Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finished Pool More or Less (Piscina è Quasi Completato)

Even in Texas, it was too cool today to go swimming, and so it was that today was the day I finally moved off my laz the pool photos off of my camera. You can see my own version of a typical line of cypress trees in the background here. I keep thinking I should have bought larger ones, but the selection and quantity of the larger ones was severely limited. I'm also wondering if I should plant forward in between each tree to make a solid tree line. Also, I'm seeing life sized hand carved marble statues on either side of the spa. Or maybe just a gigantic hand and head reaching skyward, as if a giant statue was buried in the ground... No that would be lame, two statues it is.

Luckily, since the contractor would work with me a bit, they poured the deck substrate down about 5/8" to the coping stone. This will allow an anti fracture membrane to go on and also a healthy 1/2" thick tile that has a pre-cut (read: not much work for me) pattern. Unfortunately now though, I have substandard choices for the marble, so maybe I'll find something in Italy at the end of the month. I have to finish it fairly soon though as the building permit will run out and I'll have to file for an extension or something. Maybe some friends on the city council can help out if I drag it on too long? Nah, I'll be done before then.

Basically, I now have a 110 meter empty canvas to 'paint' on with marble and mosaics. It. is. cool.

Here is a side view of the steps to see how the mosaics catch the sun, even under water.

Here is one of them up close... I didn't realize that I was blatantly ripping off the Caesar's Palace logo until after it was done (Apologies to Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. But honestly, I left more than enough compensation on your roulette table this past March, guaranteed).

And here is yet another picture... Are you bored yet?

Everybody can stop by for a swim (best bring a wetsuit since it's a bit cool now).

Non credo che è quasi finito! Purtroppo in Texas, trovo che l'acqua si raffredda in autunno. Ho bisogno di comprare qualche famoso marmo di Carrara (ma non questa pietra economici ho campioni di altri luoghi).


  1. When do I get to come by for a swim?

  2. the pool looks amazing Eric. and you're not even finished yet! can't wait to see the final masterpiece.

  3. Isn't it great to see your vision come to life tile by tile? It was like that for me with my garden and I walk around as often as I can admiring every flower, every leave. Or, at least, I used to ;) I'm sure you will spend many great days in that pool with many great ladies. Enjoy it, it looks beautiful :)

  4. It's GORGEOUS Eric! Don't do a thing to those trees - I like the symmetrical spacing. They're kind of like pool centurians. If you plant them too close together, they'll just crowd each other as they grow taller. I think they are perfect as-is.

  5. Wetsuits always give me a claustrofobic feeling so I rather wait until the sun comes out :)
    But it looks beautiful! And thank you for pointing out the water ripples otherwise I would not have believed that the mosaics were under water ;-)

  6. I love it, especially the accidental (freudian?) logo rip-off.

    You inspire me, your creativity makes me want to go into the garden and make a palace. Pity I don't have a garden.

  7. This is amazing. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  8. Brilliant. I don't care if they are a rip-off I like your tiles. The gold is pimpin'.

  9. It's fantastic, Eric!

    Don't be surprised if you have extra house guests when you come back from Italy...

  10. I am so crashing. See you soon.

  11. Everything looks really gorgeous Eric. Did the green house tell you how big around the trees would get? You probably shouldn't plant them any closer together, but you could put a staggered row in front if there is room. So are you planning on putting your home-make smalti on the deck then? I wonder if you could find any information in Italy, or from that author you wre talking about. I'm assuming the additives that you need changes the COE of the glass. Have you run across any annealing techniques?

  12. That looks absolutely amazing! I'll bring a wetsuit and a sweater (it's the Canadian way!)

  13. It's looking pretty swanky there! I love that you've designed the thing yourself and incorporated your own art into it. Sitting by that pool drinking wine must be a nice little Italian break without leaving Texas. :)

  14. Bloody hell. Just having a pool is impressive enough to someone from England, but that is extra-orsum!

    Is that pool-cleaning robot based on original concepts, because I think neo-classical robots tended to be eunuchs?

  15. WendyB,
    Anytime... after I buy the remaining necessary ingredient for the cufflinks.

    Thanks man, believe me when I say I can't wait to finish either.

    It is fun to do things 'from scratch' sometimes, or relatively so. Gardens are great, you have a large amount of patience no doubt.
    Thanks, haha, I've already enjoyed it (the pool at least).

    Thanks! Ok I won't change the trees around, especially since you seem to know so much about plants, you skygarden botanist, you.
    They are just about exactly 30" apart, I was kind of going for a nice backdrop for the spa area.

    Dutch Donut Girl,
    Ok, in Texas you don't have to wait for very long for the sun.
    Thanks and haha, yes, the water is very clear since the introduction of chlorine to the pool. ;)

    Hi, and thanks! I can't wait to do the custom mosaics on the reclining couch side and finish the rest of the decking. I think I've finally found a good marble supplier for the bulk of it.

