As a “devout atheist” and ardent science-minded skeptic, I don’t buy into the spiritual concept of energy. I do however strongly subscribe to the verifiable fact that ritual has a profound psychosomatic effect, so whether or not there is a metaphysical truth to spiritual theories, utilizing them can still add a great deal of value to someone’s life, especially in the context of ritual-friendly activities like body modification. That said, I read with great interest Patrick Hüttlinger‘s work developing a line of hand-carved wood-chassis rotary tattoo machines based on sacred geometry and theories of spiritual energy vibration — how do you literally encode Om into a tattoo tool and by extension the art it creates?
Zoom in the second picture for detail view
I asked Patrick the obvious question — how do you sterilize or disinfect a tattoo machine that is constructed in part out of porous organic materials — especially when we’re talking about the tube enclosure, which can’t easily be bagged and will almost certainly come in contact with biohazardous fluids? He explained that all the wood was treated with laquer and it shouldn’t absorb any more liquid than metal (which is to say, none), and the motor cover is epoxy resin. While the pieces can’t be autoclaved, standard hard surface chemical disinfectants are appropriate.
Finally, I can’t really write an entry about Patrick Hüttlinger without showing you some of the amazing tattoos he’s created — and I think these tattoos give some great context to the creative energy that went into creating the beautiful tattoo machines. I especially like the pieces where he mixes geometry and dotwork with traditional tattoo styles.
Find Patrick and these machines at sakrosankt.com by the way.