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, 11 April 2015

Conventions and Prisons: Handpoked Tattoos

Well, our travelled carried us on to Frankfurt and Horsens this month. Frankfurt has become sort of a Mecca for traditional and hand tattooing the last several years coming to rival Florence and London for the number of artists attending. This is in a great deal due to the influence of Matthias Reuss from Edition Reuss books who lives in Frankfurt and has always been supportive of the traditional artists and techniques.
 This year aside from the Traditional hand tattooing row there were also a large collection of Polynesian artists as well as all my friends from St Petersburg who came to promote Russian tattooing.
Keone Nunes was there demonstrating the Tatau traditions from Hawaíi... he tattooed me about 12 years back and hasn't been in Europe in the last 10. Lars Krutak from the Smithsonian Institute and Sebastien Galliot from te Quay Branly Museum were also both in attendance and I also had the pleasure of meeting Professor Matt Lodder from the University of Essex
Fun and educational!

The Prison Ink Convention held in Horsens State Prison was an incredible experiance
After Frankfurt... going from a large venue of traditional artists to a much more "closed venue" of  black and grey artists was a bit of a culture shock.
The Prison has been closed for several years and now is used as a museum and hostel as well as being rented out for events such as concerts like Metallica playing there a few years back.
I shared a cell in the hospital ward with Markus and Patricia from Kunsten på Kroppen. our cells were larger and thus more inviting than the smaller ones in the arrest ward which meant that we had many visitors over the weekend as well as a conjugal visit from Nanna and Loki :-)
Looking forward to next year already


The newest issue of Z-Tattoo magazine was released just before Frankfurt with a book review of Charles Boday's "Handpoke Tattoo"
Unfortunately the dragon tattoo was attributed to our guest artist Boff, but the article went on to say good things about us both :-)

Last piece before Frankfurt
Start of a Colinesian necklace

The new Tattoo Masters Flash Collection by Edgar Hoill and Mathias Reuss from Edition Reuss was released at the Frankfurt Tattoo Convention on the weekend.
They had so many submissions to this work that it had to be broken into two books. I had two of my pieces represented from the Blood Gods series depicting Thor's fishing trip for the Midgaards Serpent. Unfortunately I didn't have time to paint the background of these... but they also work well in just black&white 

Preparation for day one at the Frankfurt Tattoo Convention
"Baresso Babirusa" :-)

The finished work
Strange... with a studio named Skin&Bone and a history as a medical illustrator you'd think I'd get an opportunity to tattoo more skulls

Day: 2
Finished up this Oseberg Dragon sleeve from earlier this year. The inspiration for the piece was the writings of Iban Fadlan, an Arab trader who met the Vikings and described them as being tattooed from the neck to nails. Unfortunately Danish law prohibits the tattooing of the hands so we had to wait until the Frankfurt Convention to finish the piece.
Well worth the wait :-)

Continued on a piece from about 10 years back by connecting it around the arm. We might continue downward at a later point

I was invited to the Kava cerimony by my Polynesian family :-)
There was barely enough room on the stage for all those big men... thanks for including me my friends.

A Viking from Switzerland wanted a petroglyph design on his thigh... next to an earlier one he had done on himself.
Thankfully he chose his own skin to experiment on and has since gotten much better work from other artists. Unfortunately I also see too much of this type of work on the Viking markets done by people posing as professionals :-(
Do unto others...

Lovely presents from Ferank Manseed... the only man I know who would put his cock on a block for another person

Rushed home from Frankfurt to do a little Fenris wolf  on Monday.
The wolf is below a Midgaards Serpent done by another artist, the design itself however is my own. This dragon was a freehand piece I did many years back and was taken by someone on Deviant Art who made a Flash design of it which they began to sell. The design has been showing up on more and more people on the Viking markets as well as the Vikings television series. 
My client and her artist (as well as others) knew nothing of this and although I'm proud that people like my designs enough to place it on their skin I find it annoying that another person is profitting financially and gaining a reputation from original work that was made for another person.

First day at Prison Ink Convention in Horsens
Didn't finish til about 11:00 so I just took a few quick photos... unfortunately the autofocus thought it would be a better idea to focus on the background than the tattoo

Close up of Trelleborg Blood Gods Mask
This is a design I based on a historical find from the Viking age, but is the first time that I've been able to do it using hand tools

Pretty much finished up with Lars' Pan Pacific sleeve. He entered it in Best Celtic/Tribal and won first place

A little better view of the Pan Pacific sleeve
We placed Haida totem animals down the arm representing the four elements... Fire/Sun, Air/Eagle, Earth/Wolf  and Water/Salmon (not shown). We then filed all the negative space with Polynesian style patterns... birds swooping down and fish swimming up.
Done entirely by hand

Sunday was a rather short day at the prison, so I just continued a bit with filling and drawing preparation for Frederik's Nordic Tribal Sleeve. We'll be adding some more Nordic patterns around the shoulder piece and then touching up the older armband to tie it all together

After being sprung from prison I continued on a Blood Gods project depicting the story of Tyr and the Fenris wolf on a client from Holland. We finished the right arm with Tyr offering his hand in sacrifice to the Fenris wolf. The left arm will depict Fenris bound with Tyr's sword lodged in his mouth until the time of Ragnarok

Continued tattooing my friend Kai from Kunsten på Kroppen with a second leg stripe.
This is an original design drawn by Kai and inspired by the Migration period

Finished up this Fenris Wolf that I started at the Brighton Tattoo Convention in February
Freehand drawn and tattooed by hand... would love to do some more larger projects by hand

While we were tattooing this book arrived :-)
George Burchett was known as the King of Tattooists. He lived in Brighton and was most noted as having tattooed King Frederik IX from Denmark.
I've since read the book and actually found it highly informative regarding hand tattooing by a man who learned his trade aboard ship without the help of stencil paper or pre-made ink and needles
A lot of handpokers who claim to be traditional and back to nature could learn a thing or two here.

This brooch design is actually based on a carving found on a jewelry box from the 1100s found near Helsingborg, Sweden and is supposed to have come from Ireland

 The client originally contacted me about getting a piece on his thigh which I was looking forward to doing... however he was already extensively covered by a virtual who's who of the best Scandinavian tattooists, so I was forced to reduce the piece to the size of a palm and press it in between a colour piece by Stine Nyman and a old school piece by Judd Ripley. Still flattering to be on the wall of fame :-)

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