Stick and Poke Tattoo Kits
08:23 AM
stick and poke tattoo kit.jpg
Hand-poked tattoos are experiencing a Renaissance, with stellar professional tattooers reviving the ancient methods of body adornment. Employing techniques passed down from generations, much of hand tattooing comes with strict tradition and sacred rituals. The question is should it come in a box?

When SF tattooist Shannon Archuleta sent me the link to the Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit, we both said that our initial reaction was Oooh nooo. Then there's the rationalization reaction: people have always been sticking and poking themselves, so they might as well be safe. This rationalization is how the kit is touted.

However, upon further reading of the site -- particularly the "Open letter to the precious tattoo artist" on the blog portion -- the disdain for the craft, the hygiene 101 info and bad advice on what to do with the dirty needles, and also the goal of putting the kits in stores around the world, well, it made Shannon and I revert to our original reaction: this is not a good thing.

The first (and probably the last) tattoo I ever did was a hand-poked tattoo; it was under the guidance of a professional tattooist and under sterile conditions. Despite this, the tattoo is not one of my proudest moments. I poked the ink into the skin too deeply, leaving a bit of a scar, nevermind the blurred lines. Thankfully, my friend whom I "tattooed" is a forgiving soul.

Tattooing is difficult. It can be dangerous, especially in spreading bloodborne pathogens. And because of this, it shouldn't be picked off the shelf at an Urban Outfitters.*

What do you think? Share your thoughts under this post on the Needles & Sins FB group page or Tweet at me.

* Update: I should note that the kit is not available at Urban Outfitters and similar stores -- my comment referred to the goal of worldwide distribution, and if that was reached, I could foresee hipster stores carrying it.

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