An Appreciation of Stone (25)

7.0ft waterfall
This weeks stone comes from a waterfall I built a couple of years ago in Omaha, Nebraska for a photography studio. The stone is typical Colorado fieldstone.

To give you an idea of scale the falls is very close to 7.0ft high. and that’s about 3.0ft across the top. The double falls starts with 2 upflow filter boxes and we are moving about 4800 gallons per hour. The hardest part was getting the weir stones to break the water into a very uneven pattern. The owners(photographers) were insistent on the falls line being broken apart. Why? . . . you ask . . . good question.

The explanation to me was a straight clean falls created too strong of a horizontal line in the photographs, literally cutting the pictures into distinct sections. I was told this is a very bad thing in portrait photography . . . a very bad thing. I remember thinking-how interesting! After all this time building waterfeature . . . “Now this was interesting because of the uniqueness of the request”.

The typical homeowner is always looking/asking/begging for the sheet falls look, that clean straight horizontal line and I am advocating against that look. My reasoning was/is/always will be . . . the sheet falls creates a white noise that becomes too much of a predictable background noise. A droning white noise . . . snoresville.

A man-made weir where there is no sheet creates what I like to call a non-discernible rhythm of sound. Sounds like these always stay interesting because the observer/listener inability to pick up a pattern. No straight line weir means the waterfall is always splashing, trickling, crashing, dancing, falling in such a way that it’s impossible to pick out a pattern to the noise created by the falls. Viola! always interesting.


Addendum: My goal is to try and create a waterfeature that looks naturalistic/natural (not man-made). This means there are no lights in the water. I have yet to be anywhere in the natural World and see lighting in a pond, stream, waterfalls. If the waterfeature is built in any other style of modern, or fountains, or pools I am the 1st to advocate lighting.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: