Wedding ring microdermals, the new trend? Get lost!

There’s been a bit of buzz lately from some less than reputable news sites reporting on what they consider a new, hip trend, surface anchors being installed on fingers in place of wedding rings. While Modblog readers and BME fans are certainly not going to be unfamiliar with the erroneous concept of piercing fingers and hands as we near an anniversary of Shannon’s own attempts at his hand web piercings, the body piercing industry as a majority has largely changed face on what we now refer to commonly as “long term temporary” piercings.

I was approached by Refinery29 in order to comment on the subject, and after seeing the final article printed to seem almost positive towards the idea, I feel like the whole story should be told. (And, you know, I already wrote the whole thing).

Here is the original interview in its entirety:

R29: I know pain threshold is a very subjective experience, but on a scale of 1-10, how much would a micro-dermal piercing like this hurt?

TV: When it comes to microdermals – or surface anchors as we more commonly refer to them these days – the sensation for the client receiving the piercing is a bit unlike a traditional piercing. The way I describe the feeling to my clients is to explain that they will feel a piercing-like pinch while the initial pocket is made with a needle, and then more of a pushing-like pressure as the jewelry is inserted.

Pain levels will of course vary from person to person, though surface anchors are usually on the lower end of the pain scale for most of my clients – even those without much or any prior experience in being pierced. Fingers may tend to be a bit more sensitive.

RT: What would the recovery and healing process be like?

TV: Recovery time with most piercings is very minimal. The first few hours to first week or so will contain some light soreness, swelling, mild redness and minimal bleeding around the piercing site as the body’s inflammatory system activates and begins the first stages of the healing process. From there, things will calm down and relax steadily throughout the rest of the healing period.

According to the Association of Professional Piercers, Surface Anchors tend to take between 3-4 months to fully heal. During that time and as the body begins healing the damaged tissue, the piercing will begin to discharge a light amount of what we commonly refer to as fluid that will become “crusties” – or medically, serous exudate. This discharge is a very normal part of the healing process of any piercing at all and appears as a mostly clear, thin, watery plasma that will dry around the piercing site and form light scabbing. It should be gently removed with a very minimal aftercare regimen during healing.

(Source: https://woundcareadvisor.com/wound-exudate-types/)
(Source: http://safepiercing.org)

RT: Is it normal for a piercing to continue to bleed like in most of those photos?

TV: While any piercing may bleed a bit immediately during the piercing itself or for a very short while afterwards, extended bleeding is not something we see often with microdermals at all. In very simple terms, in body piercing we are essentially making a hole through the body and then immediately “plugging” it. In many occasions, microdermal piercings will be completed by placing a band-aid over the piercing site itself, though this is usually less to prevent any bleeding and more to prevent any accidental catching or snagging that may affect the piercing after being freshly done.

RT: How close are these finger piercings/anchors to the bone?

TV: Not at all! A microdermal piercing when properly placed will sit in the dermis, the layer of tissue directly beneath the outer surface layer of the skin – the epidermis. They are routinely placed less than a 1/4” beneath the outer surface of the skin, and on places such as fingers – often only about half that.

RT: How do the anchors of a dermal piercing work differently than another?

TV: Surface anchors are unique from other piercings in that they are a single-point piercing, meaning that they have only one point of entrance and exit for the entire piece of jewelry. Onlookers will often ask with curiosity (or sometimes pure bewilderment): “Does that go all the way through?!”.

Instead of a piercing completely made through an ear, or a fold of tissue in say a navel, microdermal piercings are performed by creating a pocket within the top two layers of skin and placing the jewelry snugly and securely within the dermis.

RT: What are possible side effects for a piercing like this?

TV: The biggest and most important side effect to note is that microdermals have a limited lifespan. In my professional experience, clients tend to average around 2-6 years with the piercings before issues arise or they chose to take them out for other reasons – such as lifestyle changes, job requirements, or a change of aesthetic. I have seen surface anchors last upwards of 10+ years and also ones that have to be removed after less than 6 months.

The common term among professionals used to describe the longevity of a microdermal is “Long-term temporary”. When the first modern microdermals were introduced widely in 2006 by Pat Pruitt of Custom Steel, they were referred to as “Borderline Permanent” as their longevity had yet to be tested. Earlier prototypes showed mixed results but most resulted in inevitable failure.

(Source: https://news.bme.com/2006/11/05/the-next-big-thing-microdermals-and-surface-anchors/)

Secondary to rejection, the largest risk factor when it comes to any piercing on the hands is infection. Think about all of the things your hands touch on a regular basis, and now imagine all of those getting in an open wound over 4 months! If we take a look at simple medical studies on wound healing, lacerations on the hand tend to have almost double the infection rate versus those on other parts of the body. While infection rates across the board are already pretty low, especially in the case of traditional piercings, we certainly do not want to encourage higher risk placements and increase those possibilities.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369530/ (5% average infection rate for hand lacerations)
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3797169/ (2.5% average infection rate for other lacerations)

Lastly, scaring. As scaring will differ from person to person, it is very difficult for us as professionals to estimate how the piercing site may scar once it has been removed down the line. Some people are left with lightly noticeable scaring, some people may be more prone to keloid-type scars, and some may be simply left with just a subtle little dimple as you’ll see below.

RT: What does the rejection of a piercing actually look like? What should someone look out for?

TV: I actually have a great photo example to share for this question, showing a healed microdermal bottom left, one beginning its journey towards rejection in the top left, one nearly completely rejected on the top right, and a scar from one that has already been fully removed on the bottom right. When this client came into the studio a few months ago, we removed all of the rest of the ones in this photo. These were not performed by me.:

 

Surface anchors in different stages of rejection or removal.

Surface anchors in different stages of rejection or removal.

In microdermals, early issues with the piercing can be identified by a notable amount of swelling, irritation, excessive redness or soreness, and the jewelry no longer remaining “flat” against the surface of the skin. At this stage, I would recommend returning to your piercer to have them see if the problems may be able to be resolved on their own before furthering. In the later stages, rejection may appear as the jewelry having tilted to one side or another, irritated tissue building up along the base of the jewelry, or entirely with parts of it protruding from the skin as pictured. By this point, it is a better idea to have the piercing removed by a professional rather than continue to let it work its way out on its own.

RT: Would you recommend clients getting this kind of piercing? Do a lot request it?

TV: Despite a few recent articles, requests for microdermal and surface anchor piercings have actually drastically decreased in recent years as more and more clients and more and more professional piercers are becoming aware of their impermanence, high likelihood of rejection and migration, and potential scarring after the piercing has been removed.

I find that the majority of people getting such piercings these days, especially on outer extremities such as wrists, hands, and fingers are those who were not offered a proper explanation of what to expect during healing or after removal. These days, I remove far more microdermals than I insert.

When it comes to extremities, such as hands, fingers, toes and the like, I do not recommend having them done – and nor do the vast majority of my colleagues. These areas are drastically more prone to infection, irritation, accidental catching, snagging, and almost all potential negatives that could happen to a piercing. Even the simple act of placing a hand into a pocket or down a sleeve when putting on a T-Shirt can turn into a complete ordeal as the piercing snags on clothing. Their longevity is dramatically reduced, and though you may see an increase or a large amount of photos of them being done – they are nearly always photos taken when the piercings were still brand new.

(Source: https://safepiercing.tumblr.com/post/89884031234/hey-if-youd-answer-this-privately-id-appreciate)

RT: Where might there be a better placement on the hand?

TV: Truthfully, there is not really a “better” placement for any piercing on a hand. Over the few decades, some of the best professional body piercers in the world experimented with a myriad of placements for piercings located on the hands and fingers. In short, they nearly all failed with the exception of some very small and unique cases of sheer luck.

In summary, if you understand the risks, the likelihood that they will not be permanent adornments, and are okay with potential scarring once they have been removed – they can be a very fun, temporary addition to many different parts of the body. It is important to consult with a reputable piercer with much experience in this area beforehand who can explain all of these factors to you along with providing you a safe recommendation on placement options that will provide as much longevity as possible. Outliers will however always be a factor. Finger microdermals may potentially last a decade under the right circumstances and with enough luck – and many readers may know people who have successful microdermal piercings for extended amounts of time that may make them believe the success rate is much higher – but it’s important to remember that not everyone who jumps off of the Golden Gate bridge dies.

