Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Outdoor Shower That Whets Your Creative Side

Wisconsin Artists Mary Anne Wise
and Arne Nyen 
Share a Quick Tutorial on Building an Outdoor Shower
Mary Anne and Arne offer a refreshing take on constructing an outdoor shower. And, as temperatures begin to rise almost everywhere, you might find inspiration in what this creative couple did.

 The couple's daughter, Phoebe, takes a moment to refresh in the completed project.

Before launching into what they did, which includes photos that they provided, let me introduce you quickly to this talented duo. I got to know them a few years ago, via email, after touring Joan and Jerry Herring's amazing abode in Houston. The Herrings (their new place: (Black Bird Farm) are photographers and artists. Plus, they are great supporters of all artists! Inside their home at the time, they had a chair similar to the one below that caught my eye:

 Arne harvests wood on his farm in Western, Wisconsin to design, create and construct unique chairs and stools.
For information about his work, go here.

One thing led to another -- and after showing some of their crafts to some editors -- their home and art pieces were featured in the now defunct (sorry to say) Country Home magazine (November 2006). So, periodically, we "touch base." And, so, just in time for summer-time heat retreats, I give you the shower they constructed last year:

Their Outdoor Shower 


Commentary and information provided by Mary Anne:

Dimensions: interior shower 'room': 7'6" diameter.  Wall height: 6'2"  
Construction Time: 11 weeks
Materials: The walls are constructed with metal lath, recycled metal pipes, cement, Mississippi mussel shells. The mussel shells were collected (dead, washed ashore) along the shores of Lk Pepin on the Mississippi River. There are about 51 species of freshwater mussels that live in the Upper Mississippi River. The shells were once prized by the Mother-of-Pearl button industry (there were button factories from Ill-WI). Today the button factories are long gone and all of the mussel species are threatened by the tiny, invasive zebra mussel.

Laying out the shape of the shower walls with a garden hose. Then laying down recycled re-bar to re-enforce the cement floor and 'tie' the floors to the wall. 

 Getting atop a high ladder to pound the pipes into the ground . . . the pipes support the armature of the metal lath walls. The cement was applied to the metal lath.

Having poured the floor, we then waited for the cement to cure. The next step was to finish adding the metal lath to the desired wall height & begin to apply concrete to the exterior walls.

Having affixed the last of the metal lath to the desired wall height, we then applied concrete, by hand, to the exterior walls.

We completed the exterior walls with a single window and door-less entryway. Once the exterior walls were cured, and the structure became solid,  we were ready to begin the interior walls.

We embedded mussel shells into the cement at the same time as 'laying-up' the interior walls.

The completed entryway:

The completed interior "room" with the shower head installed. It works!

Mary Anne shared some news about what's going on now in her world of arts and crafts. I will show that in another post, sometime in the future. In the meantime, check out her rugs by going hereHere's one of my favorites of hers:


6 Responses to “An Outdoor Shower That Whets Your Creative Side”

OMG...right in the middle of their property?? That is A_mazing! With a capital A!!!

This is so cool and artistic. Reminds me of the Target teak outdoor shower that came in 1000 pieces and took me about 10 hours to put together :)

NotesFromAbroad said...

We used to rent houses at the Beach in NY every summer and they always had a shower outside, to avoid all that sand being brought inside.
My children loved it and so did I .. standing under the sun, in the shower .. it made for a much less sandy house too !

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