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

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Artistic Process: Stop!... it's Hammer Time :-)

Thor's Hammers


P.S. although some of these designs are based on historical finds the pieces themselves are actually custom... so please don't copy them but look at the actual historical finds for inspiration.
Thanks :-)

Thor pulling on his beard which is in the form of a hammer.
This small figure is found in the National Museum in Reykjavic, Iceland

The start of a new sleeve depicting Thor fighting with the Midgaards Serpent. 
The sagas tell of of how the Midgaards Serpent was cast into the ocean and grew so long that it could bite it's own tail. There are also many 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 tour to capture the beast... and finally where 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 :-)

This sleeve was partially inspired by a painting I did a few years back for an gallery exhibition in Paris and will be shown soon at another gallery exhibition in St Petersburg :-)
Here Thor is fishing for the Midgaards Serpent... pulling so hard that his foot goes though the bottom of the boat. He eventually pulls the beast to the surface and is preparing to brain it with his hammer... oh, but you know the rest of the story :-) 

The Icelandic Wolf Cross (or Hammer... depending on your religious affiliation). This was the last photo I took in the National Museum in Reykjavik before my battery went dead :-(

The Icelandic Wolf Cross which I freehanded a Dragon and serpent around along with some personal text.

A Thor's Hammer and Midgaards Serpent on the back of a calf. Cobblestone scales and Runes for his family. I started this piece at the old studio, however due to some mis-direction I was unable to complete it for a few years.
So I finally get to show it here :-)

A Thor's Hammer Mask I designed over a decade ago. The original was sold a few years back at an exhibition in Paris and was a companion piece to the one above. Go Cards also used the design for their free postcards which are distributed around cafés and restaurants in Denmark

A Hammer Mask... sort of a cut away with the Moesgaards Mask hidden in his chest and a personal runetext around the border

A Custom Thor's Hammer Memorial Tattoo I did on the brother of a friend who passed away a few years back, much too early :-(

Thor's Hammer with a Midgaards Serpent knotted around it. I did this piece by hand in the Summer over about 6 hours

Close up of the detail... Yes, even the lines are done by hand :-)

 Got to do a Thor's Hammer with the "Hammer of Thor" machine before giving it to Kai for his birthday. This machine I had made especially for Kai using a Brass disc he designed similar to bronze ones found during the Migration Period in Europe... an early fertility symbol with 7 hammers engraved into it. Kai actually sells these discs and others like them.

A piece I did by hand at the London Convention over 8-10 hours

A closer peek... I still want to darken this one up with a few more dots, but that's all for this year :-) 
You can see the process here:

A Custom Thor's Hammer with Dragon and Raven heads... as well as a little hidden Swastika :-)

And a close up of the same piece

Another dragon/hammer combination... no scales, just a simple double negative so as to better see the knotwork 
And more knotwork... this time a Celtic circle with a small Thor's Hammer braided in.

Another piece I started by hand after opening Skin&Bone about 4 years back. The new studio has given me the opportunity to concentrate on my art and technique and not worry as much about the time constraints. Unfortunately I have yet to complete this piece
Note the cool Swastika in the middle of the Serpent. This was the only way I could get all the overs and unders to work out evenly.   

Although this isn't actually a hammer... it is a similar form and shows the possibilities and percision of hand tattooing. One of the most difficult things about hand tattooing is getting a good, solid, clean line... making Celtic work a real challenge.
I haven't done a cross in years and just had to share :-)

And just to accent the point... here is another hammer tattooed by hand

And finally a Thor's Hammer Mask backpiece I'm in the process of making. The twisted rope is actually a dragon which will continue onto his chest with the head and his ribs with the tail.

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