Monday, April 26, 2010

Techniques & Tips :: Customized Pliers

Let's start with what this is NOT. This is not a tutorial about how to make a wrapped loop. This is a tip about how to make your wrapped loops just a little bit better.

Creating a wrapped loop (aka secure eye-wrap) is a basic skill that bead artists and jewelry artisans perform quite often. You probably have your favorite means of getting one of these things done – and you’ve done plenty, I’m sure.
At the very least, a wrapped loop requires 3 pairs of pliers: a chain nose for bending and straightening, a round nose for making the perfect loop, cutters for trimming. Here I will introduce you to the 4th pair that I consider indispensable.
This is one of my original pair of chain nose pliers whose springs have long since broken off. I took the tip to the grinder (alright, Rick did it for me, but it was my idea) to make a super sharp point. You will see how handy this modification can be. Here's a close-up of the tips:

After making a wrapped loop and trimming the excess wire, even my best flush cutters often leave an itty bitty end of wire sticking out. When I say itty bitty, I mean really small. Many people will not even notice, but this kind of attention to detail can separate your work from that of others. These super pointy pliers are the perfect tool for pressing that little bit of wire inwards, in line with the main part of your wraps. There is an exaggerated amount of wire in this photo for demonstration purposes. (look just on top of the uppermost bead)

Even when doing a “messier” type of wire wrap, these pliers are the only ones that will successfully “tuck in” the ends of your wire, without disturbing your artful wrap. This is especially useful when working with smaller gauges of wire, such as 24 ga or 26 ga.


Pricilla said...

You really have to stop with these technical terms.

I mean really!

itty bitty

No one will comprehend!

Orion Designs said...

I was wondering if I was going too far with that one