We are continually experimenting with new designs for our cat fountains – always a bit risky as we don’t know, one, if some of them they will work, and two, if people will like them. But we have to do it because that is what we do – create and continually innovate – We consider both to be necessary.
Often, experimenting is a matter of modifying an existing design. This one-spout Piazza, for example is simply a modification of our traditional Piazza with two spouts. Joyce made it and we decided we liked the look. After glazing we discovered that it worked well too. There is a nice, smooth flow and no splash (always a concern).
People always want to see new things and new designs excite our highly appreciative followers. Hopefully, that leads to sales – a simple necessity. As a personal preference, we would become quite bored if we had always to be making the same thing the same way. We need to challenge ourselves, and each other to keep it interesting and enjoyable for ourselves.
Another experiment we have recently begun to do more of is in carving and painting (underglazing) the center pieces. These take many forms and are done in a wide variety of styles though the process is essentially the same.
Usually, a design is carved into the center piece, then glazed either with an underglaze or an overglaze. If an underglaze is used, it then it must be glazed with an over glaze to bring out the luster. Normally we’ll use the same glaze the fountain bowl is to be done in.
In this Blue Phlox fountain, the flowers were carved and underglazed and the whole was then overglazed in Pearl, somewhat muting the design colors but bringing out the gloss. This is a simpler process than when we use an overglaze on the center piece.
Overglazes on the designs do not need another glaze on top to bring out the gloss, but the glazed portion of the center piece must be waxed so that it keeps its original color without being modified by the fountain glaze.
This rest of the center piece is then glazed in the final glaze and the design is wiped clean, permitting the design to develop its own original colors, as in this Clover design below.
Ultimately, it is the customer, we have learned, who to a great degree defines our product. If you don’t like them, we stop making them. Often our new designs are successful, so it’s a win-win, at least when we get it right. We are able to keep ourselves engaged in coming out with new creations and able to offer you new fountain designs to choose from.