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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Making a wrapped loop

Making a wrapped loop well is one of the foundational skills needed for adding wire work to your jewelry. It’s simple and easy, but it takes some practice to get everything lined up just right. After years of making wrapped loops, I know just how much wire I need in each gauge in order to turn one without any waste. That’s important when you’re using pricey materials like gold and silver wire. So get some inexpensive craft wire in some different gauges, and go to town practicing. Measure off a 5 inch piece, and then subtract what’s left to find out how much you really need! I used some nice large, bright, tacky pink wire so you could see the details clearly.


You will need chain nose pliers (or flat nose), round nose pliers, and wire cutters, plus your piece of wire.

Make a 90 degree bend in the wire using the chain nose pliers.

Position the round nose pliers on the working arm of the wire, up against the bend as shown. Begin to guide the wire about half way around the pliers. I use my fingers to do this.

Switch the position of the pliers to the top of the bend and continue the wire into a full loop as shown.

Holding the loop with the chain nose pliers to keep it flat and prevent it from shifting, wrap the working end of the wire around the “stem” as many times as you’d like. Three wraps is usually standard. Again, I usually use my fingers to do this, but some gauges of wire require a second pair of pliers to manipulate.

Clip off the end of the working wire if needed, and flatten it tight to the stem. File the cut end if needed. The more you practice this skill, the less wire you will waste in this final step.
Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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