More than 1/3 of the stones in place…

August 30, 2014


We have 186 “paces” completed! This is slightly more than 1/3 of the way there (for the labyrinth stones anyway). Each pace is about 6 or 8 stones. The estimate of 3500 – 4000 stones (total labyrinth) still seems about right, but who’s counting :-)

Almost every single stone has been handpicked by Deryk. I have loaded many of them in and out of the vehicle (we have sort of a bucket-brigade system when we gather the stones and the same for unloading them) and then he makes the final decision regarding the placement of each one. 

Our goal of all stones in place by the end of September seems like it could be a reality!



Deryk Houston and Elizabeth Wellburn – artists at Sooke Harbour House

August 28, 2014

Sooke Harbour House is a very special place – on a beautiful beach, with a world class restaurant, it’s considered one of Canada’s leading resorts. 

So… Deryk and I are very pleased to once again be featured artists there! For the month of September, our show is called “Old Enough to Know Better!”


This photo of the two of us on the lawn of the Empress in Victoria (during one of Deryk’s outdoor painting days) shows the birth of the title for our joint exhibition. We are old enough, but I’m not sure we know better.

Below are some of the pieces from the show – on view and on sale for the next few weeks. I didn’t get many good shots of Deryk’s work. He has about ten paintings on display in the gallery and I have about a dozen glass pieces of varying sizes.

derykpaintingsookefireplace darjeelingAtSooke arsenicatSooke IMG_1417


And I have small felt vessels on display as well.


Hope you can visit this amazing location! 

Sooke Harbour House 1528 Whiffen Spit Road, Sooke, BC V9Z 0T4

telephone (250) 642-3421

Day 1 and Day 2 of “romancing the stones”

August 19, 2014

So…. in a sense these pictures speak for themselves. First and second day of adding stones to the path. We are less than 7% done at the end of day two. So far most stones are from Butler Brothers – but a few are ones found on the farm and we’re going to see if there are other sources as well.

derykcastingastone elizabethwithhardhat

Results after first day - which included a bit of readjusting

Results after first day – which included a bit of readjusting

31 paces completed at the end of day 2

31 paces completed at the end of day 2

It’s just been me and Deryk so far – but maybe a work party or two will be happening in the near future.

Labyrinth outline complete!

August 16, 2014

Deryk and I finished the line-drawing on the ground today. We walked it together and found that it’s about 1000 steps (well, probably more accurately 960) to walk from the entrance of the labyrinth “proper” and back out again. Which means that our original estimate of one kilometer for the whole path including our Apple Tree Lane and a circle around the field before entering the labyrinth is pretty much accurate.

We had some helpers today! Thanks Sue and Libby and some others as well – the centre hole is dug and some of the blackberries still growing on the far side of the wall have been tackled.

Here are a couple of new pictures.labyrinthwithSculpture


And for a quick look at “then and now” see my July post that also references last October

Beginning of Labyrinth Layout

August 16, 2014

On Thursday we got the first outer rings of the labyrinth mapped out. It’s very exciting!! 


Yesterday we got close to the centre but there are so many little thistles popping up. We started to see them within a week of leveling the ground and the tilling hasn’t gotten rid of them – they are deep and they run roots in all directions under the ground. So we are taking the time to pull them.


Looks like some small sticks on a pillowcase but it’s actually a fairly large tarp and those roots are big!

Today we’re pretty sure we will have competed the full labyrinth (in linear form) to be visible on the ground. The lines we are making will become the centre of a chip path – rows of plantings (not sure what yet) will be in between the rings of the path.

As for the thistles – with almost daily weeding, I am keeping them at bay in Apple Tree Lane – so we know they *can* be managed. Sort of. 

Lots more pictures to come from me  – and there’s info on Deryk’s website too.

Samuel and the roto-tiller

August 13, 2014


One more attack on the thistles that continue to pop up!

A hint of what the labyrinth will be like with sculptures installed

August 4, 2014
Early Morning at Woodwynn

Early Morning at Woodwynn

“The Children’s International Peace and Harmony Statue”, by American artist David Kocka was moved onto the site on Aug 2, followed by Deryk and Samuel’s sculpture “Points of Origin”.

Both are shown in the above photo, shot by me on August 3 (yesterday), early in the morning.

And I have found a quote that inspires me for the glass and metal sculpture that I’ll be doing with Sam. I’ve known for a while that it’s title will be “Solstice” and now I think an Albert Camus quote has to be part of it as well

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

To me this fits the spirit of Woodwynn Farms and it evokes the idea of transitions (seasonal or otherwise) that happen to people and to the natural world. Short days do get longer. Long days do get shorter.

I don’t know yet if this quote is from a book, essay or ? but I will find out. I’ve seen the quote online as both “in the *midst* of winter…” and “in the *depth* of winter” which of course is probably just related to the translation from the French. Either way is fine, and my hope is for the rising summer solstice sun to glow through warm-coloured recycled glass and convey a feeling of invincible summer. I am excited about this project. The location saved for the piece is perfect – a corner of the labyrinth perimeter where the view down the valley is stunning. I know Samuel will create a beautiful welded shape and I will have the fun of working with the glass that will be incorporated.

Today is a day for reflection on many things, and the Albert Camus quote can certainly be a good starting point.

Finally…. here is my own little thought today about the meaning of solstice…. “Sometimes time must turn around in order to move forward”


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