If you’re looking for a cute way to show off your love, sticking with traditional finger jewelry tends to work much, much better – and I would hope that your marriage or partnership lasts longer than the average microdermal or surface anchor on a finger. :)

———————————————————

And that my friends, is why pop culture should just continue to report on pop culture.

 

 

We’re on the lookout for new ask.BME Staff!

UPDATE:  Thanks for all the submissions we’ve managed to fill all the empty spots.  Keep an eye on ModBlog for a post introducing you to them.

It’s that time again! We’re looking for additional ask.BME staff to help answer questions on BME!

If you’ve got what it takes to be a part of BME ask team, then please copy and past the questions below and send them to rachel@bme.com! We have some rules and guidelines on how to answer questions on ask.BME but I want to see how you’d answer them on your own without any guidance from us. Don’t worry about answering them all, just answer the questions that match up with your experience and skill set. Be honest about the questions that you don’t know the right answer to and remember, everyone has different answers and there is always more than one correct answer to a question! So fill out the answers to the questions and send them in! P.S. Spelling errors are from the submittors of the questions, not BME! For authenticity we’re leaving them as is!

1. Hey,

I got my tongue pierced 4 days ago and I am very concerned with it getting infected, namely thrush because of the fact that I accidentally ate some food that has food in it that is made from dairy. Well for the past few days I’ve noticed that the back of my tongue from just behind the piercing on back is a yellowish color and I was wondering if this was normal? I have also noticed for the past couple of days that I have a sort of metallic taste in my mouth I was also wondering if this was normal? Then lastly, I was wondering if, instead of using the mouthwash that i’m currently using to rinse my mouth after every time I eat, is it okay to use the sea salt mixture in it’s place? Would using the sea salt mixture cut down on the possibility of getting an infection, like thrush, better than mouthwash? Sorry for all of the questions, i’m really anal about knowing everything that I can about what’s best for my piercings when they are healing.

2. so i recently just got a new tattoo to cover up some ugly ass tribal i had on my leg since i was 16… its a huge sobirety piece on my leg. now my question to you all is why does my tattoo look like the color has faded after some of the scabs have naturaly fallen off? also i have been using tattoo goo and applying 2-3 times per day.. even where i have heavy shading it looks like the color is fading or is that due to the fact the top layer of skin is starting to flake off?

My boyfriend was tattooed 4 days ago and has been chugging along with his aftercare as one does. I was applying ointment to it last night (a cream that tattooists in France always recommend, and that I and my boyfriend have used ourselves on previous tattoos without any problems whatsoever) when I noticed some small, blister-like bumps on parts of his tattoo.

They are more pronounced on the small spots of blue that he has in his tattoo but I also noticed a few of these little blisters on a shaded black area so I don’t think it’s a question of how much pressure was used while tattooing. They range from small circular spots of about 1-2mm in diameter to small smear-shaped raised, dry areas of about 6-8mm in length. There is not an over abundance of them but they seem to be more concentrated (although sparsely) around the inner forearm. There is also a slight redness and raised skin on other shaded areas of the tattoo. However there is no globalized redness or burning/itching.

He does have a tendency to swell up during the tattooing and up to a day after, but from what he tells me he hasn’t ever seen any of these small, raised, blister like patches on any of his other tattoos (he has both coloured and plain black ones).

I have a feeling you will tell me this is an allergy of some sort and to contact the tattoo artist, which I plan on doing, but I just wanted your opinion on this subject and how to possibly treat it. Should he really be panicking about it or is it something easily taken care of and should he seek a doctor’s opinion? Also how badly could it possibly affect the tattoo?

Thank you for any response you can give to put his mind at rest, or push to take action.

3. I just had my septum pierced and the piercer put in a circular barbell. Friends are telling me I should have had a retainer put in first while it heals. Is this true? I wouldn’t be concerned except it seems like the piercing is moving closer and closer to the bottom of the septum due to gravity, away from the cartilage area. Thanks.

