Saturday, September 14, 2013

boot camp - hoops

mary jane dodd

hoop made with single piece of wire

i wanted to see if i could make a hoop with one piece of 16 gauge wire that met a couple of needs.

1 - attach to an ear wire in a way that holds it in place
2 - allow for a dangle on the inside

this sample hasn't gotten a liver of sulphur treatment yet or been through a tumbler, but i think you can see that it has a rustic nature that moves us into the cooler months.  using 16 gauge wire will create a frame that can handle ceramic or visually 'weightier' dangles in the center. 

wrap your wire around an object with the diameter you desire, make sure to leave at least an inch extra on each side. 

remove it from the object (i used a  mandrel), and hold the center with a pair of pliers. 

bend one piece of wire up across the pliers - this is sometimes called 'breaking the neck'

bend the wire over your round nose pliers to create a half circle.

'break the neck' again to create a loop at the top. keep in mind that you want it to be arched enough that you can not only hang it from an ear wire, but have clearance on the lower wire for a jump ring or wire wrap as well. 

at this point you will also want to trim your wire to about an inch on either side. use a hammer to flatten the ends, then file them smooth.

loop one side under and wrap around. given that this is a heavier wire, you will probably need to use pliers to accomplish this. when you get to the flattened end, tighten it against the center wire.  repeat on other side. 

use your hammer to texture and slightly flatten the hoop. a good tip for keeping your fingers safe and ensuring that you don't hammer over the wire wrappings is to place only the lower part of the hoop on your anvil or bench block. hammering on top of where wire is wrapped only weakens the wire. 

polish your metal bright (because of course, this can be made of any metal wire you like) or give it an antiqued look with liver of sulphur. polish it up and you have a hoop that is ready to be adorned. 


Mystic Indigo said...

It sure is great to see your hands working with metal again!! Lovely tutorial!

stacilouise said...

such a great piece, can be used sooo many ways! thanks for sharing!

Karen Totten said...

Fantastic idea!

Keith@ Vintage Crab Jewelry and Crafts said...

Well done and wonderful tutorial!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

This is wonderful! I am always looking for ideas where solder is not required! Thanks for sharing!

BluMoon said...

What a great idea Marsha to hammer the wire! Now why didn't I think of that.

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