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Where Did These Labyrinth Designs Come From?

By August 23, 2016November 16th, 2016Labyrinth Designs

So Many New Labyrinth Designs!

ALL of the labyrinth designs on this website are original to me — from the initial drawing to a completed finger labyrinth (either in ceramic or acrylic on tile) — whether it is an original path or an original interpretation of an historic design.  I began posting my designs on my old website starting in 2002, and continued to add designs.  They were available for anyone to see who cared enough to look.  Several additional designs have been included in this updated website, but others can only be seen on the old site.  Before posting any of my designs, I spent many hours on the internet looking for any evidence of a design having been posted elsewhere on another site/location.  I did have to “shelve” a handful of designs, but not very many.

My old website did include one page of my own drawings of several historic labyrinths.  My purpose was to show which historic designs had inspired some of my new/contemporary designs, as well as providing links to those new designs.  However, in order to avoid any confusion about what is actually historic (and therefore in the public domain) versus what is original to me, the historic labyrinth designs were not carried over when my website finally got its long-overdue update.  To view my page of “Historic Labyrinths From Around the World” from the old website, you can now click on the link to the right to go directly to that page.  From there you can also see most of my modern designs inspired by the historic designs.

So where DID all these labyrinth designs come from?  When I completed my first labyrinth design, consisting of 11 circuits, I figured that was it, I was done, and “mission accomplished.”  But apparently the process awakened some dormant creative brain cells, because not long afterward, I started getting other ideas for labyrinth designs.  Lots of them.  It happened during an extremely stressful time in my life, which may have played a role, but who knows?  I did find that the process of designing different labyrinths (and tracing them to make sure they “worked”) had a definite calming influence that was very beneficial for me.  Since that time I have designed well over a thousand labyrinths, and have filed six volumes of my designs with the Library of Congress archives.  Choosing which designs to post on my website then became the challenge — and then coming up with names for them.

New Interpretations of Historic Designs: 

There is also a significant difference between creating an original labyrinth path, with its unique sequence of turns (please see previous blog post), versus creating an original interpretation of an historic design.  For example, a simple 3-circuit meander design is often called a “Troy Town” labyrinth, but the 3-circuit meander is also the most basic unit of several other labyrinth designs.  If you nest another 3-circuit meander inside the first, with a “spacer” circuit between the two meanders, you now have the 7-circuit Classical, or Cretan labyrinth.  If you change the shape or the size, or make it right-handed or left-handed, the path remains the same.  However, there are multiple different interpretations of these to be seen as you research labyrinth images on the internet.

Because I like to use a dove motif  in many of my designs, I chose to utilize a stylized dove motif with my own unique interpretation of the basic 3-circuit meander and 7-circuit classical labyrinth paths.  These are in ceramic with raised walls, the blue is a fired glaze, the gold is an acrylic paint:


Then I went in another direction, still using the basic 3-circuit meander as the core, and added an extra circuit in the center and another around the perimeter to create a “perpetual path” labyrinth format to allow for constant motion in a small space:


The Constant Heart path is a bit difficult to trace with a fingertip because of its small size, but traces well with a stylus, and it fits in the palm of the hand.  Again, changing the shape does not change the actual path.  And here is the Petite Classical with Perpetual Path interpreted as a 2-dimensional finger labyrinth in acrylic on a 4″ tile:


I have also applied the “perpetual path” format to several of my own smaller designs, resulting in a 3-circuit design becoming 5 circuits, but more importantly, it turns my 5-circuit designs into 7 circuits.  (Seven circuits are very popular, regardless of the design.)

As far as I know, I was the first one to publish any labyrinth designs with a “perpetual path,” but I have seen a few other examples subsequent to posting my designs.  Apparently the “perpetual path” concept has resonated with at least a few other people.  COOL.  I’m flattered.  But utilizing a concept or format such as simply adding inner and outer circuits to produce a perpetual path is NOT the same as someone utilizing one of my original designs in any way, for any reason, without my permission.  That is NOT COOL, so please DON’T.  Thank you.