Donald Harrison’s office has a bowling lane in it, at least part of a lane. The gleaming slab is from the leading edge of an old, decommissioned bowling alley and forms the top of Harrison’s elevated desk at 7 Cylinders Studio. It is the first thing he points out as I enter his bright, airy workspace in a renovated building across from the AATA bus depot in Ypsilanti.
When Damien Lamberti, more commonly known as D, first decided to open YPSCITY, it was to be a custom sneaker shop (there’s a major market for upcycled, custom designed tennis shoes in the Sneaker Culture, and they’re fetching incredible prices) and graphic design business, but it quickly grew into a broader concept which included providing a space for artists, home crafters, and creators to display and sell their work. As D put it, “I wanted to create a space in which artists are taken seriously and can be fairly compensated for their creations, rather than accepting the minimal amounts often offered for the piece they spent weeks or months creating.”
In our culture the trajectory of life seems to be geared toward getting us to a place of expertise, certainty, and all knowing. It may seem unfortunate that certainty is inversely proportional to knowledge (Jung), and that knowing prevents seeing (Huber).
I love learning, crave certainty, and like others have to make peace with the fact that there are few truths I can depend on despite years of study and self-improvement. I know for sure that things change all the time, unpredictably at that, and that everyone eventually dies, who knows when. I know that the mind prefers simplicity to complexity, new life to death, clarity to ambivalence, and siding with a polarity rather than coming to terms with multiple realities.
As the warm breezes shift to cool caresses on our cheeks and we pull out the warm handmade quilts from grandma and sweaters from mom, many of us turn our thoughts to gift giving. The Julbok is a pre-Christian Swedish tradition that lives on today. Some say he pulled the Tomten’s cart full of presents during the winter solstice. Some say he was the one giving out the presents. Still others claim
that he is a prankster that makes sure whomever is receiving the present is worthy of it! Traditionally, the Julbok was made of the last harvest of straw and thought to be good luck. However you celebrate as we move into winter, this sweet little Julbok is sure to be a great addition to your seasonal decorations, a Yule tree, or even as a gift topper.
Last issue, Crazy Wisdom profiled Maker Works, a local business offering space, tools, and teaching about woodcraft, metalworking, and other hands on skills. This issue, we are profiling another business offering space, tools, and teaching, but in a very different medium. Pink Castle Fabrics has a small retail space on the West Side of Ann Arbor, and may seem modest to outsiders. But with a global reach through their online community, retreats, and Instagram feed, Pink Castle Fabrics invigorates and innovates in a uniquely modern format.