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August 23, 2012

The Tattoo Transformation

I've been enamored with tattoos for a long time. It could be the Pict in me and those blood memories. (here's science to back that up!)

During a day in Oakland, my then husband and I passed by a tattoo shop. The tattoo-er and tattoo-ee allowed us to watch the process. (The then husband had a tattoo.) I was fascinated.

When I turned 35, the bug really bit me; I spent the next three years doing impromptu interviews with anyone who had a interesting tattoo, getting recommendations for artists, and visiting tattoo shops. Three years later, when someone gave me $100 and told me to spend it on something I really wanted, I marched off to the local tattoo artist and got a Celtic knot (did you think it would be anything else?) on my back. Later in Ireland, I got some weird tribal design - all I could get for ten pounds. The two were not related in any way design wise and over the years, the knot closed up and the color faded.

FYI - knots and such need to be fairly large and have lots of space, so that they don't close up over time. The Boy's first tattoo is a good example of what to do.

Several years ago I went as a friend's "tat buddy" when she got her first at Dogstar Tattoo in Durham. I had stopped in Dogstar a few years earlier and had not liked the "vibe"; was pleasantly surprised to find it changed. The artist was the owner, Kathryn. I liked her immediately; she's soft spoken and has a very calm, peaceful manner about her. I also liked her ideas on cover-ups for the two tattoos I had.

I made an loose appointment for March 2010 but that date came and went.
Then last July I had a dream about the raven tattoo.
January 2012 I made another appointment, but no-one called me. I made another one in February - and finally got in for a consultation - in April!
I told Kathryn about the dream and went back in May to see the drawing. The design incorporated the raven, (on the right shoulder as the dream instructed), with seven oak leaves, (one of the seven sacred, or Chieftain, trees of the Irish), and three acorns.

Finally, in June 2012, we started!

The old tattoos

We begin with the stencil.

First session - June 18th

Third session - July 16 (second session July 3, worked on leaves on left)

Fourth session - July 30 - two and a half hours!
Final session - August 20
I go back in a couple of months after it's had a chance to fully heal and see if any touch ups are needed.
It was over what was budgeted, but not by much, and really quite the bargain for a piece of original art.
I'm very happy with it.

1 comment:

  1. The raven is totally excellent. However, now I can't get one. Thanks.