It Is a Fountain – Final Installment of Making an Indoor Fountain

One of the most important steps in making a fountain is now going to be tested.  Did my sealant on the inside of my pot work or not?? I let mine cure for a full week, longer than anyone suggested.    I am using an unglazed pot so any failure will show up immediately if my version of Rhino lining did not work immediately as dark spots   I would recommend you give your container plenty of time to allow your test to fail at this point, nothing could be worst than to think you are done, that to have to tear it back apart and re-engineer it later.    You don’t need to fill it to the brim.   You need a little more than the amount you expect to use in your live fountain.   I have drawn a little red line to highlight some of the edge of the water in this photo.   You can also see a dark spot where I got water on the outside of my container.

web-lining

The next thing you need to to is attach your tubing to your pump.   Mine did not come with any tubing and I bought a foot at the local hardware store for less than $1.   Put your pump in the water.   Ok, I will admit that this is the part that freaks me out a bit…electricity and water.   All I can say is be smart, cautious, error on the side of safety,  use common sense, and follow the instructions.   I don’t know why this works and I don’t get knocked on my butt, but someone a lot smarter than I am figured out how to make it work.

pumpweb

Now comes the fun part.   I slip on the layers of slate.  It is a little slower than I had thought as my hole is just big enough for my tube.  I repeated this process until all my slate with the the drilled holes are threaded on my water tube.

layers

Now is the time time to trim your tube, and turn on the water to see what you have.   I have water.   Now the debate is on, cut my tube more ore place rocks and see how it all works.    I go with the rocks option.

fountain-water

I add some stones to create somewhat of an uneven look I want.   I suspect I will be swapping out rocks and picking up rocks for quite some time.    This is a sense of personalized style that never comes easy.

fountain-rocks

I end up adding a fern in the bowl I found and drilled a hole in the bottom.  That was a good idea.  It ended up better than many of my first project and much easier.   I am ready to do some more.  So many complain that store bought fountains don’t have a good sound of water.   I either got very lucky my first time out as I got a good sound of water trickling.

fountain-final

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Women with Power Tools – continuing story of fountain making

Time for an update on the quest making an original water fountain.   My main piece of slate has been trimmed down and is fitting in my pot.   It all looks pretty good at this point.  I had this idea of it being slate mounted on stones between each layer.   At this moment I am not so sure.    It maybe that the stones I have are too thick.   I will have to survey the  river rocks the next time I am at the mall parking lot and see if there are some that are very thin that may serve my purpose better than any of the stones  I currently have.

The look isn't quite right yet, but the set up is completely flexible.

The look isn’t quite right yet, but the set up is completely flexible.

Now is the time to drill holes through the slate so I can run tubing up from my pump which will rest in the bottom of my bowl.   I love power tools and this is going to let me be in my element.   I used a concrete drill bit and and a hose with a trickle of water.   The water is used to keep the bit cool and to flush away the dust and bits of slate that come about as part of the drilling.

drilling

It worked perfectly.   I had concerns because slate is made of layers and is easily fractured.     I put my slate on a piece of 3/8 inch plywood when drilling.   It provided a support base and something for the drill to hit

Any one with a good drill, a concrete drill bit and a piece of slate can make a perfect hole.

Any one with a good drill, a concrete drill bit and a piece of slate can make a perfect hole.

I got so in to the drilling that I decided to drill a hole through a little bowl I got at a thrift store.   I am hoping to put a fern in the little bowl.  I felt that I may be able to include the bowl with a fern it as part of the fountain.   I used the concrete drill bit on the bowl because it was easier than taking time out to find a porcelain drill.  It was a matter of being in a big hurry.     It worked though the bottom of my bowl  though the hole was a bit crude.  Lesson learned in the future take time to  get the right bit for the job.

Using a concrete drill bit on pottery gives a little less than perfect results.

Using a concrete drill bit on pottery gives a little less than perfect results.

Now is time to clean up my mess from drilling   I need to drain my garden hose since snow is called for again and put Ranger Sir’s power tools all back where I found them.   I am getting close and my impatience will take me to the prototype phase very quickly.   Keep watch for the next steps.

Homemade Fountain Supplies Found

I have been on this mission to make an indoor fountain.  I have stopped in at thrift stores every time I end up in town, hoping to find something that I can take home as possible fountain material.  This weekend I hit the jackpot.    I visited all the stores  that have seasonal garden centers.   Summer is over and I was on the look out for clearance, now that the outdoor season is on its way out in Montana.  I found a submersible pump and a clay planter on clearance.   I added to that three pieces of slate, some waterproof goop, epoxy and sealer.  I got it all for less than I might pay for this size fountain retail.

fountain-supplies

I first took the clear silicone and filled the drain hole in my flower pot.   I left it sit a couple days to cure.  The recommend you use gloves.   I opt for the one use sack on the hand trick.    The one thing that you will notice is that my pot is unglazed and the silicone discolored the pot.   I expected this, but it let me know how much of a color change was possible if I got stuff where I did not want it on my pot.  I like the lighter look and want to keep the chocolate brown.

