Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Offering

This fountain's outermost edges are exactly 12"x12"x12" - one cubic foot.  Water flows up through it, fills its single basin and then spills over the side through the rocks on the ground and into a second basin hidden underneath that conceals both the pump and the heater.

In this case the heater was located next to but below the pump, to prevent the exposure problems that previous fountains experienced..

This fountain was cast with the help of my buddy Philly who had fifty years of experience working with concrete.  He suggested I use high-strength grout instead of ordinary concrete.  We used 5500 psi grout.  This gave it a lighter grey appearance and a finer more bubble-free surface finish because the grout (when workable) is substantially less viscous than concrete.  Over time it's cracked and discolored, but it is still in use, and has outlasted all my previous cast fountains.  It has run everyday, all day since 2004, and is currently on pump #3 and heater #6.

The original idea sketch.

Because the concept of the perfect cube figured into the idea I was determined that it be as perfect a cube as I could get it.  The wooden box helped prevent bowing of the mold.  At the time this was the largest item I had cast, and still today it is the most complicated. 

After it came out of its mold I let it cure for another few days underwater in order to get its strength to come up as much as possible.

Here you can see the basin installed underneath the garden rocks. 

 The lower basin is then filled in with rocks.  The rocks serve as a natural filtration of the water, and prevent detritus (leaves etc.) from clogging the fountain, which had been an issue on previous casts.  This photo was taken on its first day of operation.  The black color seen in the photograph at the top is is the dark green of the surface algae growing on the concrete.

Start of the algae growth.

Even in 10" of snow, the heater keeps the water, liquid.

From above.

No comments:

Post a Comment