Magic In Your Pocket

I turn my head and you may go where you want.
I turn it again, you will stay till you rot.
I have no face, but I live or die by my crooked teeth
Who am I?*

 

I admit, sometimes I look too deeply into the symbolism in things and it can ruin an on the surface enjoyable experience. (Eg- The Christian symbolism in the Narnia books, or the attitude towards women in so many Disney movies…) Perhaps it’s in my blood from one too many literature or art history classes.

Other times I feel like I don’t look deeply enough, or question why things have become symbols. A few months ago on Extribulum Sam wrote a short articles about symbols in writer’s tool kit and the power of things like mirrors, coins and keys and looked at the whys.

I enjoyed it in part because such a kit is not exclusive to writers, it creeps in everywhere. Besides interesting textures and colors, symbols pop up in crafts all the time. Coins bring to mind values, perhaps of different places and times. I’ve used keys in charm collages, as a symbol they are shorthand for thoughts about freedom and escape, or of feeling trapped. As Sam pointed out, a key found out of context is a mystery.  

So I read his entry and went along my way. Then thought of it again last night, sort of laughing at myself. Before things went pear shaped at Brimfield last week I’d purchased a handful of old foreign coins to wrap-little vestiges of times past with portraits of rulers long dead.

I’ve also been making wire work keys recently. Not for any great reason, saw something that made me think that when you see Alice in Wonderland things the keys never match the description of small, golden and ornate from the book and I decided to make one. Didn’t get just the right key for Wonderland yet, but I’ve been enjoying making them. I didn’t give much thought to why they strike me, or anyone, as an appropriate focal point for a piece of jewelry. (Perhaps as a symbol it’s so ingrained that we don’t conciously think about it anymore?)

I’ve seen wire wrap keys around (well, around the internet, never in person) and many were gorgeous, but so intricate it felt like they were losing the outline of a key, which was sort of the essence. So I went in the opposite direction to make something simple, like the sketch of a key with an outline that might still fit in, if you found the right lock.

We discussed that a little on dA, guessing where the keys might lead if you found the right lock…

*does anyone know where this comes from? It’s one of those I remembered it but tried to look online and found it plenty of places, but never with a provenance.

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2 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Magic In Your Pocket

  1. Magical keys, whether is the first primrose of spring, or the forgotten word for friiend, always demand a narrative. What’s the point of a magical key is it’s not assumed to be part of a story? These keys of yours are wonderful and invite a narrative from the viewer.

    Unless they’re Anglo Saxons, of course.

    The Anglo Saxons just goes for smutty riddles..

    Riddle 42, no less

    : Swings by his thigh / a thing most magical!
    Below the belt / beneath the folds
    Of his clothes it hangs / a hole in its front end,
    stiff-set and stout / it swivels about.
    Levelling the head / of this hanging tool,
    its wielder hoists his hem / above his knee;
    it is his will to fill / a well-known hole
    that it fits fully / when at full length
    He’s oft filled it before. / Now he fills it again.

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