1) Through color and form, evoke coastal Alaskan tide-pools, carven, potholed mountain streams, or- ideally- some combination of the two.
2) Have a clean-flowing functionality, with minimal visibility of the machinery.
3) Use the fountain as a display base for rocks and other found objects (I've been accumulating agates, sharks teeth, and fossilized bones... and they need to go somewhere...
4) Integrate living plants
(Sadly, I don't really have a good set of photos that capture what I've trying to convey, although I think river runners and tide-poolers will know what I'm talking about. These images offer some context- Glacier National Park on the left, Vancouver Island on the right).
1) The water- which was supposed to cascade from one vessel to the next- tends to dribble.
2) The pump needs to sit in the bottom vessel, which sort of blows the organic sang-froid of the piece.
3) Raku leaks. When I fired this baby up, it left a massive pool of water on the underlying surface. Bit of a fiasco, to be honest.
First- I decided to include a basal column in the design that would hold the pump. The fountain would then drain into the column. Thus, all the 'workings' would be effectively invisible.
Secondly- I decided to mount the upper globe (from which the water would cascade) on a slab-build stand that would help with drainage and hold the tubing. Again- all in the service of a discrete mechanism.
Third- I decided to incorporate plant holders into the rim of the main vessel, and nested into the upper globe (see diagram). These will hold water-loving, trailing plants (of a species to yet be determined. I'm no horticulturalist... but there's got to be something that will work. Let me know if you have suggestions.).
It was not a happy moment... I think I seriously damaged the neighborhood reputation of the Leonhardy family, who rent me the shed where I work.
There's a lot to like here. The interior glaze is pretty close to what I'm shooting for. More importantly, the thing actually works.
Nonetheless, there are still a few kinks to work out...
1) The aperture where the water hose enters the upper vessel got crimped down by some moving glaze. As a consequence, the water flow isn't as strong as I'd like.
2) I need to make the main basin more open and broad. Since one of the intentions here is to display rocks or other found objects, there needs to be a good sight-line to see those objects.
3) I'm not 100% please with the surface treatment... I'd like it to look a bit more organic, and I'd like for it to highlight my carvings a bit better.
4) The lip where the water runs off the upper basin needs to be sharper and steeper. I want a straight fall into the lower basin- it's still too dribbly.
Still, it's a good start, and I think it'll be quite attractive once I get some plants training out of the holding vessels.
In the meantime, here's a short video showing the little baby in action.