4.  This is not my first tattoo, I have quite a few but I’ve never had any that have done this. I’ve gone to the same artist for most of my tattoos , I follow the after care procedures, but none of my other tattoos have had this happen, So it’s 7 days old and it has peeled for the most part but underneath the layer that has peeled it is a very shiny and wrinkly skin. It looks as if it’s possibly going to peel a second time. Like I’ve said before that’s never happened before. Is it silver skin/ milk skin? Will it go away? The tattoo is on my inner bicep, does that make a difference in how it heals?

5. I want to get the back of my neck pierced but i’m really worried about wasting money if it rejects, a friend of mine said dermal anchor’s are better and have less chance of rejecting?

Je veux obtenir l’arrière de mon cou percé, mais je suis vraiment inquiet pour gaspiller de l’argent si elle rejette, un de mes amis dit ancrage dermiques sont mieux et ont moins de chance de rejeter?

6. I have had my ear lobes stretched to 1/2 inch for about two year now. I recently got the urge to step up. In the past I have used silicone plugs to dead stretch my ears. I know the whole taper and non-porous jewelry way is preferred, but I was trying to go cheap and it works. I bought some 5/8″ plugs because I was trying to go too big too quick, completely kipping 9/16″. My ears got swollen and were very sensitive. After a few days, I decided to take them out and give my ears a rest. The swelling has almost completely gone down, except for in the fistula. It has been 3 days with no jewelry what so ever and my ears feel about 75% back to normal. I tried sticking a half inch taper through while in the shower but it makes around half way before pain. I am worried that irritating my piercings, coupled with the lack of jewelry, has reduced their size drastically. It is still a little swollen so I don’t know the full severity yet, but right now it look like 2g would be the biggest jewelry I could fit. Is it possible to get back to at least the 1/2″ inch I was at without having to work my way up? They were like that for 2 years, could 2 days have set me back that far?

7. Okay so I got my monroe pierced 5 days ago. It’s looking pretty good except that it’s still red around it. I do not think it’s infected because there is no puss coming out of it or anything and the inside looks totally fine. I emailed my piercer and he said this is totally normal. But, I’m getting paranoid! Almost every person I see says “That’s infected!” I’m really getting tired of hearing it. I know that they pierce with a long piece of jewelry and I do get it caught on my gums sometimes. Will the redness go away once I can switch to a shorter post and don’t get it caught on my gums anymore? I’m doing my SSS 2 times a day. Help please!

8. I’m wondering if you can recommend a reputable scarification artist in Australia. I’m based in Melbourne but I’m willing to travel if I need to. So far my searching hasn’t returned a whole lot.

Also, what method would work best if I’m looking to have subtle flat scars rather than raised keloiding? Is it more a matter of how you personally tend to heal rather than the method used that determines what the healed result is like?

9. Would love to ask if anyone know what category does this tattoo fall in. Tried searching on the web for a long time but couldn’t get it. Got this picture from one of someone and he told me his customer brought him that so no one knows what style/kind this tattoo falls in what category. very much appreciate if anyone out there knows because i really love it and would love to know more then ink it on me !THANKS GUYY!

asd

10.  I got an apadravya and frenum long time ago, but recently found out me and my wife are to be expecting a little one. We were just wanting to double check if sex with the apadravya will be ok and not cause any problems with the pregnancy? We’ve tried searching but really couldn’t find a definite answer about this particular circumstance with apadravya + pregnancy. Thank you for any help.

11. I got my navel piercing when I was 15 years old, and I am now almost 25. It has never once been infected, but every once in a while over the years, it gets sore/red/painful for a week or so. In the past couple years I’ve put on about 20 pounds, and the irritation comes more frequently. SO frequently, that I took it out, and let it “heal” a couple months ago.

A few days ago it started the sore/red/painful thing again without even having a ring in it. I figured it was best to put the jewelry back in rather than have it seal in the infection, if that’s what it is. I have sensitive skin, so I only buy surgical steel rings, so that’s definitely not it. I even bought an actual circular ring instead of a barbel so it wouldn’t be too tight.

ANYWAY, I just don’t really know what is wrong.. is it my weight gain? Could it be something else? I just don’t know why it would be doing this after months of not having a ring in. HELP?!

