Yeeeeeah! Extra Chunky Large! That's MY kind of bead.
The more I use these bead shapers, the easier they get to use - so I think perhaps I might be getting better at it! What I have found is that using them with a very light touch seems to be key to getting good results quickly and easily, without a lot of struggle and drama.
This large oval shapes aren't particularly difficult to make without a shaper, but of course, that's not the only point of these. They can make it easier to get consistent results, consistent sizes, etc. They aren't really an end - but a means to an end - more of a jumping off point. For instance, you could shape your bead with one of these, and then mash it, do it over and over, getting a consistent line of bead of the same shape and size, even if you are playing with the colours and patterns - making it much easier to incorporate into your own jewelry. Consistently-sized beads means that you don't have keep hunting up the right-sized bead-cap or guessing how much wire you need. Just a thought - for those of you out there in full production mode for the holiday rush.
Just a light touch will do it. Make a cylinder, make sure it fits inside the cavity, then add more on the middle half of the bead (leaving the ends). Check it for size, then add a little more to the centre. Do your shaping gently - more on the wall of the cavity than on the back (much like a marble mold!).
And you can go on to decorate these from here!