18 June 2008

Another Labyrinth

Today I took part of my lunch hour and helped Eileen & Tadie recreate a labyrinth for the graduate program course that Eileen teaches. It was our 4th labyrinth together. Tadie took some photos and perhaps a video of the making of it. If he sends it to me I will post it here later.
Here is the first one we did - I think it was 3 years ago. It is nearly perfect. We have the best process for painted labyrinths...

Eileen measured the space we had to work with - an 80' diameter circle (or 960").

I took an image of the Chartres cathedral labyrinth into Illustrator as a background image.

I then drew concentric circles , lining them up with the 11 circuits of the unicursal labyrinth.

I added the lines for the switch-backs and the gaps for the pathway and then grouped all the elements so that they would stay in the same relative positions, and deleted the background image.

I set the base measurement in Illustrator to points, and enlarge the grouped graphic to 960 points in diameter.

Now I could use Illustrator's measuring tools to determine the all the necessary measurements.

Since there was a 10" diameter tree in the center of the area I took 5 inches off of the radius and then took a copper rod and bent it into a circle that we slipped around the tree.

Using a 1/4" rope, we placed a tab of masking tap at intervals matching the dividers for the 11 circuits.

We then painted the straight lines and plotted where the curved lines began and ended, where the switch-backs were and where the entrance was.

Then using a athletic field painting handcart, we walked backwards, spraying the paint, using the rope as a spoke as we went round and round creating the circuits.

Once those were finished we added the center and outer lunettes, and the curved corners at the switch-backs.

We learned that the labyrinth would last through two mowings, although it would need retouched fairly soon after the second mowing. We kept it up for several months and then repainted it the next spring.

The one we painted today is a bit mis-shapen due to being on the side of a hill, but it will still work. Instead of a tree in the middle, we tied the rope to a large screwdriver and stuck it in the ground where we wanted the center of the labyrinth to be.

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