|by Barbara Bechtel|
I rarely solder my hoops and while I sometimes use a tube rivet to add a little something extra, it isn't necessary. This style of hoop is perfect if you're just starting out with a torch since we're only using it for annealing. It also makes a nice petite drop with a lot of presence.
Begin with 2- 2" lengths of 10g wire. You can use up to 14g. for a lighter drop.
Anneal your wire with the torch until glowing and quench.
Using your hammer and bench block, flatten the ends of each wire until they're nice and thin.
If you're metal begins to get tough, anneal again.
File the burs from the ends of the wire to make a nice round curve. Anneal one more time.
Using your round nose pliers, find the center of your wire and bend in half around the based of the pliers to make a U shape.
Using your flat or chain nose pliers, slightly bend the flattened ends out straight.
....So it looks about like this.
Grasp both ends with your flat pliers and squeeze to meet in the center.
Next, using a drill or punch, make a small hole in the top to hang.
Hammer the drop area near the curve to flatten it slightly and work harden it (it should already be pretty work hardened if you're using 10g). Next pickle or clean to removed the fire scale. I wait until the very end to pickle since I usually anneal them 3-4 times. Finish to your liking. (I antiqued mine in liver of sulphur)
Finish simply by attaching to earwires, doing a simple wire wrap as I did. Adding charms to the droplet at the bottom would also be cute!
Hope you enjoyed and I'd love to see what you make! Don't forget! Next week is our Boot Camp Blog Hop! Make sure you add your photos to our Flickr group or post them on Monday and come back here to add your link!