I originally made the base of this as a drum for my husband. I made two, actually, but this one had too-shallow of a shape, so he said he wasn’t going to use it. I decided, that since I’ve been planning to make a fountain for a while, that I would use this to make a practice fountain. For those who didn’t see the earlier post, it’s about 14″ high, and shaped like a birdbath except that it has a hole running from top to bottom.
My first step was to make a sphere. I made two, actually, in the same manner that my smiley balls are made: two pinch pots adhered at the lip and then smoothed. These got too dry to smooth out, so I sort of lathed them on the giffin grip, which means that they have a concentric circle pattern from several different ordinals. I used shiny white glaze on one and kind of a stoneware glaze (spodumene) on the other. Our water is very salty, and anything that has water running over it gets a rime after a while. Each of the spheres had inch diameter holes in the poles. I ended up choosing the larger white sphere, because of the pleasing proportion with it to the base.
I chose a site for the fountain, then dug a hole to accomodate a plastic storage bin, sans lid. The pump sits at the bottom. On top of the storage bin lid I placed a metal grate, then some hardware cloth, and finally metal screen, each with holes cut to allow the plastic tubing to extend upwards. I put the birdbath part on top, and threaded the sphere’s holes through the tubing. I accidentally cut the tubing to exactly the right length. Don’t count on happy accidents.
Once I’d cut a pipe to put the cord in, and buried it, my fountain was ready to fill. One problem I didn’t anticipate was that the water seeped out underneath the sphere. I thought I’d put a ring of foam as a gasket, but I couldn’t find any, so instead I used sheets of thin plastic. This slowed down the seepage enough that the water filled the basin as I’d intended.
Since it seemed to be working fine, I started to cover the screen with river rocks. These rocks were too heavy, and bowed it down alarmingly, so I just put them in a ring and used a handful of pea gravel to obscure the screen.
Next time I do a fountain, it will be a wall fountain, and it will be much more elaborate.