To know where you’re going, you need to have a sense of where you’ve been.
That phrase is a bit shopworn, but it holds a profound truth all the same. As the New Year approaches and we step away from work to gather with friends and family, it seems perfectly reasonable to reflect upon the travails and triumphs of the past as we gather our thoughts and stoke our future ambitions.
In a tangible sense, WaterShapes is always a reflective process and is always about exploring what has been done – and done well – as a means of driving future designs and projects to greater heights of creativity and technical competency. On this occasion, however, we’re taking a larger-than-usual step back and offering a grand review of fine work that has graced our pages through the past six years.
In this issue, you’ll find the first edition of what we’re calling “The Platinum Standard,” in this case a collection of 25 projects that exemplify the finest watershaping we’ve seen since the magazine in the span from February 1999 to June 2004. It’s not an awards program or any sort of contest: The projects highlighted were chosen solely for the purpose of celebrating the dynamic creativity and vast range of styles and types of watershapes being created these days.
The process of winnowing through scores of beautiful projects and condensing them down to a relative handful was difficult but also a great deal of fun. Taken as an honor roll of excellence, the collection paints a picture of an industry moving in all sorts of broad and transforming directions. From the use of an ever-growing palette of materials and the emergence of new technical and artistic forms to the increasing sophistication of pools and spas and the explosion of interest in ponds and watergardens, the overview you’ll find inside this issue stirs the creative juices on multiple levels and in ways too numerous to count.
As extensive as this review is, we had the distinct feeling that we were barely scratching the surface and are fully aware we left some great work (and many much-esteemed friends) out of the mix. This recognition underscores the fact that the world of watershaping now has a tremendous base from which to rise to ever-greater heights. We urge you to extract all the high-octane fuel you can from what you see and use it to inspire additional excellence in the months and years to come.
I’ve been on board with the magazine since its inception, and I’ll admit to feeling a bit sentimental in preparing this particular issue for print. Thinking back through the years and the roster of terrific people who’ve contributed to our pages, it’s easy to harbor the brightest of hopes for our industry’s future.
Enjoy – and please accept my best wishes for the most hopeful and joyous of holiday seasons!