Since my extended online presence (beyond Etsy) is still quite young, you may not have noticed that I have had a name change. Originally, my shop and work were The Crystal Cave, a name which has been important to me since a child, because it was the title of one of the very first books to sing to my soul. If you know me well, you know I love Arthurian legend deeply. By now, I have read them all, or nearly. The words of Geoffrey of Monmouth, T.S. Eliot, Sir Thomas Malory, T.H. White, etc., thrum some of my most central heartstrings and have reverberated throughout my life. I gleaned my belief in honor, stoicism, bravery, and goodness from these books, and have carried those gifts into adulthood.
And the first book to introduce me to this realm was The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. It was a chance meeting between this book and I. A book randomly picked off a school library shelf because we were obligated to check out one book each week, an effort to promote (force?) literacy. As you can see, the book never found its way back to the school library. The only thing I have ever stolen. (However, I don’t regret stealing it because the school closed down some years later, and most of the library’s collection found its way to the recycling center.) I closed the book and found one foot still in Camelot, and I don’t think I’ve ever full extricated myself. And as you can see from the picture above, I have since read and re-read and re-re-read the book to tatters, lovingly taped and glued over the years.
But recently, I find the name restrictive to my work. I chose the name because to me it denotes an otherworldly aesthetic, raw and unique. And that aligned well with my work, which featured rough hammered textures, darkened recesses juxtaposed against sparkling, natural gemstones. Most importantly, it felt like I was honoring something that played such a tremendous role in forming me. But, as time went on, I realized not everyone had heard of Mary Stewart, or knew the significance of Merlin’s crystal cave, or even cared for Arthurian legend. And to those people, I think my name gave a very specific first impression of what my jewelry would be like. And for a long time, I felt like I needed to work within the parameters of my name’s aesthetic. Though I still hammer my metal to smithereens and use crystals in my pieces, I don’t want to be barred from following where inspiration leads just because I think it might be confusing to followers. And so, a change of name.
I will be posting later the meaning behind the new name Moonspinner and its significance to me, because the choice of a name should never be arbitrary. But until then, may your creative self never be inhibited.