Many of your choices for your fountain may have holes in the bottom.   It is possible to fill them.

Many of your choices for your fountain may have holes in the bottom. It is possible to fill them.

Then my next job was to make my slate fit in my pot.   Lots of folks said use a tile saw, which I have and could use, but  I  choose the method that would give me a more rustic look.   The hammer.   I learned a couple of things.   Don’t hurry.  I will repeat that do NOT hurry.    You really need to work in 1/8 to 1/4 increments fully supported bellow what you are not working with.   Slate has layers.  If you insist on the hammer method be prepared to work with what you get. As you can see from the pictures I once got in a hurry and and did not follow the 1/4 rule and I lost a big chunk.   I will be fine in the end, but it required me to revamp my design.

slate

I’ve got some more to do to get that slate to fit into the clay pot.   So I will leave you with this for now.   Watch for the report on what comes next  next.

Indoor Water Fountain – on the look out

I am planning to make my own indoor water fountain.  I have looked at all the ones I can find in stores, which are not too many and everything I can find online.    I am generally turned off by the fact that most of what I am interested seems to be molded plastic to look like ceramic, rocks….you name it.

Simple a bowl, some glass blobs and an ivy plant

I also am quite sure that this is not going to be  cheaper to do it yourself option.    However I am also sure it will end up with a fountain I like better than what I can find.    There will likely be flaws and things that I learn in the adventure to do differently the second time around.

I have done bought a used book on the construction of indoor fountains on Amazon.   It was $4 after shipping.   I can get lots of information online, but with a book I can take notes and write things down as I find better ways to do things or clarifications.   I am hoping I really do well on the first one planned for my office.   If so I would like to make one for my studio space and my bedroom.

Could I duplicate this with a plate and a gazing ball?

I am on the look out for the perfect base for this fountain.   I am not sure if it is a large flat bowl, and flower pot.   It might be the bottom of a bird bath.   I am open to the possibilities.   I know that my pump has to be submerged, but that is all I am sure about at this moment about pumps.  I think I want it tiered and have experience drilling through ceramic  and porcelain so that makes some of the ideas simpler or at least less foreign of getting tubing up and through all my finds.

If I found something like this I would snatch it up right away. It might work excellent with a collection of pottery bowls I have.

I will share my adventures in the quest for making a fountain with you.   Right now I am scrounging thrift stores, close outs and garden centers looking for what might make a good base.

Surround Yourself with Positive Energy

An office set up with elements of Feng Shui

Positive energy can be so many things.  Recently a friend attended an introductory workshop on Feng Shui.   She has used it as a jumping off spot to “clean” up and surround herself with positive chi.

Often times folks dismiss things like this as so much hocus pocus.    Others embrace it as almost a religion where it becomes obsessive and drives their life.    I think the truth lies somewhere in between there.

Feng Shui is a proponent of decluttering your life and surround yourself with good things/funneling positive energy.   No matter what book you read, new age or very traditional,  about being more productive and happier, all of them advocate getting rid of your life’s clutter, be it things physical or mental.   They generally suggest that you surround yourself with your family, friends and things that calm, bring a smile to your face, and give you a good sense of well being.     If that is what Feng Shui is I think we are all for it, no matter the name you call it.

On the other hand if we let a philosophy drive our lives to the exclusion of other things then it can be destructive.   If a life that does not match the perfect Feng Shui model and causes us stress or distress then we have defeated the purpose of it all.   Things that make us unhappy no matter what we call them are not good.

Though I have read books and attend classes on this before, my friend inspired me to revisit this.   In doing so I realized some things.

Light – I have always had desk lights.   When the last one broke, I had not replace it.   I am on the look for a new one that gives me the glow I crave.  I want something to soften up the room.

Clutter – I had lots of piles.  Some were piles related to tasks and others were just piles of piles.    I took a look at all the piles.   I  pitch some and prioritize the the rest setting up a system to allow them to be accessible but off my desk.  Neat and tidy.

Plant – I have one window in my office.   It is on the southwest side of my house and it is under a deck, so is constantly in the shade.     Call it a dark office that I spend my days in.  I have had plants before and often buy myself fresh flowers.   I decided to revisit this after I find my lamp.

What can you do to your office or work space to make it more welcoming? After all you spend at least eight hours there most days.   Maybe you have lots of control and can make some changes like I can.   Maybe you work in an assembly line where you can change nothing, but you can buy a new tube of lipstick and know you  look might fine in those company overalls.   You might work in a restaurant with a clothing requirement/uniform that limits on your creativity, but a five-minute self manicure can let you have some of the hottest hands.  Maybe someone will notice the change, but the only one that counts is you.   Feel better when you go to work tomorrow.