Buck has been plenty busy at Branch. What exactly are you looking at here? This is a fountain urn commissioned by a client in California for a project in Texas. This fountain has a bowl assembly and a base, designed and specified by the landscape architect on the project. Buck stacked the two pieces upside down, to check the level. A level vessel is imperative with a fountain. Water needs to fall over every edge equally. Should your fountain bowl be out of level, the water falling unevenly will broadcast that your ornament is askew. It pains me to see any garden ornament-whether it be a bench, an urn on a pedestal, sculpture, obelisk, pot centerpiece or terrace, out of level.
Newly back in town, I wanted to see the fountain assembly right side up-Buck was glad to oblige. The fountain bowl is 5 feet in diameter-largish. He welded loops inside the bowl so he could pick it up with his bridge crane. The base is all of a piece. The bowl will need a rim welded to it. At this moment, the fountain urn is in three pieces.
The center of the hemispherical steel bowl is marked in white paint on the underside. This helps to rough center the bowl on the base. This will be plenty good enough to look at. When the time comes to weld the bowl to the base, many more specific measurements will be taken.
Once the bowl was set on the base, we were ready for the fountain bowl rim. The rim is comprised of two rings of 1 inch thick steel, welded together. This ring is much heavier than it looks. The rim contains water in four symmetrical spots. The corresponding four rim spots are scuppers that facilitate falling water.
This picture of the rim detail tells the story better than words do.
This large urn will take its place in the center of a much larger fountain pool.
The fountain is not the only special order project under construction. This pair of gates are part of an iron fence for a local client. Informing the design-a discussion about coyotes, and how to keep them out of a dog run.
The fence panels are composed of a series of four foot tall vertical iron members that will be hidden by a yew hedge on both sides of the fence. The top 24 inches of fence is constructed of steel vineyard bar in the horizontal dimension. Why steel bar that looks like tree bark? The perimeter fencing is our Belgian branch fencing. This visible top two feet of dog run fence will repeat that horizontal branch motif.
My favorite part of this fence? A 16 inch wide steel shelf welded to the top of the fence. I can see pots placed on that shelf 6 feet off of the ground, planted with trailing plants. I can see all manner of tall garden findings and short bits having a home on this shelf. No coyote will like the idea of scaling this. A dog run that reads visually as a prison does not interest me. A coyote proof fence with visual possibilities is much more to my liking.
The Branch Studio is a big place. Just a shade over 13,000 square feet. Buck occupies, fabricates, and directs in every square foot with what I would call thoughtful. Amazingly precise. Beautifully finished. Though I was just away the better part of a week, Buck at work really describes a certain kind of kind of energy, motion and energy that I truly admire. Buck makes it easy to come home.