Lock art carved from wooden pencil graphite

I guess this lock would prevent using your pencil to write the wrong thing…

Is it a trend if three people, unbeknownst to one another, give or send me images of “locks used as art” in the same week?

Pencil Lock Art

The Pencil Lock Art is abstract. I wonder… does this symbolize censorship? And, what would happen if all the pencils were locked up? Does anyone still use pencils? Or are they as old fashioned as the skeleton key used to put a lock on the lead? Ah, the power of art to unlock one’s Deepest Thoughts.

Sculptures of evergreen trees decorated locks of different colors and styles

Tree shapes decorated with locks of many colors

Lock Art Tree Sculptures

The Lock Art Trees are not abstract. They are real sculptures, photographed in Korea. Countless “locks of love” hang on the framework in central Seoul. Young couples hang their locks of love before throwing the key away in the hope for eternal love.

“Lock sales have increased sharply,’’ said Lee Jung-hoon, according to an internet article about the lock sculptures.

“We’ve never seen such an event elsewhere. I think it is a beautiful idea for lovers,’’ said Michelle and Michael, a U.S. couple who received a lock as their seventh wedding anniversary present from a Korean friend.

Most of the locks are decorated with drawings and stickers while some cannot even be called locks. Some used chain locks for bikes shaped as hearts, as well as pink and red heart-shaped ribbons on their locks. Since the event includes throwing away keys to prevent locks from being opened, there is a danger that other people under the terrace might be hit. The tower operator put up a sign instructing lovers not to throw keys away and set up a “key bin” for them. Some couples also hang their locks in inappropriate places, such as on-road barricades.

In some cases, the locks seem to have no binding power for couples. Lee said he saw a man who had come two months earlier return with a different woman. “I was pretty shocked since I did the same with my girlfriend,’’ he said. “Sadly, this episode proves that some loves cannot be protected even by hanging strong, hard metal locks.”

However, no matter how much locks save true love, N Seoul Tower’s Locks of Love will likely remain a memorable event for many couples who are willing to share and express their love, he said.

Tiffany key pendant necklaces: gold, silver, and diamond-encrusted

Tiffany Key Pendant Necklaces

Lock Art Fashion and Jewelry

Locks and keys are also very popular in jewelry right now. Diamond encrusted keys are featured in Tiffany’s jewelry catalogs. Gold and silver keys hang around models’ long necks. Bracelets with little heart-shaped lock charms suggest that someone has the key to your heart.

Even key rings make fashion statements. Another blog follower gave me a copy of a Martha Stewart “Living” magazine that featured key rings, artfully displayed, with the headline, “The Key Ring has Evolved into an Emblem of Personal Style.”

The key ring article gives a brief history of keys, including an anecdote about a seventh-century grave in Cambridgeshire, where a woman was found buried with keys beside her thigh as if they were hanging from her belt. And it notes a 15th century illustration in which the keys of a Chaucer pilgrim are hanging by a red ribbon, next to his sword. Fashion designers create key holders from gold, silver, and leather…but nothing has held keys better than a plain, utilitarian ring…”the most ancient as well as the most modern contrivance for the purpose.”

Do You Have Any Favorite Pieces Of Lock Art?

At Anderson Lock, we pride ourselves on our relationship with our readers and our customers. So let us know if you have any examples of lock art—or even door art—you’d like to share with us. Contact us today to let us know! We’d love to hear from you.