November 18, 2008

Sanctuary Series: Fortress Threshold

This is the first tile design in my new series of Santcuary tiles, and it is called the Fortress Threshold. The keyhole symbol is a fascinating one to me. It can be symbolic of many different things, most of which I associate with either entering and keeping or exiting and exploring, because the keyhole lock is something that either lets you in or out of somewhere, like a portal.

The keyhole can represent something that is locked up and stored away, perhaps something secret or valuable. It can be a symbol of protection: a keyhole lock holds something safely inside, like the lock on a vault or to the door of a castle. This can be comforting or it can be restrictive, depending on what is being locked up. A heart, or mind, or soul locked away from the world feel like prison. But a lock on a fortress can keep you safely inside, and you can choose to find comfort there, guarded against the world outside. It is a symbol of the home and its safety, to me... both the physical home and the home of the heart and mind.

The keyhole image also makes me think of unlocking and opening. Just as it keeps things safely inside, it performs the function of setting things free. Unlocking the mind to new possibilities, and opening the heart to friendship and love. It can be a symbol to set free creativity and break free from the ties that bind one from finding happiness in life.

This symbol has been a very important one to me in my own path of self discovery. I have a rich inner mindscape filled with interesting imagery, and this series of tiles has helped me explore many symbols and thoughts that seem to repeat in my mind. Thinking about them and incorporating them into this new series has helped me learn about myself.

Now, where is the key to this lock...?

This series of tiles is available in the Earthenwood Ceramics Etsy shop


  1. Oh! This is so beautiful! I love the dots of color too! I had an art teacher that insisted that every work should include just a spot of red. This took me back to my art class! Thanks for unlocking that memory ; )

  2. I like it a lot! Will you be making it in other colors?

    I can't wait to see the rest of the series!

  3. Gaea,
    Thanks! I really enjoy the red dots too. They really break up the earthyness of the clay colors and texture. That's fun about the red in every piece of art.

    Thanks! I added a new picture to the post, tell me what you think of the scale if you get a chance.

    I tried a couple of variations that are in my Etsy shop now, but I plan to stick with this style for now. Thanks!