Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finding Steampunk in Ann Arbor

Over the summer, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan had a steampunk themed front window display. Time passed, and when the window displays changed, the steampunk display moved inside, where it continued to garner quite a bit of attention. Being a fan of steampunk myself, I often wore a T-shirt while I worked in the bookshop with a clockwork seahorse on it, prompting a number of conversations with customers about steampunk. This is how I learned about the Steampunk Michigan Facebook Group.

Now, at Crazy Wisdom, instead of just a short-lived window display, or a shelf of extra items on their way out of the store, there is an entire section devoted to steampunk. Here you will find novels, like the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, or The Mammoth Book of Steampunk by Sean Wallace. A recent acquisition that I am personally quite fond of is Steampunk Fashion. I couldn't find this particular one in the online shop yet, but there are a number of steampunk fashion books that I did find. In fact, a quick search for "steampunk" and "clockwork" resulted in a great many hits! All of these books can be ordered through the store if they aren't there already. If you order them online, you get 10% off the cover price, and can pick them up from the store in person at no additional cost, or have them shipped to your house for a small shipping cost.

In addition to books, Crazy Wisdom also carries a modest collection of steampunk jewelry scattered about the store, and a few pieces of art and wallscrolls, too. Strangeling artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith has also been dabbling in steampunk, and you will find statuettes, prints, and others of her work at Crazy Wisdom. One of my personal favorite little statues, though I don't know the artist, is a clockwork dragon which has made appearances as a standalone figure and perched on a box. And I can't forget the steampunk tarot deck! (And matching bag.) I want to buy it and one day make some shadow boxes with it. 

So if you live near Ann Arbor, Detroit, or even in the Toledo, Grand Rapids, or Kalamazoo areas, and you are looking for places to indulge in your steampunk passions, make your way to 114 S. Main St in Ann Arbor, MI. In fact, come dressed up. I'd love to talk shop with you. 

Note to steampunk artists and artisans: Looking for a place to sell your steampunk wares? Click here for Crazy Wisdom's vendor policies

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