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Making Loops On Eyepins Or Headpins.

Q: I've been making jewelry for a while and I still can't make an acceptable loop. Either my loops are different sizes (a problem when making earrings), or they turn out more "oval" than round. I'm bending the wire just above the bead so it's at a right-angle, then grasping the tip with round nose pliers and twisting my wrist to form the loop. I have tried every instruction that I can find, and have been practicing.

A: Hmm... I've made a video called: "Basic Wirework for Bead Jewelry Making", and a book of the same title. They would help. We can ask anyone out there who has either to let you know if they think it would be a help...'Kate Drew-Wilkinson'...On Wed, 26 Jan 2000 00:53:03 GMT, "tuddy". From your description, it sounds as though you have the movement right. I think it is probably sizing that is your problem. Where you grasp the wire (what place on the plier jaw) matters. You need to have the right amount of wire above the right-angle bend matched with the right space on your round-nose pliers. When I was learning, I scratched 3 marks on the jaw of my pliers, for small, medium, and large loops, then learned to eyeball the right length of wire for each. Too much wire above the bend makes oval loops, too little makes loops that leave a gap above the bead. Try a medium marking and practice with cheap wire till you can make loops consistently the same size, then expand your repertoire! 'Kate D-W's' wireworking book is great, and I highly recommend it. I haven't seen the video, but I'm sure it's helpful as well. Another thing you may want try while making the loop is to make very tiny turns with your round nose pliers, repositioning your pliers with each turn. The wire responds by bending into an appropriate round loop. You did mention that you are grasping the wire at the end before trying to make the loop. Get as close to the wire's end as possible, where you're barely holding it, and try the tiny turns. This really helped me when I was learning. If all else fails, try your local beadshop. Most stores I've visited are happy to help troubleshoot a problem. I am VERY new, I've made about 10 loops so far (wow), using the round nose pliars. I get fairly acceptable results by 1. Bending the wire at 90 deg to begin the loop. 2. Placing round-nose just above the bend (where the loop will be). 3. Holding the pliars steady, while I BEND THE WIRE AROUND THE PLIARS, about 90 degrees. 4. Since the pliars are tapered, I find I get a better loop if I wrap toward the larger side of the taper. The taper tends to force the loop to close toward the smaller end. 5. Moving round-nose around the loop, and continuing bending around the round-nose. 6. Cutting the excess off where it crosses over the beginning of the loop, and flattening the loop. If you try to bend the loop by rotating the round-nose pliars, you will inevitably un-bend some of your initial bends.