Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Basic Wire Skills for Jewelry Making Part 3 Hand Forged Eyepins

Eyepins are one of the most basic of wire jewelry skills. Learning this one skill will allow you to make a multitude of jewelry pieces.

A lot of other skills are variations of the eye-pin so practice this until you can form them quickly and uniformly.

What You Need:
Practice Wire ( 18 - 20 gauge is good for practice)
Flush Cutters
Round Nose Pliers

Start by cutting the wire flush with your flush cutters, making sure the flush side is on the end of the wire. Next grasp the end of the wire with the round nose pliers.  Make sure the end of the wire if flush with the barrel of the pliers. If not, you will end up with an oblong loop, not a round one.

The size of the loop is determined by how far down the barrel of the pliers you grasp the wire. Start to roll the wire away from you, until a complete loop is formed. If you can’t complete this in one motion, it’s ok to reposition the pliers into a more comfortable position.

Once the complete loop is formed it will be round but it won’t be centered on the rest of the wire. To accomplish this, place the upper barrel of the pliers in the loop and rest the lower barrel against the rest of the wire. Using the lower barrel as the pivot point, rotate the loop until it’s centered on the wire. This will form a slight bend at the base of the loop.

You can leave the eyepin as is or hammer it to make it more sturdy. I find that 20ga or heavier wire works great and is heavy enough that you won't have to worry about the loop coming apart.

You can make your own chain but threading a bead on the pin, and adding another loop on the other end. Make multiples and connect with either jump rings or just the multiples by themselves.

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