Daggers and Tanzanites and Inspiration

Inspiration is a great thing. Sometimes, it's the leftover components that have been sitting in a box in the studio for years, like the daggers that have been popping up in my earrings recently. Other times, it might be color or shape of stones, like the luscious blue-violet color that caused me to order ALL the rose cut tanzanites available from an Indian gem cutter that I'm testing out. 


rose cut tanzanite gemstones

Yes, I ordered every size and shape available, with visions of earring after earring (and maybe even a few necklaces) popping into my head. I found myself feeling predatory - get 'em quick before somebody else snaps them up! That's how I know the muse is talking to me. I may not know why I need them, but I NEED them, because she says so. 


Dagger jewelry design sketches - Vickie Hallmark

While waiting for the tiny packet of stones taped into a mustard yellow envelope to meander across the ocean to my mailbox, I sketched design after design, riffing on the dagger earring designs and seeking other ideas.

Browsing favorite jewelry sites online, I found myself being captivated by listings for single earrings. I've been making mismatched earrings lately, but singles? Wear one with a small stud in the other ear? Wear two larger, coordinating, but totally different earrings that YOU choose? I like the concept.

One of the most difficult things to do as a jeweler, actually, is to make two identical or (even harder) mirrored earrings. Now, I could just have fun making singles, each one-of-a-kind? I think I have to give it a try! 

single rose cut tanzanite earrings with dagger drops - Vickie Hallmark


So, I started cranking out bezels for the tanzanites, long and skinny to fat and oval. I prepped small mounds of daggers with jump rings for hanging. I hand-formed a box full of long leaves and a box full of tiny granules for berries. I started putting them together in various iterations, just happily sitting at the bench and working (while listening to an audiobook). In the zone...my favorite place. 

Vickie Hallmark | tanzanite single earrings

Then came the hardest part for me - photographing and copywriting. The muse is not amused. But, I've finally done it, listed the new work for sale in the shop. I'd hoped there would be more of the singles, but the muse has been off in different directions (but I'll get drag her back here soon, as those stones are just SO pretty). 

single tanzanite earrings by Vickie Hallmark

So what would you choose? I'm thinking the first two look nice together. One super long, almost 3" dangle, and a brighter, bluer stud with a topaz accent.

single tanzanite dangle earring #1 by Vickie Hallmark

single stud earring with tanzanite by Vickie Hallmark

But this one would also go well with that second stud, with their shared darker color.

single tanzanite dangle earring #2 by Vickie Hallmarksingle tanzanite stud earring by Vickie Hallmark

And I particularly like the two part movement on this one. I think since it has a topaz of its own that I would pair it with the plainer stud. 

single tanzanite dangle earring #3 by Vickie Hallmark

What do you think?

Raindrop earrings by Vickie Hallmark

And I did actually make a couple pairs of matched (or almost so) earrings, as well, for those who appeal to my Libra heritage and need things at least approximately balanced. I call these first ones Raindrop earrings, because their shape and color seem to invoke the excessive rain (and flooding) that we've had here in central Texas this fall. 

Winter Blues earrings by Vickie Hallmark

Finally, I did these brighter silver Winter Blues earrings, with flowers to remind me of the sleeping garden. 

I've hardly begun to deplete the tanzanite stash, so I think more will be coming soon, but for now all these blue-violet treasures are finally listed in the shop, just in time for holiday shopping.


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