Gold Bug Grows

Old-fashioned wall-hangings depicting animals in anatomical detail. Steampunk jewelry that looks like it might have just been unearthed behind some decrepit barn in Death Valley just this morning. And natural-world objects galore, turned into other things, galore. Fossil rings and iridescent shells and bell jars enclosing treasures and wee scenes and tiny mysteries.

We're talking about Gold Bug, that tucked-away shop in Old Town Pasadena, although "tucked-away" makes it sound much more nook-like than it now is. That's because the store, which shows artists who lean toward toward slightly morbid and/or mirthful fancies as well as Victorian-esque sci-fi technologies, has just expanded.

So now that Gold Bug has grown, taking over the space just to its west, no more "nook" or "ye olde curiosity shop" references. Today it is a much bigger, browsier store that's still stuffed with art and jewelry and strange, "where-in-the-world-did-you-find-that" decor. It's no surprise that stylists and set decorators regularly haunt the shop, looking for just the right piece to pop in that new phantom flick or gothic romance spread.

Yes, we said "haunt"; when you next visit Gold Bug that's exactly what you must do. No strolling with big steps and yammering loudly on the cell. Move with atmosphere -- maybe skulk a bit -- incorporate some drama. Wearing a corset under your everyday wear is probably an excellent idea. The pieces you're perusing demand a little fusty-but-fabulous flair.

Gold Bug, 22 E. Union Street, Pasadena

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