Exalted Fountains • Water Shapes On Outside Fountains
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Even Rim Tiered Design
Water Shapes On Outside Fountains

Many of the modern water features do not utilize tiers the way traditional garden fountains do. Instead of multi-level designs these contemporary styles use abstract shapes that jog the imagination. The use of flat surfaces is common whereby the water flows over a defined area in a smooth quiet manner. This makes part of the sculpture appear as it it were in motion, but the water does not crash and splash as much as it would do on a multi-tiered design where the water becomes airborne.

Be careful to consider a modern water sculpture thoroughly to understand which surface the water will cover and even which way the water will flow. The way some of these channel water is not always intuitive or easily determined. This is one of the things that makes these fountains so interesting and contemplative to watch.

Water Shapes On Outside Fountains

It is well to be aware of the difference between an outside fountain which is running and one which is not. For most of us, actually seeing our fountain in operation before we purchase it is not possible. Even if we are able to find the material and design we like at a local landscape, gardening or fountain store, the shop we find it at is not always willing to add water so we can view the water display prior to purchase. This is unfortunate since the water shapes are one of the most visible and characteristic aspects of outside water fountains.

However, it is possible to approximate what personality the water streams and cascades will take on if we consider carefully the shape and design of the fountain style. The design and shape of the fountain tiers and edge which the water flows over is what will shape and direct the shape of the water as it cascades down and works through the fountain.

Flat and Even Rims

Fountains with tiers that have a smooth even edge will give the overflowing water a bell shape or cascade over in waves that will vary position around the outside diameter. The exact shapes will depend on the water capacity and how high or low the water flow is set. This type of cascade looks great in certain types of gardens and gives the water fountain a more fluid and less predictable look then a channel or notched shaped edge.

Notched and Crevassed Tiers

Outdoor fountains with notches or crevices along the outside border edges of the tiers or levels direct the water shape more specifically then even rims do. The indentations that occur on notched tiers will direct water to these lower areas which results in small streams or rivulets that shape the water. For this reason you will want to be careful to ensure that the shapes of the water appeal to you.

A common style Italian fountain will have a notched tier and send water down in small individual streams all around the tier, then may change and use an even rim edge on the next lower tier making the water look different. Another twist on this type of design is to use animal heads, like this lion fountain, and direct the water through the animals mouth which looks very ornamental and results in small streams of water in a similar manner.

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