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While researching ancient design I have been fascinated with basic shapes from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, ancient Celts, pictographs and petroglyphs. Did you know that zigzag or wave pattern was the earliest symbolic motif recorded?

Neanderthals used this symbol around 40,000 B.C. or earlier. [1] This pattern was used with and on anthropomorphic, bird, fish, and phallic images and objects. The symbol was used on Near East Neolithic ceramics and in reference with the M sign mu, meaning water, in Egyptian hieroglyph and the ancient Greek letter. The coil is another early motif incorporated by early man in artistic expression.

‘Small Swimmer 3’
With this early imagery and ornamentation on my mind, and thoughts of their significance and inner-relationship to each other, I created a coil of 18 gauge sterling using a ¼” diameter rod.
Using flat nose pliers, graps and flip the first coil to the right, a stylized M begins to evolve.
Grasp at the bottom of the coil with flat nose pliers and continue to unfurl the coil at right angles to each other. Use your fingernail to hold back all but the top coil.
The resulting coil corrugated wire may need to be annealed and flattened gently to use in your project. By sandwiching the corrugated wire between two acrylic sheets and gently tapping with the rawhide mallet, the corrugation will flatten down without deformation and surface flattening occurring to the surface of the round wire.Create corrugated wire the size you need by experimenting with various size dowels or rods.

1. Marija Gimbutas “The Language of the Goddess” pg. 19, “In the early 1970’s, J. Kozlowski found at the Mousterian Site of Bascho Kiro in Bulgaria a nonutilitarian fragment of bone that had been engraved with a zig-zag motif. (Marshack 1976: 139).

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