Exhibitor Spotlight – Waterworks Garden Sculpture

Exhibitor Spotlight – Waterworks Garden Sculpture

A chickadee enjoys seed from a WaterWorks bird feeder

Adding the sound of water to your garden is a soothing way to mask unwanted neighborhood noises, and lend a tranquil ambience to any garden space. And using recycled materials in a creative fashion helps keep unwanted stuff from our landfills and is pretty much de rigueur these days. Now you can add a water feature to your garden, and feel good about using recycled materials, with sculpture from WaterWorks Garden Sculpture, a new exhibitor at the 2011 garden show.


Douglas Walker is the creative force behind WaterWorks. Using recycled copper, brass, silver, glass, even discarded musical instruments, he creates unique fountains, bird feeders, garden gates and more. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and can add a touch of whimsy to any garden setting. This is eclectic as well as kinetic sculpture; when the water is flowing, it adds both soothing sound and gentle movement to the patio or garden space.


The sound of water is always a welcome touch in any garden

Douglas began his first career as a photographer in 1974, without any formal training, using an ancient 1929 Kodak camera. That led him to a photography career that included many art shows and teaching photojournalism at the University of Regina. He first became interested in his unique sculptures when he built a small pond, and he wanted a water feature for it. He found a piece of discarded pipe at a yard sale, and made a fountain with it. Then at an art sale, a retired music teacher asked him to make a fountain using a trumpet. That began a journey of tinkering that has led him to the unique sculptures he now produces as owner of WaterWorks.


After relocating to Vancouver Island in 2003, Douglas’ love of gardening and art got him started on tinkering with rusty fence wire and ‘found objects’ (what used to be called junk) to create pieces for his own garden. Along the way he upgraded the materials, and began working with copper pipe. The copper is not coated with any finish; it just weathers naturally, turning a rich brown and finally to a classic patina.


Look for a WaterWorks gate in the "My Garden Gate" exhibition at the 2011 show

It took him a few years of trial and error to refine his designs and technique. Now his sculptures are found in private and corporate collections across Canada and the US and abroad. He especially enjoys the challenge of creating custom pieces for clients, whether it’s a garden gate or a headboard or a weather station. He loves to take a client’s dreams and ideas and turn them into a reality. The most unusual sculptures he has created on commission are one with a tuba, and another that was to be a funeral urn.


Douglas’ studio is located in Black Creek, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, B.C. Be sure to visit his website at http://nwf.gs/9Id5Rc. Even better, stop by his garden show booth, #1209, and enjoy his timeless pieces. And look for his entry in the show’s new “My Garden Gate” exhibit, located down a center aisle in the North Hall.


For the complete Exhibitor List of the 300+ exhibitors we will have at the 2011 show, just go to our website. You can sort the list by any kind of art, tool, product or service you might be looking for! http://nwf.gs/c5ewWY  Photos by Douglas Walker. – Janet

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