Beyond Nazi tattoo cover-ups and and celebrity tattoo trifles, the headlines this week also featured stories that made us feel a little less soiled.
On Discovery's awesome Science Tattoo blog, I learned from this science teacher and her endangered species tattoo about the Ext Inked, a project from Ultimate Holding Company (a Machester art co-op) that celebrates Charles Darwin's 200th birthday by inviting 100 volunteers to become the ambassadors of 100 endangered UK species -- that is, by being tattooed with the image of their chosen mammal, invertebrate, bird, reptile, fish or plant. The tattoos, like the one above, were done by the artists of Ink vs. Steel in Leeds. See more photos on their Facebook group and Flickr pages.
On the other English coast, in Lincolnshire, tattooing the town mascot will cost ya. The Skegness Town Council is requiring tattooists pay a ten pound fee for tattooing the famous Jolly Fisherman, somewhat of a local logo since it was designed as a ad for the coastal resort town in 1908. Could this be the makings of a tattoo copyright fight?
And in Derbyshire, university forensic scientists are exploring how using an infrared digital camera can determine if a tattoo is an original or a cover-up. So criminals who have tattooed over or lazered distinct tattoos to evade identification may not have an easy pass after all.
In Nottinghamshire (if you're not sure on shires, see this map), one rock fan is trying for a world record by getting portrait tattoos of his favorite musicians and celebs, and then having them sign his bod (he then tattoos the autographs). Portraits range from Ozzy to Anastacia to The Corrs. And, surprisingly, he is being abused on message boards for his musical taste.
Back in the US ...
The American Statesman (A.S. photo above by Ralph Barrerra) looks at how soldiers deal with the stress of war and last month's shootings by finding comfort in places like tattoo studios. The owner of La Rude's Tattoo Studios explains:
"There's more counseling involved than artwork on a lot of weeks...We're like the bartender without the alcohol. Sometimes they need a nonmilitary ear to listen."
Army Sgt. Ryan Witko, a 27-year-old injured Iraq War vet comes to La Rude's regularly:
For more on tattooed soldiers and Fort Hood, see our post on the Tattooed Under Fire documentary.
The Stateman article also looked at how soldiers have turned to churches as well as tattoo studios. A church in Mill Creek, Washington offers both worlds. During their Permanent Ink series, sermons are accompanied by the buzz of live tattooing. Praise be.
The waning of the "tattoo taboo" isn't just in the US and UK. The Bangkok Post says that more women in Hong Kong are following the "trend" and getting tattooed.
But there are moments when I long for the "good old days" of underground tattooing, a time when you had to really do your homework and seek out masters of the craft to create your desired work, a tattoo of Lily Allen's nipples on your buttocks.
I'll end there.