12. Hi guys,

I had both of my ears pierced at 14g in August. They healed up with no problems or infections, and near the end of October, I stretched them to a 12g (my piercer did it for me, and they bled a little bit when he stretched them). Now around a little over a month ago, one of my tunnels was pulled out while I was sleeping, causing it to bleed a bit, but I cleaned it thoroughly then put it back in. After a few days or so, a small bump appeared on the back of my left ear near the piercing (not directly on the piercing, but its very close). At first I assumed it was a pimple because it was small and soft to touch. But after a week or so, it only shrunk a tiny bit. I had my piercer check it out, and he said that it was a “keloid”, and I simply had to rub it/massage it daily with soap on my fingers to help break down the “bacteria/gunk” inside so it could properly heal. Since I started doing that (around 3 or so weeks ago), it has gone down a bit, but is still there. I have also been using saline wound wash, as recommended by another piercer I know.

Now while I’m sure it’s just something I need to be patient with, I decided to ask on here because you guys are the professionals! I apologize if this can’t be analyzed properly without a picture, but I was just hoping you might have some advice towards a more effective solution for my situation.

Thanks much!

13. Just a quick question about tongue piercing. I have had a tongue piercing before but had to remove it and it healed up. I have being thinking about getting 2 new tongue piercings either venom’s or just two in the middle. Is it best to have them both done at the same time or separate?

14. I’m looking into getting a small skin removal piece done seeing how it’s going to be my first, and I was looking on many sites about chemical irritant aftercare, I seen that Toasted Sesame oil is a very good one to use, I got a bottle of 100% sesame oil one accident and wondered if it would do the same? Or better yet if you could suggest more of a variety of chemical irritants? Thank you!

Looking forward to the answers! ^_^

15. Hi, I’m really wanting to get my sub dermal clavicles done, I’m not sure where to do this because I know that they’re pretty rate piercings.can anyone recommend a place or places in Texas where I could get mine done? it can be anywhere on the state, if not in the state, somewhere in the same general area would be good, I want them badly and I’m getting pretty desperate to find somewhere, can anyone help?

16. I’m really interested in doing a saline injection temporary breast enlargement. do you know of any professionals who do this in the southern California area?

17. I had both of my nipples pierced almost 8 years ago and never had a problem with them until about a year ago. The left one kept getting a bump towards the right side of the piercing. After some tlc, it would go away, but a few weeks later it would be back. Roughly 3 months ago, I noticed the spot where the bump had been actually left a tiny hole I could see the jewelry through. Well, it healed and wasn’t causing me any pain until yesterday I noticed the skin on that side had ripped up into where the hole was. Is this a type of rejection? If so, why so long? I took the jewelry out when I noticed this and it appears everything is closing up fine and there’s no pain. Would it be recommended to have the piercing re-done once everything is completely healed up?

18. Hi, I got my nipple pierced about 5 days ago and due to the swelling one ball is digging into my nipple. So much so that you can see where some skin has rubbed off due to the pressure and it has started to scab. I went to the piercer and asked if he would put a longer bar in and he said that that was normal, and that with any tongue or nipple piercing indentation is going to occur and to just wait for the swelling to go down.

My question is should I go to a different piercer and get their opinion on it, or should i just wait and hope that one day i dont wake up to the ball having dug its way into the piercing?

19. Hey everyone, I’ve got a question regarding the pain I’ve been feeling with my tongue piercing.. I find it understandable to have sensitivity issues with a new piercing, but I’ve had my tongue pierced for a couple years now and don’t know what the cause of my discomfort is. Occasionally, I get a stinging pain on the bottom of my tongue, directly around the exit hole of my tongue piercing around the barbell. Right now I have the pain for a couple days and it is a little more uncomfortable than usual but tolerable-no where else but just the bottom of my tongue directly around the barbell itself. There’s no swelling or signs of infection, but when the piercing moves around in my mouth or I just move my tongue I get a stinging pain. This started happening well after the piercing healed up too. Any idea what might be causing this and what it could be?

