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Back to Basics: How to make an eye pin 3 different ways

5 Mar

Every now and then while creating a piece I want to use an eye pin but I want it to actively match the wire I am using and at times I want it to have pretty designs, so what is an artist to do? That’s easy, breakout the hand torch and make one of course! Making an eye pin is supper fast and easy once you have everything ready that is. Since it really takes seconds to make a few I highly recommend making multiples at a time even if  you do not need then right that second and mark what wire you used for future use.

What you will need:


  •         wire – 18g works really well
  •         jewelry style anvil
  •         pliers – rounded and flat or curved
  •         files and 0000 steel wool
  •         wire snips
  •         Chasing hammer

1) the fastest and easiest eye pin is one that has a loop to attach with other things.


As you can see above, this is very simple and supper fast. Cut your wire to an inch longer than you need for what you are placing on this pin so you have plenty of work/wiggle room to hang on to. Take a pair of round tip pliers and make a loop on one end doing a “break” at the base so the loop is centered above the shaft. Thread your items on and repeat the loop process at the other end to close then clip any excess wire to make the connections flush.


2) The second very common eye pin style is a hammered end that then can be left flat or curled under and tucked into your piece.


All you need to do is again cut your wire to about an inch longer than you want to end with so you have wiggle room to hang on and work with your wire. Place one end of your wire on a small jewelry style anvil then take your chasing hammer and whack your wire a few times, flip it over and give a couple more whacks to make sure it flares out evenly. Smooth out and soften the sharp edges with a file and complete with the quad lot steel wool. If you want to take this to the next level take your round nose pliers again and tuck under the flattened end so it will snug up into your bead (I really like doing this if I have a large holed bead).



back to basics: ear wire 101

11 Feb

I decided to actually make and embed a video for this and a few other blogs to help simplify the visual process of certain techniques. I could do as I have in the past and put many still images but I think this will help with understanding what I am doing far better.

For a basic ear wire set you will need:

20g or 22g wire

a mandrel of some sort (I am using a ring mandrel in this demonstration)

basic tools; flush style cutter, pliers (I used round nose, bent nose, and plastic tip flat nose)


de-buring tool or a good file

0000 steel wool


1) cut 2 pieces of wire to the exact same length (I did 3 inches)

2) with a set of round nose pliers place a nice circular loop at one end of each piece of wire as you would for a basic eye pin (I mark my pliers with a sharpie to know where I am working. The sharpie mark comes off with ease when you are done)

3) place your wire on your mandrel and wrap around till you are happy with the shape then repeat ( placed my wire on the size 8 mark on a ring mandrel)

4) take your bent nose pliers and give each of your ear wires a nice little bend or curve at the tip (this is the side that goes through your ear opening)

5) hammer or finish shaping both wires till you are happy with what you have. Remember earrings are not just the artistic aspect of what is being hung on the wire but the wire as well.

6) take your deburing tool or file and smooth out the tips of both wires.

7) finish smoothing out the tips with your steel wool. You want this very smooth before it goes through your piercing as the inside skin is very sensitive and prone to micro tears if you are not using quality smooth materials to pass through.



When you have stunning ear wires you may find that creating out of this world earrings comes with more joy and ease. If you would like to see a few pieces that we have used this simple steps to create, visit our studio at: Entwined Vines Jewelry

Finishing that Amazing Viking Knit Bracelet Tutorial

16 Jul

I know you have got to be really ready to finish this stunning piece that you have been working on and so without any further ado here you go…

You will need; your finished viking knit weave, completed 2 end caps, completed swan clasp, 18 gauge wire of choice to run through everything, basic tools, and any beads you may wish to add.

Take a length of wire that is about 4 inches longer than you want your completed piece and make a loop with a little extra on the end to wrap around your main wire for strength.

Take that spare wire and wrap it around a few times nice and snug.

Thread your first end cap on the wire

Slide your woven viking knit onto the wire and into the cap.

Cap off the other end and do another loop like the first one to lock this all in place. then clip the wire close.

Do a simple looped hook with the remaining wire and attach to the main bracelet. Once attached put any beads you want on.

Do another loop.

Attach your clasp and do any minor adjustments needed for a comfortable fit…

How to Make a Basic Swan Style Clasp

9 Jul


Most pieces need to have a clasp of some sort or another. One of the most commonly used clasp here at Entwined Vines Jewelry is the basic Swan style. This clasp works with almost any piece, is graceful, sturdy yet adjustable within reason, and can be made with most metals. We recommend having the following tools and materials to start; 18 gauge wire, round nose pliers, wire cutters, flat pliers of your choice and amazing music rockin in the background.


