Winding geometry around a cylindrical object?

I’m trying to recreate the sword sting from the lord of the rings and it has an ornament along the grip, winding around from the top all the way to the bottom as can be seen here:

I’m trying to figure out how this can be modeled and I tried using an array along a helix curve, however it’s very fiddly and causes some distortion.
Is there a better method to attatch such a pattern around a cylinder? Maybe using the shrinkwrap modifier?

Add an “Shrinkwrap modifier” at the end of the modfier list and set the target to the cylinder.

Created a bit of a mess.

The thing in the top left is happening because the tilt of the curve isn’t corrected, which is a pain to fix. I also don’t really know how to correct the distortion or jagged edges.

add subsurf to main object and increase level to 4 or more before shrinkwrap

see what it gives
make certain normal are outward

happy bl

I used a Screw Modifier and then used that as a path with a Shrinkwrap and curve modifiers…Use a single vertex with the screw to get the twist, then shrink wrap to the handle…that will be your path for the inlay to follow… it will screw-up ( no pun ) at the extreme ends of the cone, but it doesn’t go there anyway…I added a simple circle and extruded it just to give an example…and once all looks good you can clean up any messy bits…

and the Blend to play with… Screw-Mod.blend (4.4 MB)