Jewelrylessons.com is one of the best places online to find jewelry making tutorials and interact with other jewelry artists, especially wire wrapped jewelry artists.
One of my favorite tutorials from the site teaches how to make perfectly round loops, and how to turn those lovely perfect circles into more attractive spirals than those that can be formed from slightly teardrop-shaped simple loops.
The tutorial was written by jewelrylessons.com teacher Fee, and she has generously made it available as a free download.
Several eye pins made from 1 1/2 or 2-inch lengths of 20 gauge dead soft wire. The starting lengths of the wires (before they were made into eye pins) must be known. The eyes of each pin should be of equal size. This is achieved by forming every pin’s eye at the same point of the round nose pliers’ nose.
Several beads. Beads around 6mm in diameter work well with 20 gauge wire.
Round nose pliers
a ruler for measuring
Flat nose pliers (optional)
Before beginning, you should know that while simple loops are extremely useful in jewelry making, there is a more secure type of loop called a wrapped loop. Some advantages of simple loops are that they are faster to make and use less wire. However, there are situations in which simple loops should not be used, such as where they will
support a great deal of weight, such as when very heavy beads are used
be frequently manipulated; for example a simple loop should not be used to join a clasp to a necklace or bracelet
formed with inappropriate wire gauges. Generally, the thicker the wire the more stable it will be as a simple loop. The correct balance between wire gauge, bead size, and the overall look of a piece must be carefully considered.
To begin, measure the length of the eye pin’s tail. That is, measure the length of the eye pin not including the eye itself.
Subtract the measured length from the original length of the wire before it was made into an eye pin. This will tell you how much wire was used to make the simple loop. Read More
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The simple loop is the most fundamental “cold connection” in the wire wrapped jewelry maker’s arsenal. Very simply, it is made by turning the end of a piece of wire into a loop. These little loops have very important uses, though, from linking beads together to form rosary-style chains to attaching the dangly bit of an earring to its ear wire.
The following jewelry making tutorial will show you how to make simple loops and eye pins. An eye pin is a short piece of wire with a simple loop on one end.
To make several simple loop eye pins you will need:
Several 2-inch lengths of 20 gauge dead soft wire. For practice (and for some projects!) use inexpensive copper or craft wire. It is important to measure the wire accurately if you will be using these eye pins for a project.
A wire cutter, such as a flush cutter
Round nose pliers
The following instructions are written for right-handers. Left handers must simply reverse the instructions.
To begin, hold your round nose pliers in your right hand with the hand oriented as though you were about to cut a piece of paper with a pair of scissors.
Turn your hand back and to the left so that the nose of your pliers are pointing to the left, and the back of your hand is facing up.
Pick up a piece of wire with your left hand.
Bring the wire to the nose of the pliers from behind. As the wire enters the nose of the pliers, it will be moving toward you. Grasp the end of the wire with the nose of the pliers. The wire should be positioned such that its end just barely protrudes from the nose of the pliers, and the tail of the wire emerges from behind the pliers perpendicular to their nose.
If you will be using these eye pins for a project, it is important to make them uniform. In order to make all of the loops the same size, you should either make careful note of which spot on the nose of the pliers you are grasping the wire with (such as exactly half way between the base and the tip) or you should mark the spot with a Sharpie marker. A Sharpie mark can be easily removed later with rubbing alcohol.
Begin to curl the wire into a simple loop by rotating your wrist, hand, and the pliers away from you (so that your fingers move downward and your thumb moves upward). Rotate about 1/2 turn, until it would be uncomfortable to continue turning your wrist.