Simple Loops are commonly used for making Eye Pins, Beaded Links, Dangles and Connectors to name a few.
The Simple Loop is capable of opening and closing and this makes it very different from a Wrapped Loop which is only open while you are making it.
This makes the Simple Loop less secure but more versatile than a wrapped loop.
Learning to make loops properly, is very important when it comes to jewelry design.
And learning to make uniformly shaped and sized loops, is vital to producing professional looking and quality jewelry.
Unless you are one of the very lucky people who have a natural talent for such things, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to make sure your projects receive the beautiful and professional finish they deserve.
As with other Metalsmithing Techniques, when you work with Wire, you need a basic understanding of a few key concepts regarding Jewelry Metals.
Gauge – refers to the thickness of the metal sheet or wire. As a rule of thumb, when referring to the Gauge of a metal, the lower the number, the thicker the metal. Therefore, an 8 gauge wire is much thicker than a 20 gauge wire.
Temper refers to the elasticity and hardness of a metal. The most common tempers of jewelry metals are:
- Dead Soft
- Half Hard
The gauge of your wire is often going to be determined by the size of the holes in the beads you are working with.
The hole size of a piercing is another important consideration for choosing the wire gauge when making Earring Findings.
The temper of wire you choose can impact how much manipulation you can do easily with the wire.
Wire begins to harden when you manipulate it. Many tasks used to make wire jewelry can cause the wire to harden more and more as you work.
I generally always use Dead Soft Wire, because it is easier to work with and it can be hardened easily when necessary, using a few simple tools.
Just as with all other Jewelry Techniques and skills, there are tools involved and it is not different when it comes to simple and wire wrapped loops.
In this post I am going to focus on the Simple Loop but you will use the same tools plus a few for Wrapped Loops too.
In the Video, I demo how to make perfectly matching Simple Loops using the variety of Pliers listed below.
You can decide which tools work best for you and your projects as you gain experience of your own.
I use the Sharpie to mark my round nose pliers to insure equal size loops when using this tool for Simple and Wrapped Loops.
You can also use Mandrels to make loops but it is more difficult to do.
All you really need for this tutorial is Jewelry Wire.
I suggest using a cheaper Copper Wire or Artistic Wire in 20 Gauge.
Just remember when you are working on an actual project, your wire should be the thickest you you can fit through the beads you are working with or an appropriate gauge for piercings.
If you are making Clasp findings, you should use thicker wires as they are capable of handling the wear and tear of the clasping actions much better.
- Start your loop with a Flush cut end on your wire.
- If using Round Nose Pliers remember to mark them for the size loop desired and place the wire on your mark each time you start a loop.
- Make sure the wire is flush with the top of the barrel of you pliers and that now wire sticks up above the barrel.
- Make your rotations in a smooth and full fashion.
- Remember to center your loop (breaking the neck) over the shank of the wire.
- When making beaded links, measure the second end of wire before cutting to improve the accuracy of your loops and eliminate waste.
Work along with the Video and learn to perfect your Simple Loop skills.
How to Work with Simple Loops
When you need to open and close your Simple Loops, remember to push it open to the side and then back to the center.
This helps to preserve the shape of the loop as well as to reduce the risk of breaking the wire.