A Brief History of Fountains at Eye of the Day
About twenty years ago, Brent and I had a life-changing meeting with the rep of a company that manufactures concrete garden ornaments. Of course, we didn’t know at the time it was life-changing. If anything, it was more “mystifying” to me. For reasons only apparent in Brent’s mind, we were choosing fountains that we would sell at our fledgling store, which we had named for our nine-year-old daughter, Daisy.
Honestly, I had never thought about fountains, they were alien to me, but there we were choosing three-tier fountains topped with angels, little fountains to put against a wall that were reminiscent of rocky outcroppings.
I had a favorite: two frogs on a loveseat sitting under an umbrella; water sliding down the concrete umbrella, protecting the love-frogs. So began our long-term relationship with fountains for the garden.
We have seen tastes change dramatically, though not everyone’s—animal figurines and faux-stone fountains are not so popular any longer. Majestic, Mediterranean style concrete fountains have slowed down. About fifteen years ago, on a trip to France, Daisy and Brent came across a stone carver and soon fantastic hand-carved limestone fountains graced our showroom, and continue to do so.
In recent years we find that many of our customers want something completely different and decide to choose a beautiful pot, maybe a richly hued Gladding McBean Oil Jar or a rustic Greek Pithari and we convert their choice into a fountain, water glistening over the sides of the vessel and recirculation via a hidden pond.
And now, a few individuals have come to us with a new idea for their water feature, something we are excited to produce for them. The Modern or Mid-Century Modern trend is directing a movement toward vastly more contemporary looking fountains. So not only in architecture and home furnishings, we’re seeing many customers who want something with clean lines and no “frou-frou”.
Both The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and a well-known celebrity photographer asked us to fabricate a fountain that would complement a modern aesthetic. We accomplished this by almost turning the concept upside down. Well, sideways, anyway. Using two rectangular concrete pots, we turned one on its side, cut a long, narrow piece from the center and inserted a copper “tongue” for the water to exit the piece and flow into a larger rectangle placed on the ground.
With the success of this custom fountain conversion design, we are not only producing fountains with an old world charm and a rustic look, but moving into the Mid-Century—so modern in our approach. Working on more ideas, coming your way.