How to wire wrap a stirrup bail
NB Click on the photos for larger versions
Cut off an appropriate size length of wire (this will vary depending on size of glass and whether you wish to add decorative wraps)
– Using round nose pliers create the bail hoop and twist downwards two turns (leave short end free for now)
– Hold bail against glass (with short end facing to rear of piece) and determine what height bail you would like, then bend wire (long end) 90 degrees and thread through hole
– Bend the long end upwards, tight to the glass to meet the bail stem, then cross over to the front of the piece
Important – wire should pass the same side as the short end so that the spiral wraps meet up [Photo below]
– wrap a turn round the bail stem [Photo below]
At this stage you can either:
1) continue wraps up the bail stem to meet the down spiral and snip both ends off neatly so as to close the gap – making sure the join is at the back of the piece .
2) add decorative wraps to the piece with the long free end – the bail will be secure regardless of the wraps, so you have a bit more creative freedom as the wraps do not have to support the glass 🙂 After completing wraps continue the spiral wrap of the short end downwards to fill the bail stem and cut off at the back.
Alternative to a ‘stirrup’ shape you can create a loose round loop at the bottom of the bail by forming around a dowel or round nose pliers
– Open the loop gently and slip through the hole in the glass
– Close the loop back up before making a spiral wrap upwards with the free end
If you make a longer bail you can include a bead between hoop and stirrup