FAUX PEBBLES

 

A tornado destroyed St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Nashville,TN. And so the new church was built in such a way that the foundation of the old church formed a concrete terrace in front of the church, upon which a labyrinth was to be located.

Alas, disaster struck again. The day the concrete was being poured, a sudden thunderstorm damaged the concrete. Trying to fix it made things worse, leaving an uneven surface. The lines of a labyrinth painted on such a surface would look wavy, even if they were accurate. Martin, the architect, came up with a unique solution: pebbles. We would paint faux pebbles. They wouldn't show the irregularities of the surface.

We practiced for a week in St. Louis, getting the technique down. We used special long-lasting acrylic resin as the paint, with three colors of gray (which we mixed into many more shades) and stiff stencil brushes. We taught several volunteers the technique. Painting the 10,000+ pebbles took three days. The result is quite striking. This is the Santa Rosa design, originated and copyrighted by Lea Goode-Harris. For more information see www.srlabyrinthfoundation.com.

Post script:

The labyrinth was never sealed by the church and so, after five years, the pebbles looked faded. The youth group re-painted it, but not with the same finesse in forming stones. The labyrinth is still there to be walked, although it looks a bit more like blobs than stones. This won't in any way detract from the experience of walking it.

 

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Photo of Judy and Shelly painting faux pebbles.

Judy and Shelly painting.

Close-up photo of faul pebbles painted on concrete.

Details of the faux pebbles.

Photo of St. Anne's Episcopal Church with labyrinth in front.

Completed labyrinth.