The history of the PAISLEY pattern is very interesting
and you can find lots more information by surfing
the web. Having said that, here's my little bit of potted
history to wet your wirey whistles:
The term 'Paisley' is an English word for an ancient
design using the 'boteh', a droplet shaped vegetable
motif of Persian and Indian origins. Such designs became
incredibly popular in the West during the 18th-19th
centuries, following the imports of the design from
British India in the form of Kashmir shawls. These
patterns were imitated initially in the town of Paisley
in Scotland and that's where the name stuck!
The pattern was also particularly popular during the
psychedelic '60's 'Summer of Love', with the Beatles
pilgrimage to India and their interest in Indian spirituality
It's really never gone out of fashion and I think it's a
perfect shape for jewellery design. Over the years, I have
made many earrings, pendants and brooches using this
beautiful, linear contour.
So here's a simple tutorial, to get your creative
juices flowing. I hope it will inspire you to create some
variations of your own!
1. Begin by wrapping
some 0.8mm-1mm wire
around a circular dowel
or mandrel (mine was
about 1"/2.5cm) in
diameter) to create
a 'tear-drop' shape to
your desired size.
2. Using the tips
of your chain
secure one end
around the stem,
leaving a projecting
tail of approx. 2-5".
3. Working from the end of a spool of 0.8mm wire, thread
the end with a bead of your choice (I used a 4mm faceted crystal).
Using your round nosed pliers, create a curve at the end of the
4. ... and push the bead into the curve, and continue
to spiral the wire around the bead - until the
spiral is the same diameter as the base of the
frame you created in steps 1-2.
5. Cut the wire from the spool, leaving approx. 2"
projecting and create another, much small spiral
at the opposite end.
6. Working from the spool of 0.8mm, use some
bail making pliers (or, a cylindrical mandrel
such as a pen, or round nosed pliers, etc...)
to create a row of loops. (*I used the 6mm
mandrel of my bail makers).
7. Place all the components that you have
just made together, so that you can plan where
you are going to attach and bind them together.
8. Cut a long length (approx. 12") of 0.4mm wire
and use this to bind and attach the spiral within the
teardrop frame. Be as creative as you wish: you
could add small seed beads, coloured wire ...
9. Keep binding
until you have
used all the wire
up and if you run
out, just add more!
Once the spiral is
attached to the
centre of the frame,
you can either cut it
off, or create another
small decorative spiral
with any projecting
10. Next, begin binding the loops to the
side of the frame: Cut another long length
of 0.4mm wire and use this to attach them
along the side of the frame, as shown above.
11. Once the loops are secured, cut another
long length of 0.4mm wire and use this to
connect the beads within each loop. I used
4mm faceted crystals and wrapped the wire
around each side of each loop, framing the
12. Above - you can see all the beads are
in place and if you have any leftover wire,
a small tight spiral always looks good as
an extra embellishment.
13. Finally, thread a bead onto the wire projecting
from the top of the frame, and following step 3,
curl the wire around the bead, so that it is positioned
as a suspension hanger for your pendant.
14. If, like me, you have any left over wires
protruding, just make spirals out of them!
They will add extra decorative enhancement!
15. Now spend a little time adjusting it -
you can wire more beads into it, or tweak
your wires to add extra movement ... You can
also, push the base spiral out slightly for
an extra dimensional quality.
This is just a simple openwork design to
get you going... Infinite variations are possible!!
Now it's ready to suspend as a pendant from a
chain, cord or both!
Plus, different ways of suspension!
BRING SOME 'PAISLEY'
BACK INTO YOUR LIFE