A year or so back my long time hacker friend Dichro made some lock pick earrings to wear in case of emergencies. Di asked me to give a go at some slim, elegant, sophisticated ones that pass as everyday jewelry. After some poking and testing and experiments, I believe I’ve come up with just that.
An elegant accessory, perfect for quick escapes, late nights, and lost keys. These acid etched stainless steel earrings are lightweight and feature a selection of picks, rakes, and a tension bar. They’re decked out with silver plated rings and ear hooks.
What intrigued me about the design was the opportunity to make something that has a lot of femininity and aesthetic detail while also being useful, practical, and transgressive. There are so many tools around that are afraid to be typed as anything but masculine. Multitools have hooked blades and black steel to let you know they’re for MEN, manly men with sticks in their beards because they’re too busy dodging spy satellite laser beams and eating the still beating heart of a deer to care about grooming and stuff. If something practical does toy with the idea of a woman getting her mitts on it, the branding tips way overboard from “hey, men aren’t the default gender or anything so why should we go head over heels to appeal to them? I mean, women like to fix stuff and open bottles too, right?” to “MAKE IT PINK! If you can’t make it pink give it flowers or a bow or something. Something girls like. You know… girl stuff.”
One aspect I’ve played with and may modify as I hear from folks putting these to use is the thickness of the steel used for the picks. I tried to use the thinnest gauge I could get away with so these would be the best possible earrings and not weigh peoples’ heads down despite all the material. This means the picks aren’t durable enough for constant use or real locksmith-quality picking, but they will certainly get you out of bind after bind if you’re careful. So far I’ve tested a pair about a dozen times on one of my locks and it doesn’t show any signs of wear aside from some light scratches.
I’ve tried to put all the most useful picks and rakes on the opposite chandelier from the tension wrench. I figure, if you’re breaking out the s-rake for a lock that’s been baffling your half diamond, you’re in it for the long haul anyway and disassembling an earring really isn’t that much labor in the big scheme of things.
You can find them right now on Etsy. You can also see a selection of photos over on Flickr.