Years ago, living in New York City, I made my way to Canal Street with a dear friend. Back then (ah, the good ol’ days) the city still had these hole-in-the-wall shops; gritty and mysterious. Many of the shops were large with high ceilings and row after row of shelves that went up beyond what a customer, even the tall ones, could reach. The shelves usually had nondescript cardboard boxes running along them.
My friend and I were pulling out boxes and peering down into them. One box was full of coffin locks and keys. I was mesmerized. I pulled one out for purchase and my friend firmly told me I really ought to put that back seeing as how that is probably just the sort of thing I might receive as a Christmas gift. Wink, wink. I put it back and behold, Christmas brought a coffin lock and key!
Once I started learning how to cast jewelry I decided that the coffin key was exactly the sort of thing I’d like to make.