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The Design

I searched for a design and found one called the Celtic Chalice which was Ok, but still a little too simple. I gravitated toward the Chartres circuit style. These create an extensive path within a small area. But it didn’t feel Celtic! Is this what we should we settle for? As I paged through a book of Celtic knot designs, I got an idea and started drawing circles. Lots of circles! All labyrinth designs involve plenty of geometry, this design is no exception. A design seems simple and clear when it is complete. That’s because all the work has already been done. I didn't have computer design skills, just a pencil, a compass, graph paper and lots of circles. The design images can be seen in "Labyrinth Photos" and help illustrate the process that got my idea of circles connected within the larger circle, onto paper. Yes, the size of the pad needed to be expanded.


The path is made using Old Dominion pavers, that are designed to create circle patterns. A single pallet holds the combination of shapes that will produce a 6' 9" circle. Using these shapes a pattern was created in a way that cracks the circle and turns it back onto itself. These shapes are not available as individual paver and must be purchased as a pallet unit. (thanks guys) I transferred the 6 points of the outer circle and set the grid lines, from paper to labyrinth location. The core of the design is derived from thirteen 6ft circles. I laid the pavers that established the 6ft center circle. Then using the grid lines for placement, I scratched in six circles that hug the outside perimeter and six more that hug the outside edge of the center circle. The paver pattern was worked out, in that it would enter and turn back within the 6ft circular space and then move on and connect to the next circle. The next step was to set the pavers. I could not just level the sand and set! Each paver had to be leveled spaced and set individually, as well as to its adjacent paver and across open line to other parts of the paver path. Next, fill in the lines and the spaces between. I wanted the pad to be a hard surface. I decided to infill using stone or pebble mosaic. This will require many thousands of stones. Many hours of collecting rock and many hours of setting them in place. This will appear as running patterns of small stones, set on edge with 1/4 inch to minus, crushed basalt rock as the binder. This product is sharp and angular, which helps lock in the stones and pavers. For the bulk of the mosaic, I use flat washed beech stones that are abundant at my local beach. The only cost is time it takes to collect them. There are many stones that have been brought and offered from the far reaches of the world.The stones are set in the gravel on their edge leaving only a small portion of the stone exposed. Collecting aside, it takes about an hour to set 1/2 sq foot of stone. Literally, it will be done inch by inch.  Working my way from the center outwards, filling in the lines. Collecting and selecting, setting, tapping, tamping, dusting and brushing. Time consuming, but not tedious. The largest areas still lay  ahead. I know it will be worth it!

The Unexpected

I was standing in the center of the circle talking to myself I'm sure, and I notice a slight but discernible echo resonance of my voice. This was definitely not by design, but I was not surprised at this effect. Sometimes things just happen the way they are supposed to. Here is a definition and a little of the physical science of resonant energy.
a. The condition of a system in which there is a sharp maximum probability for the absorption of electromagnetic radiation or capture of particles.
b. A type of elementary particle of extremely short lifetime. Resonances are regarded as excited states of more stable particles.
c. A highly transient atomic state formed during a collision process. When a sound wave, which is made up of kinetic energy, collides with a surface, it will release its kinetic energy as heat at the site of that collision. If it collides with a gritty surface with many hills and valleys of molecules, it will collide against a greater number of molecules, and more of its energy will be converted to heat. Smooth materials, on the other hand, allow relatively few opportunities for small, individual collisions between the surface's molecules and the sound wave -- and therefore less of the sound wave's energy is converted to heat, and more of it bounces back off of the surface as an echo or in this case a harmonic resonance. 

The hard surface of the short wall, in combination with the concave shape aid in creating this effect. This resonance helps retain the energy created within the circle. It's all good!

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