Well, London has come and gone again.
This year was a real gathering of the Tribal and Blackwork community as it was also the official release of Edition Reuss' "Black Tattoo Art 2" by Marisa Kakoulas. Many of the artists featured in the book took the opportunity to come to London for the release and although I only got to spend a short time or sometimes just s few words with so many friends I also got to meet so many more.
Thanks to Matthias Reuss, Marisa, Pili Moó, Brent McCown, Tomas Tomas, Jondix, Goldilox, Volko & Simone, Daniel DiMattia, Nazareno Tubaro, Phil Cummings, Matt Black, Fiumix, Raffaella Ricci, Zele, Sanya Ohman, Jørgen & Kumar Kristiansen, Travelling Mick & Sana and finally Nanna
and nice to finally meet Steve Ma Ching, Jeroen Franken, Valentine Hirsch, Damien Voodoo and others
However, "Black Tattoo Art 2" wasn't the only book released by Edition Reuss this weekend :-)
Edgar Hoill's new book "Day of the Dead" is a collection of artwork based on the Dia de Muertos holiday in Mexico. However rather than just Hispanic art, Edgar collected pieces from tattooists working in every different style... giving some very fresh and unusual looks at the same subject matter.
I was lucky enough to have two of my pieces published in this work. When Edgar asked me to sign his copy of the book he said something that I found very touching... in that the Nordic skulls I had done really stood out amongst the other work... I assume this was a good thing :-)
Thanks Edgar for your praise and support.
This year we had a change of venue and all the traditional artists were placed in an open enclosure in the center of the convention. This was a great opportunity for the visitors to see traditional work being done by specialists from around the world :-)
On the negative side it was a little louder than our previous room and difficult to exchange with the visitors... but a very original idea I hope that they can improve upon next year
A really nice Hammer and Midgaards Serpent. The sagas tell of how the Midgaards Serpent was cast into the oceans and grew so long that he could bite his own tail. There are also several tales of Thor's battles with the Serpent... one in which Thor looses a bet to lift the Serpent which is disguised as a cat... another where Thor goes on a fishing trip to capture the beast... and finally when they do battle at Ragnarok where Thor slays the beast only before succumbing to his own wounds.
These two symbols were made for each other :-)
You can see the process here:
After 10 hours, security began coming around to close up :-( Although the bar was open until midnight they wanted the tattooing shut down a few hours earlier, which meant we had to finish up pretty quickly :-(
A little rushed... but can always add more dots next year if it needs it :-)
a Thor's Hammer Mask on an American Serviceman returning home
This took about 6 hours to complete
I kept day three vacant so that I could tattoo some smaller things as well as to socialize. I got to tattoo fellow hand tattooist Rob Dunning from Feline Tattoo. We were introduced by Fiona Long (owner of Feline Tattoo) who I have known for many years. Rob (like many other tattooists lately) had heard of the Inuit sewing technique and wanted to experience it himself... nothing elaborate, just a few lines on his foot which could always be added to later.
The first stitch is the hardest :-)
Rob had some scar tissue from a motorcycle accident which was very thin and bled alot :-(
However the end results look fine, so as long as it doesn't spread out during the healing he should have a few sharp lines :-)
(the thread through the skin)
And the finished lines... more to follow next year :-)
A quick Bound rune for Peace
And finally, a little more Inuit sewing on Paul
Close up in action
Paul's right arm has a variety of different styles and techniques of hand tattooing that he has collected over the years. Samoan and Borneo tapping, Thai Buddist Longstick, Nordic and Tahiti hand poking and finally some Inuit sewing. A bit of a mishmash... but really cool all the same
Marisa wasn't the only one releasing a book this weekend :-)
Tomas Tomas released his second "Explorations" book showing photos of the progression of some of his projects. You may recognize Tomas' work from the cover of Black Tattoo Art 2. He luckily also had a few copies of the first book (which I had heard was sold out) so I got to pick up both and have them signed as well as get some flash patterns thrown in :-)
My friend Jondix (who is also in BTA2) had a new book of designs... 444 pages, and this is just the designs and ideas he hasn't used! Very productive man and an inspiration to the tattoo community
And finally Raffaella Ricci's sister Brunella Ricci just had a sketchbook of her designs released by "Gentleman's Flash" Raffaella's work is inspired by Pictish and Polynesian, however Brunella's does Neo Traditional Scratch Work... sort of etching iconical symbols on the skin. Nanna and I bought a couple of her prints a few years back and now we see the results of her hard work :-)
A new studio mascot... Pili Moó dubbed him "Pe'a" :-)
The massive black portion on the lower back of a Samoan Pe'a tattoo is named after a fruitbat... very suiting
Also wanted to thank Antoine Braastad for providing a bottle of Nanna's and my favorite Cognac :-)
The Tiffon distillery was founded in 1875 and Braastad Cognac produced after Sverre Braastad married into the family in 1879. It is one of the only family owned Cognac houses left. It was great meeting the grandson, who despite being 2nd generation immigrant French is still is fluent in Norwegian.