Hi Zen. First, my admiration and respect for your work ethic and
optimism under difficult conditions.
Hoefully I'll be able to offer help with your earring wires.
However, now I've made a heavier design, and I find that the
heavier dangle is pulling the earwire down so that the tip comes up
and pokes you in the neck. It's VERY annoying.
I've found that the shape of the hook has a lot to do with the way
the finished earring hangs and by making a few adjustments here, you
may be able to improve function in a couple of ways.
The smaller loop should be positioned well beneath the larger curve
of the earwire so the weight of the dangling portion will anchor the
wire in position rather than pull the wire forward in the ear.
Try hanging several of your earrings on a rod to see where the
center of gravity falls. If the back of the wire swings up, try
tucking the front loop in a little tighter under the arch of wire
that fits through the earlobe and making a bit more pronounced
reverse curve in the tail of the back of the wire. Just be sure that
there is good clearance for the earlobe between the large curve and
the small loop where your dangle is attached.
I have an illustration on my website that shows a French style wire
with the configuration I've described. Even with heavier glass beads
added, the wires will stay in position because the direction of the
pull is down rather than forward.
Some people say that French wires always work out of their earlobes
and I have found that most of these have a piercing that slants
upwards from front to back. In severe cases like these, the use of a
silicone nut on the back of the wire will secure the earrings.
. . . I've tried 20g wire and found it to be very uncomfortable for
my ears and devilishly hard to even get in. I've been told 20g is
not uncommonly used for earwires, but it doesn't work for my ears.
I agree that the 20g is a bit large and uncomfortable for many
IMHO 21g is visually in better proportion for earrings and fits most
people comfortably. When properly hardened, 21g will have
sufficient strength for most earring assemblies.
For the wires with a balled end as on the website, I twist the wires
to harden them before shaping. When the wires have been shaped, they
are usually rigid enough for use but I like to tumble them in steel
shot anyway for the lovely burnishing it provides as well as the
additional hardening. For earrings using a twist for attachments, I
order 21g wire "half hard" as the dangle may not be suited to a trip
through the tumbler with steel shot.
Hope this will help you on your journey.