Wire Jewelry Projects - Hammered Hoop Earrings - Part 2 The Process
I want to explain something to you before we start the tutorial steps.
To make this hammered hoop earring the correct way, you have to start your earring with the correct length of wire.
Why is it the best way to start with the correct length of wire?
In step 2 we are going to finish one end of the piece of wire. This end has to be smooth and rounded. It will be going through your ear when you put the earring on. You can snip extra wire off as the last step of making this earring and finish this end once you have completed the earring. But it is difficult to do a good job without damaging your earring shape and surface. This is especially true if you are doing it with needle files.
But, the problem with this best-way-of-doing is that you don't know the length (start-wire-length) to begin with! This is starting to sound like an algebra problem with to many variables.
How do you know the start-wire-length...?
You have to work the start-wire-length out by making a quick earring. I know it is not exactly good news if you are fairly knew to wire and pliers, but it is worth doing it.
To make the quick earring you will be doing only some of the steps of the tutorial in this wire jewelry project. See this as some quick practice!
Make this earring with a cheaper wire (say copper). However, (and this is important) use wire with the same diameter (gauge) as your final earring.
So, this is what you do...
Make one earring from a longer piece of wire. Say about 6 inches or 150mm.
Do steps 3, 4 and then 7 and 8.
Do these steps exactly as you would do the real earring. This includes the simple loop size, hoop diameter (mandrel position).
However, do not do any hammering.
Snip off the extra wire once you have finished step 8.
Now undo this earring.
Make the wire fairly straight. It does not have to be perfectly straight.
Measure it to get the length of wire that you should start with. This is your start-wire-length.
(steps 1 to 8 of this wire jewelry project)
Cut the length of wire that you need...
Use the length of the start-wire-length that you have established by making the quick earring.
Finish the ends of the wire...
The one end has to be smooth and rounded to go through the ear.
Use a cup burr if you have it.
Otherwise use needle files and sanding paper to get a smooth rounded end.
The other end has to be clean and smooth enough to form a neat simple loop.
A quick sanding at most if you are using a good cutter.
|Make a simple loop on the one end...
Mark your round nose pliers where you want to make the small loop.
Use your round nose pliers and chain nose pliers to make a small simple loop.
|Wrap the wire around the mandrel...
Wrap the wire around a mandrel at a smaller diameter than the final earring size you want.
You are using half hard wire. It can have a bit of spring in it.
How much smaller?
The answer depends on your wire hardness and earring diameter.
I will give you the measurements of the example in the picture to guide you:
I bent the wire at about 0.8 inch or 20 mm diameter of a ring mandrel. (This position on the mandrel was about 3 inches to the smaller side than what I was aiming for as a final hoop diameter.)
The wire formed a hoop/circle of 1 inch or 25.4mm.
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