LABYRINTH CIRCLES #12

GRATITUDE FOR A DECADE OF BUSINESS

We at Labyrinth Enterprises are sending this newsletter to everyone who has bought a labyrinth from us during the past ten years. Founded in October of 1995 as the St. Louis Layrinth Project, we have made more than 900 labyrinths during the last decade. Some of them – those sold wholesale – went to buyers unknown to us. Yet, as we printed out hundreds of labels, we couldn't help but appreciate the opportunity we have had for the past 10 years to work full-time making labyrinths. All future newsletters will be sent via email. If you would like to be included, please contact us with your email address. (For more about our past decade, see history)

POLYMER CONCRETE CATCHES ON

As demand increases, we continue to refine the tools and techniques for our proprietary decorative concrete labyrinths using polymer additives. Details and examples are available on our website. Polymer concrete is made to permanently bond to underlying concrete. As such, it is far more durable than paint or stain. We apply it either by scoring the pattern into the concrete and hand-coloring it with the polymer mix, or by masking off the pattern and "shooting" it with a hopper gun. In either case, we produce one of the most cost- effective, practical and low-maintenance labyrinths available. We have now added a sophisticated vacuum system so we can cut the concrete without creating a cloud of dust.

$100 REWARD FOR SD, ME, AND WY

Labyrinth Enterprises has sold labyrinths in 47 states and eight foreign countries. We are missing South Dakota, Maine, and Wyoming. Of course, some of our wholesale labyrinths may have ended up there. Nevertheless, we are offering a $100 reward for a referral or purchase of a labyrinth in one of these three states, so that we can reach our goal of providing labyrinths – portable or permanent – to every state in the USA.

OUR NEW 8,000 SQ. FT. STUDIO

Labyrinth Enterprises is the only source for fabric labyrinths that has a professional studio and full-time staff. There are a number of artists around the country who will paint a labyrinth from time to time, in their basement or by borrowing the use of a large space somewhere. One prominent labyrinth seller prints the designs on a machine, and sells prints for the same price as our original works of art. But we still do it the old-fashioned way, drawing and painting by hand. We welcome visits to our spacious, light-filled studio, located in a restored building that was built in 1885. Our studio address is 2725 Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63118. Please call the studio phone number first to make sure we're there: (314) 865-1988. (See studio)

"BOB DYLAN" AT NEXT TRAINING

This fall I've given two facilitator trainings, with another coming in February. At the last one, for the Quad Cities Labyrinth Project in Rock Island, IL, I introduced a new element: folk singing. Yes, I got the old guitar out of the closet after decades of neglect. Complete with harmonica, I did a song in the style of Bob Dylan, if he had discovered labyrinths. I may try it again at the next training, in Florissant, Missouri (a northern suburb of St. Louis), February 11-12, 2006. Zion United Church of Christ is subsidizing the training, so it only costs $50. Usually it is $200 to $300. For information call 314-741-1590. (See flyer in pdf format)

HOSPITAL LABYRINTHS

Our list of hospitals with labyrinths has now reached 128. We know there are others out there. The next time you visit our website, take a look and see if you know of any hospitals that are not included. We are under contract to make concrete labyrinths at several hospitals in 2006 and 2007. At the last Labyrinth Society gathering I gave a talk about how to get labyrinths into hospitals, where I feel they are especially efficacious for patients, visitors, and staff. There are a number of considerations when dealing with hospitals. One concerns the demand for "scientific proof" that labyrinths "work." I am especially adamant that science is not the standard by which labyrinths should be judged.

Science is appropriate only in the visible world, which can be measured and quantified. It has no interest in, and little application to, the spiritual realms, or even to emotional and psychological considerations. Other than having a chapel and chaplain, hospitals are at a loss when it comes to spiritual nourishment. Yet all marketing trends indicate that most patients want a holistic approach that includes body, mind, and spirit.

Enter the labyrinth. It is the most accessible and affordable way for hospitals to give their patients, visitors, staff and even community members a method through which their experience can be spiritually transformative. This is true regardless of the outcome of their medical treatment. Labyrinths speak a different language, and go where science can't go. It is exactly because they aren't scientific that hospitals need them. (See my article on Labyrinths in Hospitals. See also the List of hospitals with labyrinths.)

ADD YOUR LABYRINTH TO THE WORLDWIDE LOCATOR

Now containing some 1,500 listings, the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator is a joint project of the Labyrinth Society and Veriditas. To add your labyrinth and other labyrinths in your area, go to www.labyrinthsociety.org and in the upper right of the screen click on the Locator link. If you are not the owner or caretaker of the labyrinth you are listing, as a courtesy, please get permission, including a contact person. You will need the following information:

For the labyrinth:
Organization
Location
Directions
Contact person:
Name
Telephone
Email
Website
Labyrinth details:
Availability
Indoor or outdoor
Schedule
Status (portable, permanent)
Accessibility
Admission fee, if any
Design type
Construction material
Designer
Builder
Whether located on the Artline
Size
Date made/installed

The whole process is quite easy. You may also include a photo of small resolution. There is a "Browse" button and you simply add it as you would an attachment to an email. You can also add a caption. If all of this is too technically challenging, send the information to me, and I will enter it for you. Just fax a sheet with the above information, or send an email, including a photo. I can put the photo into the correct format. Or you can even mail the information with a snapshot.

JOIN THE LABYRINTH SOCIETY

While you are on the website putting your labyrinth on the Locator list, why not go to the membership page and join the Labyrinth Society. They have categories for individuals, families, and organizations. Founded here in St. Louis in 1998, the Society offers a wide range of services and information. The annual gathering draws some 200 very interesting people. See the website for details. (See www.labyrinthsociety.org)

COLLABORATING WITH ARTISTS

We consider ourselves to be labyrinth artists, not contractors. What could be more art-like than drawing labyrinths on canvas in a studio. The same is true if we are drawing with diamond saws and the material is concrete. It is our pleasure to collaborate with other artists so as to offer a wider range of possibilities to our clients. We are beginning a program, for example, of having guest artists come and do one-of-a-kind labyrinth masterpieces in canvas. Our first guest was Meryl Ann Butler, noted fabric artist. Her 12-foot design is filled with light, roses, and even glows in the dark. See our website for details.

Additionally, we offer the services of Uriel Starbuck, an enormously creative local sculptor. The personality and movement in his work is quite astounding. We also can offer the talents of Cliff Gokenbach, a mural artist. He has done the sets for numerous movies and TV programs, ranging from faux marble to copying the Sistine Chapel ceiling. His work graces the walls of several casinos in Las Vegas. Your labyrinth could include angels or figures or decoration for any theme. Both artists are available for non-labyrinth-related commissions and can be contacted through us.
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For a colorful newsletter with photos and graphics, download the pdf version: Circles 12

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