Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Labyrinth by Barbara Russell

At first glance, if one is not familiar with labyrinths, might say what a boring or mundane canvas.  But having learned about Labyrinth walks through a relative, I now find labyrinths to be beautiful and purposeful.  Beautiful, yet not outwardly purposeful and needlepoint coming together! Amazing that after thousands of years something can still have a purpose in our lives. Walking, building, tracing and now even stitching provides a disciplined method of focus and meditation. It seems the one by Barbara is based on the famous paved labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France.  I found all types of other ones and I know there are even printed ones that you can unfold and use to walk on anywhere anytime, or ones carved in wood that you trace with a finger.  Maybe they should have these in the lobbies of corporate headquarters so instead of a bathroom break one could choose to walk the path.

I think this one will go in my to do one day pile.   So often I'm so tired at night that to stitch something that requires thought or choices is too much.  Once it is finished it can be a pillow or wall hanging and be used for meditation, or just something pretty to look at.  Its a piece of history that crosses over cultures and religions.

 Labyrinths can be defined as having only one path to a goal; everyone's a winner.  Mazes have multiple choices (and often several dead ends too).
Labyrinth Needlepoint Canvas

Perhaps the best known labyrinth of its type is the pavement labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France, constructed during the second decade of the 13th century.
Plan of the Labyrinth in Chartre Cathedral, Paris

Candlelit Labyrinth
Information on the Labyrinth in Chartre Cathedral was found at

Guingamp France.  Paved stone

Compton, England.  Terra Cotta

Hern St Hubert, Belgium. Carved stone.

Lucca, Italy. Carved stone.
Appears to be a hand laid stone labyrinth

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea of the history to these or how they differed from mazes! Thanks for sharing! Melita


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