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

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Artistic Progress: Last hand tattooing in 2014

   Over the years I've tried to push my hand tattooing to new heights... perfecting my technique and showing the possibilities of machine-free work. In order to do this I've had to not only be a patient perfectionist but sometimes uncompromising as well. When travelling I only work by hand and there are many tattoo designs and styles which I refuse to do by machine. I've also been blessed to have some good clients who will also specifically request hand work of my own designs despite the increased time. At the moment I would estimate that at least half of my work has been done this way and am very happy that it is recognized by my peers as being on the same level as machine work.
Here are a few pieces I'm working on and hope to continue in 2015

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic year


Well, we couldn't have ended the year any better than with the release of the Handpoke Tattoo book by Charles Boday which I was proud to not only be included in but also to be consulted on. There is a review of the book on Marisa Kakolas' "Needles & Sins" blog. Marisa, as most know, was the writer of the "Black Tattoo Art" books... so she knows what she is talking about.

 Classic "Vejviser" or Nordic Compass
This symbol comes from Iceland in about the 1600s (despite many calling it a Viking Compass). It is a magical glyph meant to guide you in foul weather so you never get lost.
 Although I usually pride myself on being able to do these symbols in very straight and clean lines, this client asked for something more organic to fit better with a petroglyph motif he had on his lower arm

Here the design is shown with the earlier tattoo done by my retired mentor

Continued on Allan's tattoo which I call, "Sibling Rivalry"
A serpent and dragon locked together to represent his children, while the trinity heart is in reverence to his wife and family placed over his own heart.
All tattooed by hand

 Start of a dragon on Eric's forearm to frame in a petroglyph ship with a little man.
Eric has a sunwagon petroglyph on the other forearm and wanted to fill out the remaining space on the two. Originally I was thinking of continuing by hand with some geometric patterns or more petroglyphs. But then the sagas came to me and I thought about incorporating the Midgaards Serpent with the boat to represent the story of Thor's Fishing Trip... while the other arm will have a wolf pursuing the sun wagon like Sköl& Hati
A double dragon calf wrap.
Another visit to line the scales and then we'll be ready for the dots

 Henrik (the designer of our "No Machines" logo) has been getting tattooed by me for over a decade. Something small and graphic on his birthday or anniversary most years. This has eventually resulted in a whole sleeve of symbols. When Henrik's mom saw his first tattoo her only comment was, "Henrik, there are many ways to make yourself Ugly"
The tattoos remained hidden since that time to avoid conflict... however before Henrik's latest appointment he showed the progress to his mother again. Her comments lightened and she actually expessed admiration of the work :-)
Henrik got an "A" for his mom "Anne"

Continuation of the Nordic Tribal half sleeve around a previous armband

Continuing on my brother Kevin's forearm... the framework will be filed in with geometric patterns

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