The idea behind taxidermy is inherently strange. Have you ever really thought about who first decided that it was a good idea to kill an animal, stuff and position it in a way that makes it look like it’s alive, and then mount it on a wall? Somewhere someone was the first person to do so, and with it, an entire subculture of oddities was born. Make no mistake, we’re super fans of the beautifully bizarre practice, and in case anyone was wondering what to get us for Christmas, consider this a helpful hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge. And if you too are a fan of oddities and curiosities, as so many of us are, you might want to take some notes as we introduce you to tattoo artist, Ryan Ashley Malarkey’s one of a kind shop, The Strange and Unusual.
If you’re a fan of the show Ink Master you’re probably well aware of Malarkey’s incredibly fine lined black and grey work that earned her the coveted title. But did you also know she owns her own curiosities shop in Philadelphia? Co-founded with Joshua Balz, The Strange and Unusual is an oddities parlor that houses all sorts of things you never knew you needed, like selenite crystal balls, taxidermied black ducklings, funeral slippers, and even a Frankensteined human skull. Together Malarkey and Balz have curated a treasure trove of unique, one of a kind items. In fact the majority of the goods you’ll find in both the Philadelphia and Kingston locations, are comprised of items that were once a part of their personal collection.
But just in case you find yourself in a living situation where your roommate or significant other are persistently vetoing your taxidermy dreams, fear not, The Strange and Unusual is also home to some really interesting reads and cards. Books like Palmistry: Plain and Simple, Complete Book of Witchcraft, and 12,000 Dreams Interpreted are sure to delight those that are curious in the intuitive arts. So if you or someone you know is one of the aforementioned “freaks” that lives for anything and everything curious, consider The Strange and Unusual a sort of mecca just waiting to be explored.