Skin & Bone is a combination gallery and tattoo studio. The gallery will exhibit art and ethnographic handicrafts related to tattooing, while the studio will have Colin Dale tattooing alongside various guest artists throughout the year. Through his years of travelling and tattooing around the world Colin has had the pleasure to meet and work alongside a wide range of tattoo artists and experts working in ethnographic and other specialized styles. Amongst these friends, we have hand-tattooists from Borneo, Polynesia and Japan as well as some of the world's leading artists in Blackwork and Dotwork coming to visit. Check the homepage to see some of the work

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Ancient Ink: The Archaeology of Tattooing

It's funny how sometime in ones life all the stars align and what might to others seem a random series of events can suddenly merge into something more profound. Such it was with Lars Krutak and Aaron Deter-Wolf's new book "Ancient Ink"... collecting a series of archaological finds from around the world all related to tattooing and then having the researchers write about the finds. However this isn't just a dry book about the past, as Lars and Aaron are also well known in the tribal tattoo community, they wanted to add some more "modern" examples of the living cultures as well as those which have had a revival in recent years.
Likewise with myself... how does my study of ancient art, experimental archaeology, traditional tattooing merge together with my life in Canada and Denmark combine with my travels to Russia?
Well there is a thin red line which connects all of these events and people together. I just wanted to thank Lars and Aaron for letting me be a small part of this endeavour and the modern revival of a lost tradition.
I am also so pleased to see the new Pazyryk tattoos found by Svetlana Pankova and Sarmatian tools discover by Leonid Yablonsky (RIP) finally receive publication... but to discover those you'll have to buy the book :-)

Burn&Pillage Tour 2017: Moesgaard

Finally the end of our Viking Tour and vacation we land on the beach at Moesgaard
This year we were placed in No Man's Land... a little clearing amid the rose bushes situated between the large warrior camp on the beach and the actual market place. Nanna (as always) tidied up all the under growth and planted a little garden of herbs and flowers to make it more inviting to the public, as they filed past down the main road.
On the final day of the weekend a storm hit hard at the start of the first battle... thunder and lighting lit the skys as torrentual rain soaked the warriors. Because of mud the second battle had to be cancelled... but I'm sure the public got more than they expected with the elements adding to the rumble of the battle.

See you all next year 

Michael, an incredible potter by trade, had a God awful Kanji & Sun design on his shoulder. It had been attempted to fix at one point with less than favorable results :-( So I was actually quite flattered that he would risk another attempt to make something good out of it... especially when I explained that I would have to go much bigger. Thanks for the confidence Michael :-)
I don't usually do coverups... but when I do...

Love this piece and am looking forward to doing a similar cover-up on his other shoulder next year

The Brakteat from Naglum depicting Tyr losing his hand to the Fenris Wolf

Whenever I'm approached about doing an historical piece I am challenged to find a way to translate the design to the medium of tattoo.I'm not trying to do a photo realistic version of these designs but I have to extract the basic elements of the design and then make it into a workable tattoo design.
Strong graphics, which can be recognized at a distance, as well as a good balance of positive and negative space, which will hold over time. I also wanted to keep this one more traditional, working only with black and no dotwork shading techniques.

Vejviser, to keep this Viking on the right path.

A Nordic Wolf on Steve from England
Kept the design simple so that we could complete it in one shot... may add another wolf on the right side at a later date.

"The Lovers"
A Family tattoo combining the lovers petroglyph with twins hanging from their knees. The sunwheel binds them together with a flower of life pattern in the background

Life is a Beach

Loki... King of "Loki's Freemen"

Bifrost the Rainbow Bridge

Burn & Pillage

The King and his Old Man

The Midgaard's Serpent bites his own tail around Mjølner.
Did this piece many years ago... good to get some photos to show how well they age.

A little petroglyph Mother for Annik (Nick)... 
given to her by her sons, Janjesper and Kjartan, on her birthday

Sarah wanted a Nordic Fox tattoo and allowed me to decide how big I could make it and still have it look good. Went for a full sleeve :-)
Not specifically Nordic, but more inspired by the even older Pictish standing stones. The Picts were also tattooed and named so by the Romans using the Latin root as used in "Picture"
I really enjoy working with these designs as the spirals and S curves have a strong natural flow on the body and the simplicity allows me to cover a lot of area in minimal time.
Look forward to finishing this one soon 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Burn&Pillage Tour 2017: Trelleborg

After Lejre we made the quick trip to Trelleborg

Started the market with a Moesgaards Mask on Frederik, who is becoming a regular client with his family on the markets the last several seasons.
The Aegirs Hjelm and Vejviser on the chest are from last year

and placed a Sun Wheel petroglyph on the inside of the arm as well

A quick walk in to end the day
Odal Rune

A Vejviser for Aubane to protect her on her journey back to Switzerland

Another Moesgaards Mask... this time just with dots

Rune Magic

Steven flew in from Canada  for a long session... we're hoping he can return to finish next year
Rune Dragon with the names of his 3 children in the body... they fell asleep in the car while waiting

A stylized Borre Bear Head for fellow tattooist Trine Glue

A little freehand Sun Ship on Fabien, who drove up from Germany for the day

and barely had time to start on Benjamin who drove over from Holland... but he'll be back in the country after New Year for a little more filling on this blacksmith petroglyph

Monday, 13 November 2017

Burn&Pillage Tour 2017: Lejre

Lejre is always our highlight of the year. 
A meeting of family and friends outside the constrains of a tattoo studio.
Our second home as well as one of the first places to open up about Cultural Tattooing and has allowed us to experiment using prehistoric tools and techniques for the last 18 Summers

I tattooed Sonny many years ago and have since tattooed most of his family... so it was only suiting that I tattooed his wife as well while they were visiting from New Zealand

Did a matching boundrune on them both as well as an extra little rune on his wife

Lejre by Night

A second Pictish Bear for Jacob commemorating his two sons... both of which are named Bjørn as their middle name.

Birgitte got a little addition and coverup on her forearm to compliment a larger piece of Inuit inspired tattooing we did on her calf a few years ago 

Loki and his Frost Giant Hammer

A woman's place is in the kitchen ;-)

Chris is a tattoo collector who travels the world getting tattooed by different traditional artists and techniques. When he was in Hawaií he was tattooed by my friend Pili Moó using the Polynesian Tatau technique. Moó mentioned my work to him and he came to get some Inuit sewing on his forearm. We will be continuing this at a later time as the sewing technique is much more time consuming than Tatau

Continued a little more on Maria's Yggdrasil project.
Maria is an archaeologist who used to work in the Stone Age area of Lejre and who I have been tattooing for close to 20 years. Finally decided she was old enough for a handpoked backpiece