Peter Atwood on sat 29 apr 00
Here's yet another installment from my impromptu internet fountainmaking
class! I have posted a bit of this in the past but maybe some of you will
find it useful.
Well, usually I throw a tower piece of some sort which serves to hide the
pump and tubing and gets the water up to a height. I make a good sized notch
in the bottom somewhere along the back of the tower for the cord to pass
through. I call this the "mousehole." This hole also allows water to flow
back under to the pump.
My aim is to make the fountain as simple as possible and also to make it
easy to clean. It is sometimes necessary to lift off the tower to make
adjustments to the pump.
I don't worry about the cord. I have tried many different methods in the
past to hide it but in the end I think it is easier to just acknowledge that
this is a fountain with an electric pump and so it has a cord! Some of the
1) I have made a notch in the rim of the bowl in some cases for the cord to
2) I tried making a large hole near the base of the bowl the right size for
a large rubber cork with a hole drilled through the center. The cork was
slit so that the wire could be placed inside, then siliconed shut. After it
dried it could be placed from the inside into the hole thereby allowing the
cord to stick out the bottom of the bowl. It was neater in some ways but
looked kind of lousy from the back. Also it was too much work to get the
size of the hole correct to allow for firing shrinkage.
3) Cutting the cord and sticking it through a small hole in the basin which
is then siliconed shut. I really don't like this one because I don't like
the idea of cutting the cord of an appliance that is to be submerged in
water and putting a different plug on it. Also, it makes it impossible to
remove the pump for the inevitable cleaning.
If you start looking at hourly rates for this work it gets very depressing.
The idea is to make a vase and a bowl, stick a pump in it and charge three
times what you would get for these items by themselves! The more fussing
about, the less this looks like a great way to increase profitability.
Please note that my motives for making fountains are not purely to make
money, although that certainly helps. I have seen the market for these
things to be very hot last year, but sales slowed way down this past year. I
think that there is still plenty of room for handmade fountains but there is
currently a glut of cheap mass produced crap from the orient and you see
fountains everywhere. My prices have come down quite a bit as a result.
I'm currently working on a birdbath sized creation with a slip decorated and
heavily stamped pedestal. It will probably never sell but will look great in
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