Old Keys

I was rummaging through the attic this weekend and came across a disintegrating cardboard box of beautiful old keys. They were covered in varying degrees of rust and decay, but, as always with mysterious old keys, I found something undeniably intriguing about them. There was no clue as to what they originally opened, no memory of storing them in the far corner of the attic, and no idea of how long they had been there.

I immediately started trying to conjure up innovative artistic things to do with them, but nothing seemed right. A while ago I came across a blog entry about painting old keys in bright enamel paint, like duck egg blue, white, or purple, but I didn’t want to miss the beauty of the rusting texture and the old iron. I could incorporate it into jewellery, or frame a selection for wall decoration, or construct some romantic valentine gifts for sale, but I didn’t want to rush into anything and regret the use of these wonderful finds.

So I started slow and began to draw them. I really enjoyed the way the shapes seemed to fit together so well, so it was easy to fill the page with their individual details. Whilst drawing I was reminded of Victorian key diagrams, skeleton keys and something Wonderland-y. The result was something I felt might work well on a tote bag, to join my Clocks and Pocket Watches design in my etsy shop.

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