Ah, I understand completely. That would be a big problem for me, too. I can totally obsess over something like that and get either lucky or chuck it in the end. One reason why I never make metal chain. Maybe you'll just need a bit of a break looking at them and try again some time later.
That would be really pretty, Michelle. Making wrapped loop or even simple loop components can be frustrating. The only thing that helped me was practice, practice and more practice. I'd just sit down and spend an afternoon making looped components until I felt like I finally got it.
As Cat said, that project may be something you want to re-visit later after you've taken a break from it.
I’m late, but I haven’t given up! I’ve been studying Dawn’s beautiful chains. Dawn if you have any tips, I’d love to hear them. I can usually get the first loop right, but the second one with the bead strung on is far more difficult. Knowing how much space to leave and how much wire I’ll need.
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2020 10:55:37 GMT -6 by michelle
As far as advice on making loops goes, I'd encourage anyone who wants to improve their loops to practice, practice, practice and practice some more. My loops used to be terribly wonky, until I spent several afternoons doing nothing but making loops, both simple and wrapped. The more I did, the better I got.
A few other tips. I mark my round nose pliers with a black sharpie pen. That way I always use the same place on the pliers to wrap the wire around so my loops are always the same size.
When making the bend in your wire for your loop, instead of a 90 degree bend (which is what pretty much every tutorial says to do), bend it further than that past the top of the bead. Rather than this |_ you want more like this |\ in order to give your self room to work your loop into a perfectly round shape. If the finished loop isn't a lollipop shape, insert your round nose pliers inside the loop and adjust it until it is.
For simple loops, after I make the bend, but before I start the loop, I cut the wire to a length of 3/8 inch and I measure every time. I never try to eyeball the length of the wire.
For wrapped loops, leave yourself about two inches of wire to make your wraps. Don't start wrapping until your loop/wire looks like this: O___ If the loop and wire aren't in that position, adjust it until it is. I generally make three wraps and stop there. If your first wrap isn't snug against the loop, use your long nose pliers to push it into place. The rest of the wraps should easily follow the first loop without requiring further adjustments.
I almost always use 20 gauge wire for loops. Anything smaller than that is too flimsy and anything bigger is too hard to work with, although if I want a really secure loop or am making a sturdier than usual piece I do use 18gauge. I also generally go with simple loops because I like the look better than a wrapped loop, but that is more a matter of personal preference. Unless a piece is made of heavy beads or is going to get hard use, I've found that simple loops are plenty study enough for normal wear. I make an exception for bracelets, as people move their hands/arms around a lot and bracelets sometimes catch on things which could pull the loops out of shape. If making simple loops, make sure that the loop is completely closed so that things like charms can't slip off and become lost.
That's about it. I hope what I've written above is clear and not too confusing. It's hard to explain it without photos. Maybe next time I'm in the studio, I'll take a few photos and post them here for further clarification.
Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help if I can.
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2020 12:36:05 GMT -6 by DawninCal
My pleasure, Michelle. I'm glad you found them helpful.
A couple of other things that I'd like to add. If you decide you want to spend some time just practicing making loops, I'd recommend that you get yourself a roll of copper wire. It's a soft, easy to manipulate wire that will make the practice so much easier. Then, when you feel like you've got the loops down and go back to the stainless steel wire you like to work with, I think you'll feel a lot more confident.
ACE Hardware sells rolls of copper wire in gauges of 24, 22, 20, 18 and 16 and sometimes they have 26. You can find it in the aisle with the picture hanging supplies. A roll of 20g is around $8-9 and should be plenty of wire for you to play around with.
There was something else I was going to say as well, but darned if I can recall what it was! If I remember, I'll come back and post it.