A few weeks ago, Illustration Friday’s theme was Paisley. I of course had big plans, which started with some research on paisley and what it actually is. It’s a pattern, duh! Pretty much ANY complex, kidney-shaped pattern, multi-colored or monochromatic. Here’s what I learned, from the web mind you… so it could all be wrong:
Basic design is a twisted teardrop or kidney shape. They were known as Persian Pickles when they were first introduced in Europe in the 16th century and are of Indian origin. In Sanskrit they are called Mankolam. From the Tamil word Ma (Mango) and Kolam (Rangoli). Rnagoli is a popular form of sand painting often associated with religious or faith rituals. When they were introduced to Europe, they had an air of mysticism and were considered good luck icons that could ward off demons. By the 1960’s popular culture had claimed the design as an icon of rebellion.
The name Paisley came from a town in Scottland. European embroiderers immediately tried to replicate the beautiful imported (but expensive) designs. With limited ability, they were only able to produce multi-color designs of 5 or so colors, which paled in comparison to the 50 color designs coming from the far east. Then, a loom in Paisley Scotland developed the ability to produce up to 30 color designs. They quickly became the primary resource for European Persian Pickles, soon to be known as the paisley design.
So, I failed to produce anything that week for Illustration Friday. However, I have become rather smitten with the paisley motif. So, for the month of July I will be producing a design every day, 31 in all. Some will be fast, some will be slow. But the plan is to produce one every day.
Persian Pickle No 1