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Hoop-La! My Love Of Hoop Earrings


Last week I have been mostly making.... hoop earrings with post fitting. Strangely I've never made this type of hoop before but it is a style I like to wear myself so I thought it was about time I made some!

I've made the hoops in sterling silver, copper and bronze using wire from 2.6mm {10g} up to 3.5mm {7g} and sterling silver earring posts with the pad. I use the posts with the pad attached as I find it easier to solder them to other things that way. The posts sit nicely in a hole in my honeycomb soldering board then I can position the end of the hoop using a third hand on top of the pad part for soldering. I then trim, file and sand the ends to remove any of the pad part that overhangs the end of the hoop. I do have some of the sterling posts without the pad which I have used before but being a bit shaky of hand at times I'm going to need to practice a bit more before using them on the hoops.


Bronze wire hoops with swirly texture pattern.

Apart from the thing I have about circles {I really like them in other words} the main reason I like making these hoops is the simplicity of them and their sturdiness plus how easy it is to make variations.

I've done various things to the wire such as flattening it and adding a pattern with the rolling mill, using leaf vein textures, adding silver balls and wrapping with sterling wire...


Copper hoops with leaf vein texture and fine silver balls. The round wire was flattened, the texture added then they were formed and the silver balls and posts added.


I used a stripe texture hammer on these copper and silver wire hoops. I think it's the first time I've ever used the texture hammer since I bought it several years ago! I hammered at a 90° angle to the wire which gave it a rectangle-ish almost faceted pattern that I really liked. I always thought the texture hammer was a bit of a waste of space but now I'll no doubt be using it again very soon :D


I also got a bit OCD with some masking tape to make these copper and silver disc hoops.


I flattened the wire then spent a fair amount of time cutting very thin strips of masking tape with a scalpel and ruler which I then very carefully stuck to the flattened wire. I then put it through the rolling mill again and ended up with this block pattern. The very thin strips of masking tape end up wider as they are compressed in the rolling mill and gave the copper a contrasting textured and smooth design.


I like the end result but next time to speed up the process I think I'll try flattening some 20g or 18g copper wire and wrapping that round the hoop wire before putting it through the rolling mill to create a similar pattern.




And I mustn't forget good old sterling silver..... leaf vein texture and ball pein hammer texture versions.

You've probably noticed I like making these hoops...
One problem I encountered as I made them was what to use to shape them if they are too small for my bracelet mandrel and too big for my ring mandrel. I managed with a wooden block and cylinder with a curve the right size for the pair that didn't fit but there is an answer in the form of a hoop mandrel.
Which of course I've just bought....
   

Comments

  1. I love these hoops - they are so chic; particularly the one with the masking tape texture. Great job Tracy

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  2. I was just going to mention to you about the hoop mandrel and then you said you bought it. hahaha...Nice! Love the texture on your earrings and the earrings themselves. I especially like the leaf texture. I haven't used leaf as a texture yet. Me and Smash (rolling mill) haven't been getting along too well but it's because we don't spend much time together. In the same space but never speaking to each other. I have a hard time figuring out how tight to make it but did alright yesterday. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kalaya! There is a knack to getting the gap right on a rolling mill - I nearly got some copper completely stuck in there once as it was too tight. I had to brace my shoulder against the handle and nearly give myself a hernia to get it out again!

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  3. Beautiful work. They definitely do not look like a first timer made them. The details are perfect. I'm sure with the hoop mandrel it is much easier!

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  4. Cute earrings. Hoops have such a charm to them.

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  5. I love hoop earrings. Unfortunately I don't wear them very often. I tend to get tangled up in things.. :)

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