LABYRINTH CIRCLES
An Occasional Newsletter from Robert Ferre
Winter, 2012 edition
Contact me (robert@labyrinth-enterprises.com) with your comments and suggestions

Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC -- THE Resource for Labyrinths
www.labyrinth-enterprises.com

In this issue:
--Retired or not?
--The Worcester nightmare
--No successor
--Consulting and design
--Canvas labyrinth status
--The Collaborative
--Robert's schedule
--Writing projects

Retired or Not?
There seems to be confusion regarding my retirement. Here are the facts. Currently, my retirement is only partial. Due to circumstances facing many retired people in today's economy, I intend to continue to work part time. What I really want to end is the administration of Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC. I am not actively seeking work nor doing marketing nor any of the activities that it takes to grow and operate a service business. As a result, work -- received through clients finding my website or through reputation or word of mouth -- will continue to taper off. Nevertheless, I am available to do a small number of installations, and Linda and I are available to do trainings and programs. That being said, I'm not going to take on any more difficult jobs (see next article). I will refer such inquiries to members of our growing labyrinth collaborative. All of this means that only a small number of people will have a chance to have a labyrinth that I personally install, a low number to be sure, but greater than zero.

The Worcester Nightmare
Previously this newsletter contained a story of a difficult installation we had in Worcester, MA. With the help of the overall general contractor, everything has been resolved. Thank you Gilbane for your understanding and help. There are now four excellent labyrinths at the Massachusetts state psychiatric hospital in Worcester, two 30-foot Santa Rosa designs and two 24-foot Circle of Peace designs. Chuck Hunner was the foreman for the job. Artist workers included Lisa Moriarty, John Ridder, Mark Smith, and David Blonski (who I believe put something on YouTube about this project).

Note the high fence. These are locked wards. From the outside, parts of the building look very prison like, which they are.

No Successor
The most unsettling aspect of my retirement is the lack of a successor to run Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC. Sixteen years of building this company is about to go to waste. A few years ago, I advertised the company for sale, but had no takers. Most of my current experienced workers are in their 60's, and not interested in ownership -- although they may be willing workers.My equipment is in storage in Indianapolis, as John Ridder will need it in the spring. This includes proprietary tools developed specifically for our polymer concrete installations. In December, I sold my truck and tool trailer, as the cost of commercial insurance was exorbitant. I would be glad to advise someone on how to continue this work, if there is anyone interested. It has been a very satisfying career for me.

Consulting and Design
I am still available on a fee basis for consulting and design work. This includes reviewing plans for labyrinth designs, creating new designs, or supervising a group of volunteers. Much of this work can be de by email or telephone, which is good (see my schedule).Why not take advantage of my experience and creativity for your labyrinth project?

Canvas Labyrinth Availability
Our St. Louis studio, under the direction of Judy Hopen, was the world's largest producer of hand drawn and painted canvas labyrinths. Judy's talent was quite extraordinary. Congratulations to over 1,000 customers who have artifacts of her work. Due to health and financial considerations, our studio was closed last June. Judy's current health challenge is being kept very private, such that even I do not know her current situation. How will people who want a portable labyrinth be served? Only two sources currently exist for hand-crafted canvas labyrinths, not counting a few local artists who produce them in limited numbers. John Ridder, at www.paxworks.com, is well established, having been making labyrinths almost as long as I have. Less known (yet infamous in her own right) is past president of the Labyrinth Society, Lisa Moriarty -- originator of the Circle of Peace labyrinth pattern (www.pathsofpeace.com). Lisa is young and energetic and highly skilled in her artistry. She has produced several labyrinths for us, to complete some unfilled orders, much to our satisfaction. I highly recommend both of these artists. Since I see Lisa as the logical successor to Judy Hopen, I will be aiding her as much as possible in becoming better known.

Labyrinth Artists' Collaborative
My first preference for Labyrinth Enterprises, LLC, would be for it to go non-profit -- a structure and purpose that would well fit its sensibilities. Short of that, I hope to use our established name to give opportunity to other talented labyrinth artists by giving them exposure on this website as well as the appropriate referrals. I have been a bit slow in getting this accomplished, due to my travel schedule and some limitations in serving as my own webmaster. Stay tuned, this is something that I still hope to do.

Robert and Linda's Schedule
During the past two years, I have fallen in love, remarried, and discovered cruises. So infatuated have I become with cruising that I am doing some writing on the subject (see below). My schedule for 2012 looks something like this:

January: Annual visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
February: A rare month at home in San Antonio
March-April: Labyrinth work in Australia
April-May: Possible cruise back to the U.S.
June-July: Visiting friends in New England
August: Workship in San Francisco by Robert
September: Installation at Denison University, OH .
October: Possible work in Virgiia
November: Visit to Germany, Mediterranean cruise
December
: Repositioning cruise back to Texa

Writing Projects
My foremost endeavor these days is to complete some of the writing which I have postponed for years. Here are a few projects:
Retired: Gone Cruising: Diary of a Transatlantic Crossing. This will be my first work to be finished, currently under production. The associated website is www.retiredgonecruising.com. The book is a blow by blow account of a 17-day cruise, along with history and personal commentary. If you have ever gone on a cruise, you can compare your experience to ours. If not, you can see what it was like for us.
Robert Ferre's Labyrinth Manual The ultimate guide for designing and building labyrinths.
Robert Ferre's Facilitator Guidelines Based on my 95-page outline developed for training facilitators.
Robert Ferre's Labyrinth Essays. Everything else that I have to say about labyrinths.
Fond Memories of a Good Life. Linda pointed out that the other books I want to write, about Chartres Cathedral and happiness and much more, could instead be chapters in a single memoir. Brilliant.

I do all my writing these days using the Pages app for my iPad II. It is small, very portable, and easy to use. Next to it, my laptop seems like an 18-wheeler. Luckily, I have discovered that exotic destinations and cruises are perfect writing venues.

Contact Me
You will find my personal website at www.robertferre.com.

Email me at either of these addresses: robert@labyrinth-enterprises.com or robert@robertferre.com

 

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