Blood Milk Jewels
The Key to the Other Side.
Blood Milk Jewels
The Key to the Other Side.
The Key to the Other Side is the title 'story' key to this collection ~ if BloodMilk is a book I am writing, the book of my life, my heart's blood, this key might be my current thesis. It is also a piece that has many meanings and many stories imbued inside of it: a talismanic vessel where you can place your own meaning inside. What is the Other Side for you? Where do you want to go ? Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be?
This is an homage to the time traveler, those of you caught out of time ~ who feel in the wrong era, the wrong place.
It’s for those of you on the threshold of a big change, the dreamers looking up at the stars & in need of a touchstone for the times when you feel that dream is receding.
It’s for those of you who struggle to sleep through the night because your anxiety or grief or rage wakes you up.
It's for those of you who are readers and the key to escape is through the fiction & fantasy worlds of books.
It’s for those of you who can't get out and so desperately want to, I see you and I hope you do.
It's all of these things and more ~ it’s what I hope waits for me when I open the door this key unlocks.
Skeleton keys have long been an obsession of mine. My godmother is an auctioneer and took me along to auctions and estate sales. Treasure for me were always the wooden boxes filled with greasy and dirt caked keys, beautiful with their time earned patina, with their memories and silent stories. She has gifted me special ones over time; one I wore for many years around my neck and one especially meaningful Art Deco one I used as a size and design reference for this collection. As a kid, I imagined every beautiful key I came across no matter how small or large, belonged to a haunted house. Even the tiny keys that came with my school fair diary were special to me. Keys have that sort of resiliency that many other sorts of old objects don’t, they survive the wear and tear of misuse, they surface like relics from the muck of time.
Keys are an ancient tool, created first by the Ancient Egyptians in wood and modified by the Romans in metal and made small enough to be kept on a person, coined as the first ‘skeleton keys’. These were used, as now, to lock doors and boxes or 'safes', to protect precious objects and people. Thusly one of the mundane and ubiquitous tool has also come to garner potent symbolism over time and has been woven into a current everyday object that even digital technology can’t seem to make obsolete. At the time of my writing this, I still use metal keys to gain entrance to my apartment and studio; I moved out of a house in Philadelphia in 2020 in one of the oldest parts of the city that still employed the use of skeleton keys. Perhaps the key is an object where the old world and the new continually shoulder up against each other, no matter how much modern technology tries to replace them.
As a talismanic jewel the key is a liminal object representing a potent tension and duality as it can both lock and unlock, making the person who holds the key one on a threshold.
*For locking: Being able to lock something behind you will always give the power and feeling of protection, therefore keys will always have the symbolism of protection embedded in them. The first key I can remember owning was a tiny key that fit to a tiny lock that latched onto a diary I owned in elementary school where I kept all of my secrets. This consisted of all of the titles of the books I’d write, but they sounded like spells, things I desperately wanted to change about myself; revenge I’d like to take on bullies. These days, protecting my loved ones, my heart, and extending protection to those I can feels most important to me. Feeling safe and helping others feel safe in my presence is something I'm always thinking about, and the presence of a key against my body helps remind me of these tenants and makes me feel safe.
For unlocking: Keys as objects that can 'unlock' show up as symbols across cultures. It’s a symbol of gaining access: for some it's about knowledge and wisdom or about gaining access to higher or unearthly realms: Saint Peter was known to hold the keys to heaven while Hecate is known to hold the keys to the unseen world/ the gates of death. As an initiatory symbol, it suggests garnering levels of knowledge that lead upwards on your path, or crossing thresholds of the unconscious. It also suggests the ability of survival, of being able to find 'a way out', of reaching a place where you are able to unlock or solve an obstacle that was complex or troubling, such as a Sphinx's riddle.
- 19mm at it's widest
- 57mm from top to bottom
- Solid Sterling Silver
- Shown on Miguel with 30 inch chain
- Shown on Jess with 16 inch chain
- Both pendant and chain are hand oxidized to achieve our favorite shade of stormy gray and then highlighted to reveal the bright luminous silver beneath.
- Last image shows all keys for scale.
Each of the keys in this series was based on drawings made by my husband, Aaron Horkey, as I peered over his shoulder and requested my 'dream' keys, making them even more special to me.
This jewel is handmade to order, just for you, with care and focus. Please allow approximately 5 weeks for creation before shipping.
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