message 
 
It may still technically be winter, but the 2020 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 4, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                  www.watershapes.com  


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
No Worries   

Set atop a mountain on a beautiful bump in the Atlantic Ocean, this project jumped countless supply hurdles and survived two hurricanes while under construction -- thereby proving to Shane LeBlanc that anything is possible if you step back and learn to live with 'island time.'   [more]


POND INSIGHTS
     
Your Liner Is Showing   

No matter the cause, nobody is particularly happy when a once-concealed pond liner pops into view.  And it's sad, writes Dave Garton, because these exposures can usually be avoided if the installer works wisely with the liner and takes the time to select and place rocks with care.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Perfecting the Look
This all-glass-tile project was about to start on the wrong foot, notes Jimmy Reed.  But he became involved at a point when changing directions was still possible -- and the results are not only beautiful but gave his design-oriented clients just what they'd been after from the get-go.  [more]
ESSENTIAL

Healing Waters        

Located on a university campus in southern California, the Brown Center is a state-of-the-art facility providing students and area residents with a venue for addressing a range of physical disabilities through both water- and land-based activities.  Here, aquatic-program director Belinda Stillwell describes how this unique facility meets user needs and how water's healing powers improve the lives of those who take advantage of it.

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

The Heart of the City

New York's Columbus Circle is an example of urban and civic design at its best.  As Claire Kahn Tuttle shares here, the heart of the space is surrounded by a subtle rings of fountains that have turned a busy traffic hub into a prime gathering place for locals and visitors alike.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

The Perfect Trend

Of all the watershaping trends he's watched through the years, Jim McCloskey most enjoys tracing the increase in the number of watershapers who've found roles in the initial stages of multidisciplinary projects.  Those assignments, he recalls, were as rare as could be 20 years ago.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Foreign Health Dept.:  Hydrotherapy is gaining ground in  treating osteoarthritis and much more in Sri Lanka.   [more] 
This is the sort of message that calls for global attention. 
 
Domestic Health Dept.:  U.S. news site hails the benefits of aquatic therapy in recovery from various injuries.  [more]
Yes, the great news is spreading, both here and abroad!
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Digging for Insight 
It can be hard work, as Brian Van Bower reported in his Aqua Culture column from March 2010.  From his perspective, however, this important process is the key to finding out what your clients really want.     [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
CMP Releases Its 2020 Pool-Product Catalog 
    
CMP (Newnan, GA) has published its 2020 pool-product catalog. The 276-page digital document covers new products and offers descriptions for the Natural Wonders and Brilliant Wonders lines as well as for DEL ozone sanitizers, PowerClean conventional and salt chlorinators and various waterfeatures, LED lights, spa systems and more. For details, clichere.
 
EcoSmart Fire Offers Camp-Style Fire Feature
 
EcoSmart Fire (Culver City, CA) manufactures Stix, a fire feature that has the look of a traditional campfire. Made up of tubular stainless steel "sticks" of varying sizes, the easily portable units come in stainless steel or black and operate on clean-burning bioethanol drawn from a hidden 2.5 liter tank with an eight-hour fuel supply - no fumes or smoke. For details, click here and scroll down.
WPN UPDATE

 
Gaining 
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 19, 2020                                                                                                                                                                           www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Split Personalities   

There was definitely something familiar about this project:  All of the principals involved knew each other well, notes Ken Alperstein, and now they'd been asked to rework almost every detail of two golf courses on which they've all labored repeatedly for nearly a quarter century.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Voices of Authority   

In listing ten more guideposts Paolo Benedetti wishes he'd known before he started his business, this entire second set is about knowing, following and being on the right side of the rules when it's time to work with inspectors and the codes and standards they're sworn to enforce.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

A Chance Encounter
As they walked through Philadelphia's historic downtown district, Jim McCloskey's daughter led him into a grand, old building:  It held not just one, but two huge surprises that salvaged what to that point hadn't exactly been a great wintertime adventure in a watershape-rich city.   [more]
ESSENTIAL

Refreshing the Supply        

In January 2008, southern California's Orange County Water District unveiled its Groundwater Replenishment System, a treatment and reuse facility dedicated to producing water to resupply the county's beleaguered groundwater reserves.  A year later, Eric Herman toured the facility, getting a behind-the-scenes look at a thought-provoking system that is setting new standards for water treatment, management and use. 
    

