Watershaping has come a long way in the past half dozen years – a journey of artistry and practicality that has been an inspiration to witness. In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.
By Eric Herman
More than ever before, the highest expressions of the craft of watershaping deserve to be recognized for what they are: works of art.
Through the past six years, WaterShapes has covered the broadest imaginable range of water-related projects, covering everything from birdbaths to man-made lakes as a means of defining the possibilities inherent in the medium and, we have always hoped, of inspiring all of our readers to reach for greater and greater quality and creativity in their endeavors.
As a means of codifying and celebrating this effort, we’re pleased and proud to highlight 25 previously published projects that qualify as the essence of what we’ve elected to call The Platinum Standard.
These projects were selected from issues published from February 1999 to June 2004 and represent the full watershape spectrum – swimming pools, spas, fountains, ponds, streams, cascades, interactive waterfeatures, sculptures and monuments of all shapes, sizes and varieties. No matter the specific form, what they all have in common is the fact that they’re unquestionably outstanding, each one a watershape that illustrates the vision, passion and raw creative energy increasingly being brought to bear by practitioners who see themselves as artists in water.
This recapitulation is offered not as an award program or a ranking of industry leaders, but as an expression of extraordinary artistry and vision that may be said to represent the best our industry has to offer. It is indeed an extraordinary assemblage: You certainly will recognize individual projects from past issues, but we urge you to consider all 25 of them as a powerful collective statement about what has been accomplished – and as a declaration of what more can be accomplished in years to come.
Please accept this as a gift from us at the magazine to you, our readers, who’ve watched WaterShapes from its first issue and have helped make it so useful and valuable to the industry’s progress. We hope that, in revisiting these projects, you’ll find an idea or two (or twenty) that you can apply in your work and that some of that work ultimately will find its way into our next exploration of The Platinum Standard.