mary jane dodd
large knitting needle
the challenge this month is for hoops and they are as versatile form as you will find. scaling them up or down for earrings or links can be a great source of experimentation and fun.
while i am a firm believer that there are some tools that are necessary and worth the investment, i don't feel that way about what you need to shape wire. while proper mandrels are great, they aren't required here. just look around your house!
yes, prescription bottles - they come in different diameters and are pretty sturdy.
knitting needles, wooden dowels, pieces of pvc pipe - all round and of different sizes
the punches from a dapping set - use the handle side
this bottle of hand sanitizer makes a great oval shape
and i even was able to make an elongated form wrapping around the end of the handle of my pliers.
once you have your shape, you can refine your form (or not, if you want it to be more organic) and work harden it on your block or anvil -
while you cannot reinvent this wheel, with the low cost of copper wire to experiment with you can certainly create something that is uniquely yours.
i used 16 gauge wire in these examples as they would be hanging from an ear wire.
if i were to be making hoops that go directly into the ear, i would use 20 gauge wire (as i do for my ear wires).