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in April 2010, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TECHNICAL BRIEFING

A Stream Comes to Life

The 'art' of stream building is found mostly in the final stages of construction, says Rick Anderson.  Here, in the last installment of his series on streamcrafting, he walks us through the concluding steps involved in transforming a raw installation into a finished masterpiece.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Just Amazing

There's even more major news from Watershape University:  As Jim McCloskey reports, Eric Herman has joined the team and will soon take charge of WaterShapes, while Ask the Masters has agreed to add its videos and podcasts to WaterShapes.com's home page!    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Glorious Synergy Dept.:  Want to see ten buildings that owe their fame to their relationships with water?   [more] 
They're great all alone, but water makes them magical. 
 
Tough Crowd Dept.:  How would you like putting up with near-daily evaluations of your work on a web site?   [more]
I guess it's part of the joy of working at Disney World . . .
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Global Watershaping 
In his Currents column of February 2010, Mark Holden focused on the inevitability of a major trend that was then sweeping the watershaping industry.  Is this phenomenon still so irresistible today?    [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Solus Décor Offers Concrete Water Bowls 
    
Solus Décor (New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada) manufactures waterfeatures that combine clean-edged metal scuppers with the look of hand-cast concrete bowls. Available with 26-, 36- and 48-inch diameters, the bowls include central ports for water connections and are intended for applications over pools, ponds or small, hidden catch basins. For details, clichere.
 
Rico Rock Launches Poolside Climbing Wall
 
Rick Rock (Orlando, FL) offers a vertical rock-climbing wall for poolside mounting and use by bathers who can climb up, jump off and splash back into the pool. Made of reinforced, lightweight cast concrete with a structural steel frame, the kit's components are molded from natural rock and stand nearly eight feet tall, ten feet wide and four feet deep. For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE

 
Getting Ready 
for a Great 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 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

        February 5, 2020                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Working the Views   

As soon as he arrived on site, Jason Brownlee knew the project would be all about the amazing views.  But his clients had more on their minds, asking him focus just as much on entertainment and distinctive gathering spaces as on maximizing the home's obvious visual assets.    [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Shaping Relationships   

In his work as a watershape consultant, Andrew Kaner has forged bonds with numerous architects.  Here, he explores the nature of a solidly productive relationship he's forged with one of them, conversing with Paul Fischman about how their collaboration has grown and evolved.   [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Life Lessons
With the many questions he's asked in classrooms and in conversations with fellow watershapers, Paolo Benedetti is constantly reminded of things he wishes he'd known when he started his business.  In the first of two articles, he begins by discussing ten of these key observations. [more]
ESSENTIAL

Field of Streams        

The watershapes for the Colony at White Pine Canyon were intended to mimic nature as closely as possible.  That's not an unusual goal, says Land Expressions' project manager Clayton Varick, but it was one made more difficult by three factors:  a tight schedule, the need to work at very high altitudes -- and the fact that the surroundings being imitated were the staggeringly beautiful slopes of the Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City.
    

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July/August 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
TRAVELOGUE

Breathtaking Beauty

For 150 years, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis has delighted those who've enjoyed its array of garden types and styles.  Many areas now include fountains added within the past 40 years, notes Kerry Friedman, making it a great stop for inspiration-seeking watershapers.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Getting Up to Speed

His recent trip to the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show was a blast, writes Jim McCloskey, giving him the chance to interact with his new working partners.  More important, it also helped him see how the pieces are coming together -- and just how potent all the synergies will be.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Winter Wonders Dept.:  As fountains freeze, they offer a whole new pathway to appreciating their beauty.   [more] 
Every year, I await publication of images just like these. 
 
