Written on December 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm, by admin
The earliest columns of record were crafted in Egypt. Many Egyptian columns crafted in 2600 BC were very large in size, narrowly spaced, and carved to resemble bundled reeds. Architectural columns became more than a simple structural element, gaining aesthetic and artistic value. Later columns located in Persia possessed elaborately carved capitals, decorated with bulls and animal figures. The Roman style column is among the most popular. The Roman columns were derived from classic Greek designs.
Columns were often combined with arches and beams, creating a fluid sense of harmony. During Medieval times, the flowing vines, leaves and foliate mask of the “green man ” face design attached to the capital of a column became popular in churches.
The classic architectural columns of Europe are referred to as orders: the Doric order, also known as the Tuscan order, is composed of one part, the cylinder, and tapers toward its top. The Ionic order has a grooved fluted design, with a scrolled capital. The Corinthian order is similar to the Ionic order, but the capitol includes rows of acanthus leaves.
Article by www.columns.net
Written on November 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm, by admin
A baluster (according to OED derived through the French: balustre, from Italian: balaustra “pomegranate flower” [from a resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open flower]) is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, in stone or wood and sometimes in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail (also known as a bannister) of a staircase. Multiplied in this way, they form a balustrade. Individually, a baluster shaft may describe the turned form taken by a brass or silver candlestick, an upright furniture support, or the stem of a brass chandelier, etc.
The earliest examples are those shown in the bas-reliefs representing the Assyrian palaces, where they were employed as window balustrades and apparently had Ionic capitals. As an architectural element the balustrade did not seem to have been known to either the Greeks or the Romans, but baluster forms are familiar in the legs of chairs and tables represented in Roman bas-reliefs, where the original legs or the models for cast bronze ones were shaped on the lathe, or in Antique marble candelabra, formed as a series of stacked bulbous and disc-shaped elements, both kinds of sources familiar to Quattrocento designers. The application to architecture was a feature of the early Renaissance: late fifteenth-century examples are found in the balconies of palaces at Venice and Verona.
These quattrocento balustrades are likely to be following yet-unidentified Gothic precedents; they form balustrades of colonnettes as an alternative to miniature arcading. Rudolf Wittkower withheld judgement as to the inventor of the baluster but credited Giuliano da Sangallo with using it consistently as early as the balustrade on the terrace and stairs at the Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano (ca 1480), with employing balustrades even in his reconstructions of antique structures, and, importantly, with having passed the motif to Bramante (his Tempietto, 1502) and Michelangelo, through whom balustrades gained wide currency in the 16th century.]
Wittkower distinguished two types, one symmetrical in profile that inverted one bulbous vase-shape over another, separating them with a cushionlike torus or a concave ring, and the other a simple vase shape, whose employment by Michelangelo at the Campidoglio steps (ca 1546), noted by Wittkower, was preceded by very early vasiform balusters in a balustrade round the drum of Santa Maria delle Grazie (ca 1482), and railings in the cathedrals of Aquileia (ca 1495) and Parma, in the cortile of San Damaso, Vatican, and Antonio da Sangallos crowning balustrade on the Santa Casa at Loreto, finally installed in 1535., and liberally in his model for the Basilica of Saint Peter Because of its low center of gravity, this “vase-baluster” may be given the modern term “dropped baluster”.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Written on September 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm, by admin
Fountains add a special kind of magic to your garden or backyard landscape. The soft trickle of the water as it splashes into the fountain reservoir adds music to your garden. You can easily make a concrete rock fountain with materials from your local landscape supply store. Design a small fountain as ambiance for your patio, or make a large concrete rock fountain as a focal point for your landscaping.
Lay out the perimeter of your fountain based on its overall dimensions, and determine its height. Take your measurements to your local landscape supply, and the employees will advise you as to how many concrete rocks you will need to complete your project. Concrete rocks, or faux rocks, are more uniform in size and shape than natural rock, and they also weigh much less. There are several color and style variations of concrete rock for you to choose from.
Excavate the location for your fountain, removing any grass and debris. Place the first row of concrete rock around the perimeter, adding waterproof adhesive, such as Liquid Nail or thinset, between the rocks. Liquid Nail is easier to apply since you squeeze it directly from the container. Thinset is applied with a trowel like laying bricks, and it’s much messier to work with. Typically, you cover the stones with thinset like buttering toast, while Liquid Nail needs only a swirl or two between the rocks where they meet.
Stack the second row of your rock fountain centered on the lines where the rocks on your first row meet. Staggering the seams will make a stronger and more interesting-looking rock fountain. Attach the rocks together on the sides and on the top with adhesive, applied the same as in Step 2. Build the rock walls of your fountain until you reach the desired height, but do not glue the top row.
Cut the pond liner to fit inside the concrete rock fountain, from the bottom to the top of the rock walls. The liner is in a roll, so cut a bit more than you need, and cut off any excess after you place it securely.
Insert the top edge of the liner underneath the top layer of concrete rock, and secure it with Liquid Nail or thinset adhesive. Let the adhesive dry. Follow the dry time instructions on your adhesive of choice, but plan on at least 24 hours for the adhesive products to fully cure.
Place a few rocks in the center of the pond liner to elevate the fountain pump until the tip of the fountain sprayer is out of the water. Some fountains have periscope-type sprayer valves that you can lift as high as you need. If your pump is equipped this way, you may not need to elevate it at all.
Run the electrical cord along the bottom of the fountain, then unobtrusively up and over one side. Fill the fountain with water before turning on the pump. Adjust the spray as necessary.
Tips and Warnings.
Attach your pump to a timer for an automatic fountain.
Stand away from the fountain when you first turn it on in case the spray is too much.
You can find a good selection of water fountains in our products section www.worldconcreteprecast.com/xhtml/aproduct_fountains.html on our website.
Article taken from www.ehow.com, written by R. Lindley