We cut off a piece of 18 gauge wire about 4 to 6 inches in length. Take the round nose pliers and start a small loop at the end of your wire. Using your other pliers continue to coil around your loop for a round or two then make a crook before continuing around so you will have a nice spot for your product to hand on without messing up the flow of your clasp.





Once you have gotten to the other side of your coil from the crook, you will bend the wire in a gentle curve up and around for a hook area.




Continue around till you are almost back to your coil then pull back a small loop to close off the end of your wire on the clasp.


Then trim off any extra wire and there you have it a nice, simple clasp.



If you would like to see this in action, watch our YouTube video of us making one from start to finish.


How to make basic end caps

2 Jul

Tammy and I (Tina) use end caps in many projects with our viking knit pieces being the most popular. End caps can be used to accent a bead, cap over the end of a bundle in strands on a piece, or in the case of viking knit cover the end weave of wire that may be a little pointy or un-sightly to some just as a few examples. There are many varieties on the market in a large array of materials, sizes, and styles. We like making our own though as often as is practical as we can really get the right color, texture, fit, and feel for each piece. These end caps can take a bit of time and practice to be able to get a pair or more to match up well.

To begin, you will need; 18 & 26 gauge wires of your choice, round nose pliers, needle nose pliers (bent or not is up to you), Wire cutters, small mandrel that is the size of the inner circumference that you want to end up with.

Take a length of 26 gauge wire (we use about 12″ to 18″ per coil, cut one per cap at the same length) and make a simple coil that is just about the same inner circumference as the 18 gauge. Set the coil aside. Take a length (we us about 18″ more or less per coil depending on size and desired pattern, remember this is an art and not a pattern so play with it) of the 18 gauge wire and create a tight loop at one end.

Once you have your loop, use your pliers to continue that loop into a flat coil that is large enough to cover the tip of your mandrel.

Add one more rotation of wire in line with but a little below the flat coil so you will have something to help grip around the mandrel.

When you have the start of your cap created, place it over the end of your mandrel and hold it firmly in place with your thumb or finger.

Continue wrapping your wire for several rows to give yourself a nice solid foundation.

Once you are happy with how many rotations you have around the end, slide one of your 26 gauge wire coils over the end of your 18 gauge wire and move to the coil. Continue the rotations around the mandrel while holding your wire coil in place as it may want to move down the 18 gauge wire instead of staying where you want it.

When you have wrapped the 26 gauge wire to its completion and the 18 gauge wire to almost the end, you have a choice of how you want to end your cap. In this piece we decided to end with a decorative spiral. You could just tuck the end of the wire on the inside of your cap before you place on a piece and we have done that many times. In this case though, we made a nice little spiral by making a small loop again…

Continuing to the spiral with our handy pliers…

and rolling the spiral flush with the base of our cap.

How to make a basic wire coil

25 Jun

This is a very short tutorial blog but you will need to know this if you don’t already for next Monday’s blog (how to make an end cap) and further down the calendar blog roll for basic jump rings (should post end of August) as well as sever other posts scheduled for this year. We use wire coils as the foundation for many pieces. The first use we will be showing is in the end caps that enclose our viking knit weave. You will need very few materials and limited tools. We suggest having the following on hand at the start of this project; 26 gauge wire for the end caps (or larger depending on project), a small mandrel just a little larger than 18 gauge wire as this coil will be going on 18 gauge, wire cutters, round nose pliers, and maybe a basic pair of pliers of your choice.

Start off by making a basic loop around your round nose pliers just large enough to fit over your mandrel (or you can just pinch off a small amount of wire directly on your mandrel).

Once you have a loop, slide your wire over your mandrel and hold on tight with your finger or pliers. Slowly but firmly wrap your wire around the length of your mandrel till you have a coil the size you want for your project.

Once you have as long of a coil as you want, cut your wire and smooth out your piece.

Viking Knit tutorial pt 4: How to finish your weave

21 May

Now that you have gotten your weave close to the length you want and have finished off the last of the wire you have been working with, you get to run your weave through your draw plate to help set the pattern and harden the wire. Take your draw plate and start threading your weave through the largest hole  with the “pettels” pointed from the more rounded side through to the flat rough side.  Take a good hold on that bundle of pettels and at a steady pace pull through the first hole. Once you have this done, you will continue pulling your strand of weaving through each hole two times each.  You can try different ways of doing the pull whether you pull strait or give a gradual twist or add weights at the bottom and then give a twist or put a leather cord through so you can tighten the weave till it is snug to achieve differing patterns in your weave for your final piece. This is art and is ment to be played with. Once your piece has a stunning pattern  you are done pulling through the draw plate (most of the time you will NOT use all the holes as the weave would end to tight or there would be no space to thread a core wire to actually making something with). Once your weave is just right, take your snips and trim off the bundle of pettel  wires and tuck the ends so you have a smooth stunning piece to create with.