Weekly Keep-Our-Sanity Challenge: Spiral


Carl Jung: The unconscious process moves spiral-wise around a center, gradually getting closer, while the characteristics of the center grow more and more distinct.

For this installment of our weekly Keep-Our-Sanity challenge, we chose the theme of the Spiral.  

The spiral is one of the most powerful and prevalent archetypes, found in both nature and human creation. Here’s a pretty good overview on Wikipedia of human expressions of the spiral across Earth and Time:

Spirals as Symbols

The spiral and triple spiral motif is a Neolithic symbol in Europe (Megalithic Temples of Malta). The Celtic symbol the triple spiral is in fact a pre-Celtic symbol.[4] It is carved into the rock of a stone lozenge near the main entrance of the prehistoric Newgrange monument in County MeathIreland. Newgrange was built around 3200 BCE predating the Celts and the triple spirals were carved at least 2,500 years before the Celts reached Ireland but has long since been incorporated into Celtic culture.[5] The triskelion symbol, consisting of three interlocked spirals or three bent human legs, appears in many early cultures, including Mycenaean vessels, on coinage in Lycia, on staters of Pamphylia (at Aspendos, 370–333 BC) and Pisidia, as well as on the heraldic emblem on warriors’ shields depicted on Greek pottery.[6]

Spirals can be found throughout pre-Columbian art in Latin and Central America. The more than 1,400 petroglyphs (rock engravings) in Las PlazuelasGuanajuato Mexico, dating 750-1200 AD, predominantly depict spirals, dot figures and scale models.[7] In Colombia monkeys, frog and lizard like figures depicted in petroglyphs or as gold offering figures frequently includes spirals, for example on the palms of hands.[8] In Lower Central America spirals along with circles, wavy lines, crosses and points are universal petroglyphs characters.[9] Spirals can also be found among the Nazca Lines in the coastal desert of Peru, dating from 200 BC to 500 AD. The geoglyphs number in the thousands and depict animals, plants and geometric motifs, including spirals.[10]

Our Team’s Interpretations

Jenny Davies Reazor: Small mixed media piece.

Carol Dewison: Spiral Galaxy mug.

Karen Totten: Digital painting: Oceanic Spiral.

Jennifer Stout Cameron: Glass spiral focal bead

Cathy Spivey Mendola: Spiral Quilt 1.

Cathy Spivey Mendola: Detail of Spiral Quilt 1.

Cathy Spivey Mendola: Spiral Quilt 2.

Cathy Spivey Mendola: Detail of Spiral Quilt 2.

Cooky Schock: Rainbow spiral knit baby hat.

Jenny Davies Reazor: Ceramic Star.



Karen Totten

Karen has worked professionally as an artist and designer for over 30 years in a variety of creative disciplines: architectural design, illustration, art direction, mixed media art, interaction design. She currently works full time as a User Experience (UX) Design Principal for an international consultancy. When not flying to work every week, her other passions are ceramic art, sketching, and occasionally, jewelry design. “For me, the creative life, from UX to fine art, has always been one of exploration and adventure. As the daughter of an air force navigator, I grew up a traveler. To this day I am intrigued by stories and motifs that transcend time, culture, and geography.“
  1. Reply

    amazing… the first stamp I made by hand was just this. So drawn to it! It appears in so many things I do.. calls to my soul.

    • Reply

      The spiral is a strong archetype in our consciousness. I think that is why we are so drawn to it.

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