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Bremerton, WA

Brian Watson, Wood Sculptor

Vessel Forms, Bowls, Platters, Relief Carving, Letter Carving, Commissions, Labyrinths, Laser-engraved veneer bookmarks, Custom Design

Chartres Finger Labyrinth, Alder

Finger Labyrinths

With these beautifully crafted finger labyrinths, you can now experience the labyrinth journey for yourself in your home, when you travel, or in small-group gatherings.  Simply let your finger follow the satin smooth path of the labyrinth, or push a marble through the path, or use a stylus, or trace the path with your eyes.  Any way you do it is the right way.

 

Chartres Finger Labyrinth, Alder

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Chartres Finger Labyrinth, Alder

from 39.99

The Chartres Labyrinth is named after the floor mosaic of the same design at Chartres cathedral.  Also known as the Medieval Labyrinth, the Chartres Labyrinth first started appearing in the tenth century in Europe (centuries before the Charrtes cathedral was built), and by the 12th century was the dominant labyrinth design in Christian Europe.  It incorporates a symmetrical, 4-axis design into the 11-circuit Otfrid design, to make a complex labyrinth path with 70 moves.

Available in three sizes:  4.625” diameter, 8” diameter, and 11” diameter.  All labyrinths are .75” thick and made from sustainably-raised alder, which has a deep, rich, warm color similar to cherry.  Hand-finished with a coat of penetrating Danish Oil, which protects it from mild use, and brings out the color and luster of the alder.  Please note that the photos here are of carbonized bamboo labyrinths, not the alder labyrinths, because the alder labyrinths are a brand new offering and I haven't had them photographed yet.  The color of the alder labyrinths is very similar to that of the carbonized bamboo, with the main difference being grain pattern.

All the labyrinths have a convex back side (like a dinner plate) so they rest comfortably in your hands.  When not in use, your labyrinth makes an eye-catching bas-relief sculpture on a coffee table, or with the slot in the back, it can be easily hung on a wall for display.

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The labyrinth is an archetypal art form that spans the globe and goes back thousands of years.  There are several common variants of the labyrinth design, and they have appeared as petroglyphs, in vellum manuscripts, on cathedral floors, and in gardens.   In all labyrinth designs, unlike in a maze, there is no “wrong way:”  even as it winds, twists, and rounds on itself repeatedly, there is only one path to follow. 

Today there is a resurgence of interest in the labyrinth, particularly as a tool for contemplation, meditation, prayer, therapy, as well as calming and relaxation.  The act of following the labyrinth path, meandering along the concentric journey from circumference to center and back, is a powerful experience for anyone, of any age or ability.

With these beautifully crafted finger labyrinths, you can now experience the labyrinth journey for yourself in your home, when you travel, or in small-group gatherings.  Simply let your finger follow the satin smooth path of the labyrinth, or push a marble through the path, or use a stylus, or trace the path with your eyes.  Any way you do it is the right way.

I have designed and created these finger labyrinths with utmost attention to detail.  I choose only the highest-quality, sustainably-grown, FSC-certified bamboo plywood and solid wood alder for these labyrinths.  Each one passes through my hands numerous times, and I make sure that they feel utterly satisfying to hold and trace your fingers along.

The Classical Labyrinth is the oldest of labyrinth designs, stretching back thousands of years, and variants of it appear worldwide.  This design has seven circuits, or bends, and is bounded by eight walls.

The Otfrid Labyrinth is thought to have been first drawn by the monk Otfrid of Weissenburg, in c. 871, on the endpaper of the Book of Gospels, composed at Weissenburg monastery in Alsace.  It takes the Classical form and adds four more circuits, to make an 11-circuit design, and was a major breakthrough in the development of labyrinth designs.

The Chartes Labyrinth is named after the floor mosaic of the same design at Chartes cathedral.  Also known as the Medieval Labyrinth, the Chartes Labyrinth first started appearing in the tenth century in Europe (centuries before the Chartes cathedral was built), and by the 12th century was the dominant labyrinth design in Christian Europe.  It incorporates a symmetrical, 4-axis design into the 11-circuit Otfrid design, to make a complex labyrinth path with 70 moves.

Whichever one you choose, you will find the experience of tracing the labyrinth path to be transformative.