Saturday, September 7, 2013

household inspiration

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). 


Artisan Beads Plus said...

Great tips! I am like you..... I am always looking for things around the house, out in the barn and even in the woods for things to use.... I do want t own a bracelet mandrel one day, but have not made that investment yet.

stacilouise said...

I am always grabbing random things to make loops in the studio. Love the one you made on your pliers!

lunedreams said...

Always a challenge finding something to make oval shapes. For long skinny shapes I like to wrap the wire around a ruler. Great tip about the pliers handles!

Lynn said...

Thanks for the great tips! The one using the dappers works since I haven't used my new set for what they were intended. Also, the pliers was a great tip to get a different shape. You always come up with goodies!

PyxeeStyx said...

I find that a baby Bic lighter is the perfect size and shape to make large chunky oval chain links.

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