Concrete Labyrinths

In many ways, concrete is unforgiving. When we engrave the pattern into the surface of the concrete, we don't draw the labyrinth first and then cut the lines. Rather, we cut the pattern directly, "drawing" with the saws. This leaves very little room for error. To be able to do this, we have three specific and relevant skills:

1. We know the labyrinth pattern, having made some 1,000 labyrinths.

2. We know about concrete.

3. We have invented our own tools and techniques, which are continually evolving.

There is nothing "secret" about what we do. We use diamond blades for cutting and polymer concrete for coloring. The proprietary nature of our labyrinth making comes from how we execute the labyrinth itself. We invented this process to replace sand blasting and stain, which we found to be damaging and inadequate. For many examples of concrete labyrinths, see the Project Gallery section.

We think that this medium is the perfect solution for institutions. It does not involve anything exotic or expensive, it looks beautiful, and it lasts a very long time with minimal maintenance. Previously, paint and stain were the only decorative choices, which aren't durable. Now, polymer concrete makes concrete a viable choice. We have only one traveling crew, so we can only install a limited number of projects each year.

Below and to the right are examples of our polymer concrete technology. We have added a second material, a granite resin, which is also durable and has many favorable features. For details, see Granite.


Trinity Episcopal Church, Santa Barbara, California

We would rather make several labyrinths back-to-back when we drive all the way to California, but we made a special trip for Santa Barbara. We loved the town and the houses, the stores and restaurants.

Measuring and setting out our guidelines takes almost as much time as the cutting itself. Our crew for this labyrinth was Chuck Hunner, Judy Hopen, and Me (Robert Ferre). Many thanks to hour host Margaret, who put up with us for more than a week.

Even though we have drawn this pattern hundreds of times, it is still very complex and requires all of our concentration. After the cutting is done, we still have days worth of coloring, done meticulously by hand. The top photo (right) is in Hendersonville, NC, and the bottom photo (right) is Ruston, Louisiana. The rest are of Santa Barbara.

The labyrinth was a gift to Trinity Episcopal Church (1500 State Street) by the family of Beth Thornton, in memory of her mother.

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