Lampwork head pins are very easy to make. You just have to make sure the wire you’re going to use is absolutely straight.
I use steal wire most of the time – 0.6 or 0.8mm. Sometimes I use kanthal wire. They are both ok. I haven’t tried any other wire.
1. Cut off about 30cm of wire and straighten it as much as possible with the nylon jaw pliers.
2. Then roll it between two pieces of wood until straight. This takes some practice. First start rolling in the middle of the wire and continue to the end. Then start again in the middle and continue to the other end. After this you can place the whole wire between the two pieces of wood and start rolling until the wire is completely straight.
3. You can now put the wire in a pin vice and now the fun part can begin.
4. Make sure you heat the tip of the wire only slightly: this wire is so thin you can easily burn it off. It is also important that during the process you never overheat the wire.
5. Now heat the tip of the glass rod until very molten. You can’t use any pressure to the mandrel because it is so thin and you want to keep it straight!
6. Make a nice round bead at the tip of the mandrel. Mind that you can’t marver this bead (because of the delicate mandrel), so you must use gravity and heat to shape your bead.
7. When you’re satisfied with the form of the bead you can use any design you like: stringer work, dots, lines,…
8. Of course you can make any form you like for you head pin, because the secret lies in making very straight mandrels and keeping in mind that you cannot use any force by marvering.