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Usually I use graph paper for making my knots, but for spirals all you need is plain paper with no lines or markings. If you like, you can freehand the main starting circle, or you can use a compas or circle template to draw it. It's just an outline guide for your spiral shape, so you can be as precice as you want... for fun, once you master the circle, try an oval!

In each panel I will show you step by step how to join a Celtic Spiral to an object, which is the first stage in learning to join spirals to eachother. Each new step will be in red. As you go through the panels, old steps will turn gold, and there will be a new step highlighted, again in red.




Here we'll join a Spiral to an object, in this case a small circle. First place your spiral and your object a small distance apart. Usually you need a bit of space between them, rather than butted up right against each other, or extremely far apart. A moderate distance is easiest for this first example.


A join is usually formed by creating what I call a trumpet. I call it this because the shape starts off narrow, and then flares out rather like the mouth of a trumpet. There are different joins used in the old manuscripts, and they are a good source for learning from, but the trumpet join will cover most needs for us right now. To do this example you need to position your Spiral so that the end of a tail tapers to an end at the bottom of the Spiral. Start on your spiral where the tail has tapered into the outside of the circle, and draw a trumpet shape out towards to other object. It should end about half way between the spiral and object.


Begin another trumpet on the opposite side from where you made the spiral trumpet emerge. Thus the object trumpet should come from the top if the spiral trumpet was from the bottom, and vise versa. Make this trumpet come out so that it's mouth meets up with the other trumpet.


In the widest area where the two trumpets meet, an object was usually placed to show off the increased area. Usually this object was a leaf or petal-like shape, but you could also make it a tiny Spiral if you wanted, or maybe even a Trinity Knot. Other spaces created by the trumpets and the Spirals can be filled with more circles, leaves, or other knotwork to make the whole painting more detailed.


Learn to Join Two Spirals Together...


All tutorials copyright Cari Buziak, 1995-current