Birth of a Labyrinth

It is quite the undertaking to make a labyrinth, any way you go about it. In the new Hall of the Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa, flooring installer Hugh Voogt created a replicate of the historic Chartres Labyrinth in Forbo linoleum. It was a challenging project to cut by hand the exacting geometry underlying the medieval labyrinth. Without any previous background on the history and geometry of the medieval labyrinth, Hugh did a remarkable job, and in the process, discovered the secrets of the system of the ancient geometers.

The floor was covered in the accent colour. The sacred orange bucket covered al pin which became the centre of a giant compass used to draw the circles of hte labyrinth.
The floor was covered in the accent colour. The sacred orange bucket covered a pin which became the centre of a giant compass used to draw the circles of the labyrinth.

 

The lines of the labyrinth are cut and glued in place.
The lines of the labyrinth are cut and glued in place.

 

 A large compass made to span the 21' radius of the labyrinth.
A large compass made to span the 21′ radius of the labyrinth.

 

Drawing and cutting the lunations around the outside of the labyirnth.
Drawing and cutting the lunations around the outside of the labyirnth.

 

The background material is layed on top of the accent lines and cut to fit exactly.
The background material is layed on top of the accent lines and cut to fit exactly.

 

Humbling work all on done on bended knee!
Humbling work all on done on bended knee!

 

Hugh Voogt and Assistance
Hugh Voogt and Assistance

The end result is a very pleasing and faithful reproduction of the 11th century labyrinth found in the floor of the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame in Chartres, France.

 

The Labyrinth at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa.
The finished Labyrinth at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa.

 

The rose pattern at the centre of the Chartes Labyrinth
A detail of the rose pattern at the centre of the  Labyrinth

Look for announcements of upcoming events and programs that will animate this ancient spiritual tool.

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2 thoughts on “Birth of a Labyrinth

    1. Yes, the labyrinth was cut with a small hand held blade. So much for waterjet cutting when a true craftsman can be engaged.

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