Chinese Garden Fountain: Final Presentation

For my final project, I made a table top fountain with a Chinese garden aesthetic.


The project required a specific aesthetic and a dynamic element. To start the process of brainstorming, I thought about the artifact first. I’ve always been a big fan of table top fountains. I was planning on buying myself one anyway, so why not make one? There have been a few fountains in the past that were noisy and annoying. If I make one, I have more control over how loud it is. When I realized my intention to create the fountain, I began considering aesthetics. I have a lot of house plants, so I got the idea for incorporating greenery into my artifact early on in the process. From there, I researched different gardens that have specific aesthetics. Oriental gardens caught my eyes since they were inviting and encouraged immersion with the surroundings. Chinese gardens specifically held an interest because of the incorporation of interesting architecture.



For this project, I wanted to set a few goals. This is important for keeping me on track. My goals are as follows:

  • Create a mobile fountain that water can be drained from
  • Make it look sleek and professional
  • Make it look and sound calming. No motor sounds
  • Stay within a reasonable budget (<$40)
  • Avoid Americanizing the Chinese garden



The book, The Chinese Garden by Maggie Keswick, gave me an idea of what Chinese gardens are all about. Depending on the dynasty, these gardens can vary widely. I went with what I saw as common themes between multiple eras. Some features include the following:

  • Book: The Chinese Garden by Maggie Keswick
  • Undefined boundaries
  • Layered spaces, labyrinth-like
  • Contrast of dark and light natural material
  • Functional rocks (steps, meaning, intentional)
  • Water not flowing fast

I also researched the technical aspect of this project. For the pump, I used user reviews to see what pump would be silent but also powerful. I also watched a YouTube video of a woman making a fountain. This gave me an idea of how to approach fabrication.



  • Book, The Chinese Garden by Maggie Keswick
  • 6″ x 6″ x 6″ squared flower pot (no drainage hole)
  • River rock
  • 70 gph water fountain pump
  • Bamboo stalks
  • 6″ x 6″ black acrylic
  • 8′ glass straw




  1. Gather materials
  2. Create laser cutting file
    1. Use Adobe Illustrator
    2. Open a 6″ x 6″ file
    3. Trace latticework of the black metal window of your choosing in .01 red
    4. Laser cut
  3. Place pump in the pot
  4. Place acrylic symmetrically on the pump
  5. Place straw in the pump, straight up
  6. Place river rock in the front, starting with the larger rocks
  7. Place the bamboo in a line behind latticework
  8. add water 3/4 of the way to the top
  9. Plug in!



  1. Budget:
    1. Pump: $7
    2. Straw: $2
    3. Rocks: $4
    4. Bamboo: $10
    5. Pot: $7
    6. Total: $30
  2. Time:
    1. Research: 2 hours
    2. Gathering materials: 2 hours
    3. Construction: 3 hours
    4. Other (like blog posts): 2 hours
    5. 9 hours total

The aesthetic is calming and pretty. The bamboo is more manicured than Chinese gardens. The technical side was also successful. It’s a functioning product and the fabrication came out clean.

Upon reflection, my goal of not Americanizing the aesthetic was unsuccessful. American’s pride ourselves on perfectly manicured lawns without a piece of grass out of place while Chinese gardens smooth out their boundaries. In order to hold the border in place, I put the bamboo behind the window. This takes a lot away from the Chinese garden aesthetic. All in all, this was successful. I may add light in the future, too.


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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Morgan Benninger
    May 8, 2019 4:37 pm

    I think this project turned out really well. You mentioned in your presentation that the straw was a last minute addition, but I really think it makes all the difference. Good job using pod members to improve your project!

  • Chris Mcfadden
    May 8, 2019 1:56 pm

    Looks great! I like the addition of the water straw! Looks very polished.

  • This came out really nice. Your aesthetic is very soothing and pleasant to look at! The purpose of the fountain is to add a sort of serenity to its environment and I believe you accomplished just that!

  • Andrew Oliver
    April 25, 2019 8:04 am

    Hello Jordan, you did a great job with your project. I like that you made something that you will be able to use in the future and that you took an already existing aesthetic and applied your own twist to it

  • Alexis Nibbelink
    April 24, 2019 1:44 pm

    I really like your final product. It looks professional, like something I would find at McGuckins! I love the aesthetic you went for and the laser cut design is really cool. Good job!

  • Hi Jordan,
    This is a really nice project! The overall construction and the aesthetic that you incorporated was really well done. I like the soft soothing sound that the water makes and the bamboo really adds to the peaceful effect.

  • Abdulaziz Alrashed
    April 24, 2019 1:19 pm

    awesome project Jordan. I loved that you made sure that the pump is quiet. Good choice with the Chinese garden and adding the straw.

  • Abdulrahman Alnoaim
    April 24, 2019 1:16 pm

    I really like how the fountain turned out. It looks so neat and aesthetically pleasing. I think you did a great job in laser cutting the window as well!

  • Tanner Wismer
    April 24, 2019 1:07 pm

    Really cool project! The calm water sound is very soothing and pleasing. It looks very professional and the aesthetic choice really matches what you were going for. I really like the movement of the water. Good job!


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