Sunday, February 28, 2010

Earrings #6 -- Hoops

I had another pair of hoops sitting in my box of components, so I wired and patinated them to upload.

Among the many reasons for starting the Month of Earrings Challenge was the desire to analyze the results. My first inquiry was to determine the relative frequency of styles posted so far.

  • Hoops: 2 (the other pair are posts)
  • Dangles: 110 total (1 on posts, the rest on wires)
  • Studs (Posts): 5

I myself prefer wires to posts, so that wasn't much of a surprise. However, I do adore hoops and have to wonder why the dearth of this form? Come on, I dare you to try it -- they're fun and just as easy as the simple dangles!

Hint: I fire the hoops flat, drill the holes afterward (I've broken too many in leather hard clay!) and then form the hoop around a wood dowel before adding the wires. The texture here, called Vine, is one of the new textures that Whole Lotta Whimsy is going to release soon.


  1. Dare me all you want! I have a pair of hoops sitting on my bench. I have made the wires two different ways and found both to be nearly impossible to put on. Until a third redesign, there they sit. I personally never wear hoops but had been trying to diversify. In the name of diversification I have made one pair of post earrings, they are posted in the flickr group.

  2. I love making hoops.

    Technical question- why not just make the holes in the soft, fresh clay? You can use a tiny cocktail straw, and then not only do you not have to drill later, but you get to harvest the clay that would otherwise be dust on your bench.

    To me, one of the beauties of MC is getting to make holes, or at least pilot holes, that way, and keep the hole material. That's huge.

    The holes can easily be reamed to size, and to a very professional polish, with a bead awl, inserted from each side after firing. (But ideally before forming.)

    Just a thought. But one I think we should all keep in mind not only for our own work, but when we teach. It's like free holes, you know. You don't get those every day.


  3. If I want the holes tiny cocktail straw size or larger or further from the edge, I do cut into wet clay and reuse use the clay.

    These holes are tinier than that and very near the edge. I don't like the deformation, which takes fussing to fix.

  4. Anonymous11:29 AM

    For tiny holes, I still make a "pilot hole" in the moist clay, often using a tiny ball burnisher.

    Pressing the whole way through may slightly deform the edge of any pattern on the bottom side, which may matter on reversible pieces. In that case, I just press down to the bottom, not completely through it, which seems to solve that problem.

    When I later finish the hole, whether I ream or drill, whether I do that to the (dry) greenware or (fired) metal, even for a small hole I'm still removing far less material than if I were drilling the whole hole from scratch.

    While pilot holes can be useful for anyone, I find that a particularly good habit to discuss and encourage when I'm teaching.

  5. Yes, pilot holes are so important. I do that, too, press in with a very small ball end. It's so good for the eventual compression of the hole.