    Thanks, I couldn't believe that I didn't notice the similarities until they were done.
    But you have a palace though? Gardens are easy to add.

    The Peach Tart,
    Thanks, I'm not sure it's amazing yet. I still need to do the tumbled marble deck with mosaics.
    I tried to buy my marble from Georgia, but the quarries and vendors quoted exhorbitant prices (even though their material was nice), so I have to get my marble from Turkey.

    Thanks, I think I like those two more because the are rip-offs. I do like gold shining in the sun if it's not too much. No need to go all 'Donald Trump' or anything, right?

    Heather Cherry,
    Thanks! It will be better when finished though. :)

    Thanks, ok just don't run the heater 24/7 or I'll have a $4000 gas bill!

    Awesome, *dusting off the karaoke cds*

    I agree about the trees. They'll get 2.5' wide and they are on 30" spacing, so hopefully all will be well on the (slightest) crowding front.
    Yep, homemade smalti will go on the custom mosaics in places along with various natural marbles. Dr. Katherine Kondoleon gave great xray defraction and spectrum chromatography results of the studies of those glasses.
    I have chemical % compositions of each glass color. I think the complicated part will be timing the firing of the kiln so the crystals end up the right length to get exactly the color and opacity needed to recreate the old glass.
    I know two great markets for this if it can be done reliably. On the COE, I'm not sure. Would it matter if grinding them down flat with abrasives and then cutting small pieces? I'll look into annealing more (I'm deficient in glass technology).

    Great! Also bring some retro ads we can laugh over. :)

    Vegetable Assasin,
    Thanks, I guess we are kind of alike then. I can see you settling for nothing less, except it would all be more 'Airstream' related. :)
    Yes, drinking wine, Italian break... mmmm.

    The Jules,
    Thanks, they don't have many pools in Olde Blighty?
    On the robot, I haven't lifted the water supply tail to check whether any balls are involved.

  16. wow eric that really is incredible so far.

    How awesome would it be to have a harem of women lounging around there too!

  17. I'm just worried about your beautiful smalti breaking- I think once their in a moasic they should be ok. Coefficient of (thermal)expansion... is related to the hardness of glass and would help determine annealing temperatures which is a lot of math that I don't bother with because I have a chart and a limited interest in math. But to keep your tiles durable its worth looking into. Is there any talk of they cooled the glass back in the day?

  18. Mr. C.
    Awesome indeed...

    Good points, this is precisely the kind of advice I need since I am a bit of a novice in the physics of glass.

  19. I have something for you over at my blog :)

  20. Ciaooooooooo volevo farti vedere una cosa:

    ;) un abbraccio kiss

  21. that is so beautiful.. Thanks for sharing the updates. Are you in Italy right now?

  22. Wow! Can't wait to see it finished :) ... so when's the pool party?

  23. Ladytruth,

    Sei una scrittrice fantastica! Felicitazioni per libro nuovo. :)
    Abbraccios e baccios

    Thanks, yep you guessed it. This morning I am out on a balcony of my rented Bellagio villa with coffee and the wireless. Interesting (hopefully, well at least picture-esque) posts are forthcoming... :)

    Thanks! Oh there have already been some pool parties even with the pavement unfinished. Luckily it has the spa since it is finally getting too cool for swimming. I need to see that commission you are working on. Unexpectedly most of the art they are selling over here is not so fine. ;)

  24. That is a gorgeous pool, amazing! I love the mosaic. When can I come for a swim, LOL.

  25. A week without posting huh? You alright? Busy swimming no doubt...

  26. HH,

    No troubles, just a bit of traveling around my favorite place.

  27. Beautiful. I'd say worth the trouble no? Haven't posted in awhile so I guess this means you are in Italia? Have fun!

  28. I know you're having a blast! Now give us some visuals.

    That sounds not quite right, but you know what I mean. ;)

  29. Nikki, it is worth the trouble. Yes, today is my last day in Venice purtroppo... So sadly I fly for 13 hours tomorrow to come back.

    It has been great fun, and the school was great too for a week. I have literally tens of stories and lots of photos so I will share. I will share...
    ps - I wasn't thinking anything about that comment of yours until the second sentence.

  30. Have a safe trip home Eric.

    And post pics asap.

  31. Eric, your pool is beautiful. Expect me at your door any day's gorgeous!

    I am such a loser for being away from my blog world so long (seriously love blogging!)...and i'm going to try to stay...especially now, knowing that not only have I missed the pool pictures I was highly anticipating--but the fact that you had your whole trip and I didn't get to read it! I'm going to (i'm at work now, trying to avoid it!)...i have looked at all of your pictures and the envy in me is at its highest!!!