Friday, July 5, 2013

Spectacular Spirals

I've had spirals on my mind, ever since I received Jenny Davies-Reazor's June Component of the Month charms.  The pair of charms I received had spiral impressions on them.  I designed earrings to emphasize the spiral motif, by echoing it in antiqued brass wire. This got me to thinking about the meaning and history of spirals.
Once I began looking around, I started seeing spirals everywhere.

They are found in nature; in animals, plants, weather patterns and who knows what else. This dahlia from our front yard is unfurling in a spiral pattern.

Big Horn Sheep -  Pinterest.
Weather Patterns - Pinterest
Spirals also show up in many cultures, religions, traditions, art and architecture.


Spiral Petroglyph - Pinterest

Buddhist Temple in China - Pinterest
So what about spirals in jewelry both ancient and contemporary?  Here's a very quick sampling of what I found.
Greek gold ring from the 7th -6th century BC - Pinterest
Then skipping blithely through many centuries, I photographed these early colonial filigree earrings in a museum in Oaxaca, Mexico.
And still later, Art Nouveau jewelry was awash in spirals and swirls.

René Lalique - Pinterest.
Which made me wonder about contemporary jewelry. So I decided to make an Etsy Treasury of spiral art beads and components, as well as finished jewelry.  I quickly found that just on Etsy, there were enough spiral pendants and jewelry designs to make a dozen treasuries. I was amazed!

AJE team member, Karen Totten loves spirals.  In fact, here's a peek into her studio earlier this week.  She's a spiral maniac!  These pendants and charms are all works in progress for Bead Fest, August 23-25.  In fact, many of our members' studios are filled with work for Bead Fest, including Susan Kennedy, Jen Cameron, Jenny Davies-Reazor and Diana Ptaszynski.  

Here's a finished piece from Karen.
And Diana has spiral ammonites.

Kristi has lots of ammonite spirals, too.

Here's a pretty flower with a spiralling stem from Rebekah.
And I have a necklace with a spiral pendant.

And if that's not enough, you can check out all these amazing spiral components and jewelry designs in the Spectacular Spiral Treasury that I put together on Etsy.  Enjoy!

'Spectacular Spirals - Part 1' by beadmarie

Spirals are a universal motif in nature, architecture, science, art, religion and mathematics. I found so many handmade art beads and finished jewelry with spirals, that I'll be doing two treasuries with this theme. Enjoy!

Yellow Swirl Porcelain Flowe...

Swirl cuff bracelet

Round Porcelain Bead Mix Wit...

Handmade Polymer Clay Chubby...

Ceramic charm pair spiral or...

Little Gecko Lizard bead - S...

Pink and Copper Scoops Neckl...

Copper Swirl Fibula

Lampwork Beads - SueBeads - ...

Porcelain Clay Spiral Textur...

Spiral Earth Stone- Black La...

Large Copper Swirl Pendant R...

Golden Acorn Glass Lampwork ...

Large Handmade Ceramic Porce...

Bronze Age Spiral Toggle Cla...

Earrings Wire Wrapped Bronze...


  1. I love spirals too! The ammonite texture I use constantly has been my favorite for years!! Thanks for putting together this wonderful gallery!

    1. You are the queen of ammonite textures, for sure! I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing your spiral collection from nature and artisans.

    1. I'm happy that you enjoyed the post. Thank you.

  3. I love Spirals! Love the post and thanks for including my copper pin!

    1. Your copper pin is so fantastic! It was the first thing I added when I was putting the treasury together!

  4. There is something soothing and hypnotic about this universal motif. Thanks for sharing the amazing examples, Linda!

  5. Thank you for the shout-out Linda! It's true - I LOVE spirals! Who knows how far back the motif goes in human history? Perhaps one of our earliest expressions, a reflection of the natural world we see around us.


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