the Vow

"I'm going to make 5000 keys and none of them will be jewelry!"

I've always been "creative" but never really thought I could call myself an artist. Recently I've had some success creating mixed media art. I even have a show lined up at a community gallery next spring.

I've made various things over the years and became overly fascinated with keys about a year and a half ago.


Here's a picture of the Debbie Travis Christmas Ornament that started the whole "fascination with old keys" thing (thank you Debbie and Canadian Tire):

Right after I got the Christmas key ornament I made a couple of "key" sculptures out of found objects and then one day in July of 2014 I made a dozen "keys".

Keys 3 - 14

Eventually (March 2015) I took them out into the world at a show and sale for "upcycled furniture and other artifacts".  The show was well -received and I made my expenses (bonus!).

I got great feedback and many positive comments.

I also got:

what do you do with them?Like what is their function? If that were a necklace I'd buy it for my mother...maybe if they were curtain tie backs? Drawer handles? Those things on the end of a chain that pulls on a light?

There was no "purpose". I just thought they were cool looking. And interesting. And individual. And I was compelled to make them...


Last week I saw a sign at a shop looking for local artisans with beautiful, unique, handcrafted items to place on consignment. So I went in and inquired. In fairness, the next day the shop owners expressed an interest in trying out all the keys I'd shown them.


I was asked several times why I didn't just make the keys into jewelry. Perhaps if they were smaller? Held together with silicone instead of gel medium? How would people know what to do with them? Maybe a clear box to place/display them in would help?

After I left the shop I started to get angry. I mean really angry. Not just pissed off but shaking-in-my-insides-can't-eat-can't-sleep-can't-speak-fuck-you angry!

Anger at not being understood. Anger at not being heard. Anger at being dismissed. Again.

And so.

The big angry thought:

"I'm going to make 5000 keys. And none of them will be jewelry!"

It was a really big thought.

Like a vow.

Followed by a secret hope - then maybe you'll get it.

And hidden in my heart: then maybe my work will have meaning.

So now I'm committed to doing that. Making 5000 keys.

This blog is about that. The making of the 5000 keys. I can't guarantee that they will all be sculptures. But I can guarantee that none of them will be jewelry.

Let's begin:

5000 Keys to Infinite Places

Travel where your soul leads you.

Choose a key and unlock your kingdom.

First and Second Key