Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Key to the Lock

So if you have read any of my blog entries to date you will know my views on blacksmiths and current ideas about what blacksmiths are in today’s culture. So this post might sound a little hypocritical but this is a topic that has interested me for quite some time now. I am looking at boxes and locks; I hope to be able to produce my own lockable boxes buy the end of the module. The making of locks was once the job of the local smith and this covered everything from door locks to safes all though the very early locks didn’t offer what more modern locks do. For the most part the lock offered a delay to help prevent the entry of the unwanted and not much more. These early locks are called warded locks and where more like obstacles before the latch could be opened. To open the latch the obstacles or wards had to be navigated and all this really took was time a blank key and a good set of files to cut the bare bones of the key. This is where the term skeleton key comes from filing a blank key to its bare bones.

At the start of the 1500’s lock making became a very specific job and the title of locksmith became a more common term. With Spanish smiths producing some of the finest locks in the world to coincide with their nation’s massive gold movement around the world which was greater than any other nation at the time. For the most part keeping good safe on ships created the demand for better locks. The safety of goods even extended to the crew of the ships moving these expensive goods around; pay and other possessions where often locked away on the ships safe box called the Armada box. These large wooden trunks quite often started out with single point warded locks and then became very intricate multi point locks that needed several keys to open them. The mechanisms of the safe boxes were often very beautiful and complex. But the complexities and beauty of the boxes, trunks and safes that contained gold and other expensive items could also kill you. Smith’s often rigged locks they could dismember fingers, limbs or even shoot you.

Then the mortise type lock was invented and has become very popular; this type of lock is often found in action today in are homes and places of work. This lock provides a level of security that only a well-trained person can overcome or for the simple minded the only way to gain access would be the complete destruction of the lock and all its bolts. We now have very complex and clever locks that have become the work of science fiction. They use computers and know when they are being picked and some become safer as they are picked. To be able to make a good lock today means one must be as clever and devise as the Spanish locksmiths that used brutal techniques in the past.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

I'm Back

Hello all, sorry that I haven’t been around much I took my eye of the ball a little; it’s been a long summer but I’m back. I have lots to tell you guys and loads to show you too. I’ve just started my 3rd year and I’m flat out with projects, essays and business plans. I’m going to try and post as much as possible and at some point in the not too far future I hope to have a web site up and running.

So the summer was nuts and to say I didn’t do much was an understatement. Some of the high lights were the royal welsh show in which I won the live event for students. I also installed the Fresh Air sculpture which I sold to the site owners; so it is now a permanent piece at Quenington. I also finished and installed the light which looks great.

Thanks to everyone how helped last year and I hope I can make this year as good.

Willow in the water