'Honey, I'm Home' Dept.:  A new Mexican development offers residents mind-blowing lives in the treetops.   [more]
It's part Gaudi, part Avatar-- and aquatically breathtaking.
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Inquiring Minds 
Early in 2010, Brian Van Bower covered a topic of importance to any watershaping professional -- then as now -- who wants to experience success in working with an affluent, demanding clientele.     [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Atlantic Water Gardens Launches LED Bar Lights 
    
Atlantic Water Gardens (Auroraa, OH) now offers the Model WWBL5 Bar Light, a linear LED unit designed to wash rock walls, waterfalls and spillways with a wide-angle stream of light. Made of solid brass with dual bases for positioning on any horizontal surface, the bar rotates by up to 30 degrees in either direction to set the optimum lighting angle. For details, click here.
 
Crystal Fountains' Sequencing Fog System
 
Crystal Fountains (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) manufactures NCF300, a sequencing fog jet designed for deck-level applications. The fog rises from the units to levels between two and ten feet, providing a mysterious background effect or easily animated by activating variable air and water solenoids to create puffs of fog and create a variety of visual effects. For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE

 
Navigating a 
Complex Process
 
For years now, conventional wisdom has told us that the decision to purchase a watershape of any kind is a process that takes several years from initial idea to actual commitment.  
That's why the WaterShapes Professional Network is so important:  It gives homeowners and decision-makers an easy 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 22, 2020                                                                                                                                                                            www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Big Ideas, Small Space   

The yard was quite long and narrow, and so was the tightly confined access path.  But Scott Cohen has enough experience in dealing with compact backyards that he's always ready, as he demonstrates here, to deliver a design that suits the space -- and his client's expectations.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Team Building   

He's no stranger to big commercial projects, but Kurt Kraisinger considers this one unique.  Here's a look at the design he developed for a plaza space that realized the ambitions of the office building's owner while satisfying the desires of tenants who'd ultimately use the space.   [more]
TRAVELOGUE

Mountain's Majesty
A detour on a long road trip through the western United States carried Jim McCloskey to Colorado Springs, Colo. -- just the place to see a watershape that had been on his bucket list for years.  It's a bold, spectacular fountain, well worth a visit if you find yourself in the vicinity.    [more]
ESSENTIAL

Public Light        

As is the case in every aspect of the design of spaces intended for public use, the development of lighting systems for parks, plazas, resorts or historical sites requires increased attention to a series of creativity-thwarting factors including cost, durability and safety, says lighting-design guru Janet Lennox Moyer.  Here, she offers insights into what it takes to go beyond those basic needs and truly bring public places to life once the sun goes down. 
    

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

Stream-Lined Effects

For all of the aesthetic considerations that come with crafting a stream, the fact is that man-made waterways must function properly.  Here, Rick Anderson addresses this practical/technical part of the picture, covering liner placement, plumbing and equipment installation.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Finding Hope

Looking back on two major trends he had followed for years, Jim McCloskey came to the sudden realization that they were actually part of one grand set of ideas -- and that a newly formed foundation has the potential to focus those concepts into an all-encompassing movement.   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Words to the Wise Dept.:  Article defines seven healthy reasons to get yourself into a swimming pool.   [more] 
It's so compelling that even Scientific American linked to it. 
 
Weird Watershapes Dept.:  Manufacturer fills clear plastic guitar bodies with water and sells them for $500.   [more]
Who really cares how they sound?  They look totally cool!
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

Deficits of Trust 
In his first Aqua Culture column of 2010, Brian Van Bower made personal declarations about the value of trust -- and invited fellow watershapers to consider ways of building it for themselves and their clients.   [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
CMP Offers Unblockable Ring Drains 
    
CMP (Newnan, GA) has introduced 20-inch-diameter unblockable ring drains. Designed for VGB compliance, the high-flow units are available in white, gray, black, dark gray, tan or dark blue to blend into popular finishes, and the pipe connections (single or dual ports) are on the ring's edge, so the interior circle is easily filled with plaster, pebbles or tile. For details, click  here.
 
