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Basic Wire Skills - Eye Pin Variations
"Once objects have been cut loose from their contexts and packed off to new homes, they lose some of their collective memory stored up within them. But their forms and textures endure. Those who are able and wish to do so are at liberty to read them, draw them out in new and different ways, grant them a new lease on life. This, too, makes collecting an art: the process of renewal". Borel and Taylor,  The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry
Below you will find four examples of how to add some style to your  eye pin. It may seem trivial but even the size of the eye makes a difference in the overall effect of your design. If you feel adventurous create your own variations of the eye pin. For your convenience, please click on the images below to see an enlarged view.

What You Need:

  • Jeweler's saw
  • Tubing cutter jig
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Chasing hammer
  • Steel bench block
  • Silver tubing
  • 16 gauge silver wire
  • 20 gauge silver wire
Click on thumbnails below to see an enlargement.
Eye Pins with Tubing
      When you use beads that are highly detailed you should avoid overwhelming the vision with too many complicated wire designs. One reason some wire jewelry is less appealing than others is due to a lack of visual rest. In other words, the design is so busy that your eye is overwhelmed with the design. Using eye pins encased in  tubing is an elegant solution for creating visual rest, and in a sense, contrast to the beads. Detail versus simplicity. Here is an example of a necklace made with silver tubing. Please see The Saw in my Studio Tour for information on how to cut the tubing. After the tubing is cut, insert the wire through the tubing and make eyes on either side. Another option is to use eye pins without the silver tubing as links in your jewelry. They are a little less substantial, but if you don't want the expense of the tubing, a saw, and a tubing jig, try these out.
Hammered Eyes (sounds gruesome)
      By hammering the upper area of the eyes with your chasing hammer you can create a nice variation. After hammering you will need to coax the circle closed with your round nose pliers.
Eye Pins and Coils
      You can create an interesting link by coiling the neck of the eye pin. Make a double eye pin out of 16 gauge wire or heavier if you wish. Then wrap the neck with a finer wire such as 20 gauge. See the section on Coils for further instructions.
Double Wrapped Eye Pins
      Follow the instructions for the Wrapped Eye Pin, but instead, wrap twice as you make the eye.

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