Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Meditation by Hand

We spent a great week at Naramata where I took a course on Fabric Collage from an Edmonton artist. But I came with two goals to apply here: I wanted to learn how to draw out a labyrinth because eventually I'll need to tape one on a gym floor. And secondly, I wanted to figure out how to make portable labyrinths to use with folks in the local seniors' residence.
One of my classmates took this photo of me -- concentrating on winding strings of embroidery whilst gluing it on the pencilled lines of a seven-circuit labyrinth.

The idea for the bright, starry pink cloth came from reading The Spirituality of Labyrinths and Mazes by Gailand MacQueen. MacQueen describes a hike along the Northern Cornish Coast of England and encountering St. Materiana's Church which was founded by "excess, unmarried Celtic Princesses." The phrase tantalized me because of J's delight in anything princess. While I enjoy her delight in pink, I get a bit nervous about the whole princess waiting for Prince Charming, concentrating just on looking beautiful. But here were princesses who looked beyond themselves to help others. About two miles away from the Church is Rocky Valley where there are two labyrinths, each about seven inches wide, carved into a rock cliff face. MacQueen discovered the labyrinths in an area surrounded by a stream, waterfall and bluebells. He described the experience as profound and magical. Now, I'm sure it was a man who took the time to carve those laybrinths into stone because men like to do things that will last. But I wondered if the women founders of the nearby Church had also experienced walking the labyrinth. So I chose bright, starry pink cloth as the basis for the finger labyinth.

I'm pleased with the look of this finger labyrinth. But the glue detracts from the feel of the fabric and some women love to do is run their fingers along fabric.

I knew MJ would have a solution and of course, she did. She just looked at it and told me what to do. Here's some leftover wool that her Mom, dyed. Then she helped me find a dark green remnant that will be the background. More on that in weeks to come!

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