S.R. Smith Offers Fiber-to-LED Conversion Kits
 
S.R. Smith (Canby, OR) offers PT-6001 and PT-6002 fiber-to-LED conversion kits to update Fiberstars 6004/2004 fiberoptic illuminators. PT-6001 is a single 60-watt, one-circuit unit; PT-6002 is a dual 60-watt, two-circuit unit that features synced or independent circuit control. Both are designed for safety, easy installation and dependable performance. For details, click  here.
WPN UPDATE

 
How's Your 
Web Profile? 
 
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

        January 8, 2020                                                                                                                                                                         www.watershapes.com  
WATERSHAPES WORLD

So What's Up?
 
Lots of questions have arisen since the announcement of the sale of WaterShapes in November 2019 .  As Jim McCloskey reports here, big changes will be few -- but opportunities for exploiting the synergies between the deal's partners are boundless as the New Year begins.     [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Begin Again   

When these clients originally made contact, they were after a renovation.  But once Ryan Hughes saw the site and the plan and considered what the homeowners really wanted, he persuaded them to start from scratch and work with him in creating the bayfront poolscape of their dreams.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

Making Edges Vanish
As a veteran watershape engineer, Dave Peterson has reviewed plans for countless vanishing-edge projects.  Along the way, he's developed a preference for a specific approach to angling the top of the edge wall, offering guidance here that applies in nearly every case.  [more]
POND INSIGHTS

Wilma's Baubles

Of all the visual offenses perpetrated by pond installers, there's one that upsets Dave Garton more than any other.  Here, he offers several reasons for why it's something he encounters with such frequency, then discusses ways to avoid having it happen in the first placee.  [more]
ESSENTIAL

Helping Hands        

As architects and environmental artists, the late Suzanne
and Ron Dirsmith always took pride in creating spaces that nurture the spirit, mind and body.  In one specific project, however, they went several steps beyond that in setting up a watershape for a special child who uses water exercise to gain strength, flexibility and freedom.  Here's a look at how they accommodated his needs -- and learned a great deal about the healing power of water in the process. 
    

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2003, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

TRAVELOGUE

Classical Influences

For many years, David Tisherman has urged designers to travel and see architecture, art and ancient ruins in their own contexts.  It's a great way to pick up ideas and develop a sense of your place in design history, so why not do as he suggests, pack your bags and head to Asia Minor?   [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . .

Tour de Force Dept.:  This look at 38 pools (both natural and manmade) can help you fill your bucket list.   [more] 
So many places to visit, so much dip-worthy beauty! 
 
Makes You Think Dept.:  This simple fountain in Budapest fires the imagination with a flood of alternate ideas.  [more]
How about, for one, laminar 'pages' with projected images?
WATERSHAPES CLASSIC

The Company You Keep 
Back in 2005, Brian Van Bower wrote eloquently about what it took (and still takes) to navigate the toughest cluster of decisions many business owners will ever have to make.     [more] 
 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Aquatic Technologies Offers Epoxy Pool Surface 
    
Aquatic Technologies Group (Stuart, FL) makes AquaGuard 5000, an epoxy coating designed for restoring the interior surfaces of swimming pools and spas. Stronger than plaster and easier to apply, the durable, nonporous material has its own structural integrity regardless of the substrate and keeps its color while resisting resists stains and algae. For details, click here.
 
Fire Tables from Outdoor Greatroom
 
Outdoor Greatroom Co. (Burnsville, MN) manufactures the Kenwood, a gas-fueled fire pit that doubles as a dining table. Set at standard dining-table height, the units have composite deck tops and bases for a warm, modern look and feature 12-by-42-inch burners, manual or automatic ignitions and a compartment in the base that hides a propane tank. For details, click here.
WPN UPDATE

 
Checked Your 
Calendar Lately? 
 
It's still winter, but the 2020 season is just about ready to break wide open -- 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?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

'ASK THE MASTERS' SHOWCASE

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