This is a front view of the hoop in process. Next, is a lot of hammering on the side of the hoop to get some beautiful texture and flatten the wire. My hammering is improving with all of this practice and I am getting a little more skilled at being able to 'move' the wire to spread it and understand how to get hammer marks.
During the hammering process, I probably annealed the wire at least one more time. Once I have the shape I want, I bent up the end for the hook and punched the holes. This time, I followed the shape in the original tutorial from the Objects and Elements blog to see if I like the ear wire hook mechanism a little better.
From my last experience, I did learn a trick or two. If you want the earrings to hook easier, make the hole on the back side of the earring by drilling from the inside of the wire to the outside i.e. from the side closest to your ear to the other side. That is the opposite of how I did it last time. The reason is that when you start drilling, it forms a divot on that side - and excess metal forms on the outside of the hole on the other side. After filing, there is still a little bit of a raised area of metal around the hole. I found that the raised area makes it more difficult for the ear wire to slip in the hole. However, the indent and smooth surface of the other side make the ear wire naturally slide into the hole - making it much easier to hook the earring without twisting it or having to look in the mirror. Yay!
I don't really use a drill to make my holes either - I used a screw hole punch like this one from EuroTool. It makes two different size holes and is very easy to use.last post that they didn't look like much - they really don't. Nice and rustic - but at this point, I still think 'eh'.
I will add some sterling ear wires before tumbling - and then I will take some more pictures. I plan to patina these ones after tumbling too.