20. I’ve had my tongue pierced for seven years, but I’ve heard they do close up very quickly even if they’ve been pierced for a long time. I’m having surgery later in the year, and will most likely have to take out all of my piercings for it. I’m worried it will close up. I also probably won’t be able to put it back in myself for awhile, because the surgery is on my chest, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to raise my arms high enough to do it. My fiancee is too squeamish to do it, and I don’t know if a nurse at the hospital would do it. Am I doomed to have to have it re-pierced after my surgery is healed, or is there a chance it would go back in after having it out for a week or so? Thank you!

Turn the other cheek

1 point ass suspension.  I don’t think anything else needs to be said.

I love how The Sinner Team mounts a camera right to the rigging.

Update:  Here’s the video..

BMEShop Year End Sale!  Coupon Code: holiday20off

40% off Diablo Ogranics Jewelry!! Coupon Code: 40offdiablo

5000th Order Shipped Out Receives $100 Gift Certificate!

BME NYE Party!  RSVP here!!


Wrapping it up for the year

It’s been a while since we’ve done them, but the BME Year-End Awards are coming up!  Now, because we didn’t do them last year, we’ll be doing the 2010** awards this month as well.  Now if you don’t know what the awards are, they’re how we recognize the top contributors to BME.  We look at 3 categories, photos, videos, and experiences*.  The top 10 in each category win fabulous prizes!

Now in the past, with the way the system worked is that we’d cut off submissions for the year end awards some time in December.  This year, with all the changes to the site, we can now take submissions up until midnight on December 31st.  So that means if you’re one of the top contributors come New Year’s Day, you’ll be getting a gift certificate to the BMEShop.  In past years we’ve given away t-shirts, but this time we thought it would be nice if the winners got to choose what they received.  Here’s how the prizes break down.  The top 10 contributors in each category will each win the following:

  • 1st place: $1000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250
  • 4th place: $100
  • 5th place: $50
  • 6th place: $40
  • 7th place: $30
  • 8th place: $30
  • 9th place: $30
  • 10th place: $20

If you do the math we’re giving away over six thousand dollars in prizes this year!

So what does this mean to you?  Well you’ve still got a few weeks to send in your submissions, so before the end of December upload your photos, videos and experiences* to BME.  Who knows, if you’ve submitted enough to be in the top ten, you’ll be getting a prize!  If you’ve been sitting on a bunch of photos that you haven’t uploaded yet, now is the time!

Now, all that said, we know there were some problems with the t-shirts in 2009 (I’m looking at you Angela).  If you were a winner of a 2009 year end award, and did not receive your shirt, send an e-mail to shop@bme.com with your shipping address, phone number, and shirt size (mens sm-2xl or womens s-xl), and we’ll send them out.

On top of all of this, the BME New Year’s Eve party is coming up!  We’re only a few days away from bonfires, suspensions, and all kinds of shenanigans!  Check the event listing for all the details!  BMEHQ is located right near King’s Dominion in Virginia, just outside of Richmond.

*Top 10 consists of the top 10 BME members who have submitted more than 1 experience.
**2010 prizes will be announced at a later date.

BMEShop Year End Sale!  Coupon Code: holiday20off

40% off Diablo Ogranics Jewelry!! Coupon Code: 40offdiablo

5000th Order Shipped Out Receives $100 Gift Certificate!

BMEtv – Kaleidoscope Tattoo

One of our first stops in Australia was Kaleidoscope Tattoo down in Bondi Beach. We spoke with tattooers Luciano Lima, Freddy, Stevie Edge, Cory Ohrman and their piercer Brady Hardin. If you’re ever lucky enough to be checking out the beautiful beaches of Sydney, Australia, there is no doubt you’ll be making a stop to see the world famous Bondi Beach. Don’t forget to visit Kaleidoscope Tattoo while you’re there!

bmetv1

Keep reading to check out the video!

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Tattoo Hollywood Opening Party & Bob Roberts’s Book Release!

Tattoo Hollywood & Known Gallery are proud to present new works by BOB ROBERTS and BERT KRAK | LADIES WELCOME and the release of Bob Roberts’s first book ever titled “In A World of Compromise…I Don’t”

ladieswelcome

About the book release:
Tattoo Hollywood Opening Party & Book Release: Thursday, August 19th, 2010 | 8-11pm
We will be selling 100 signed copies at $300.00 plus tax
Pre-order at: info@knowngallery.com

bobroberts

When:
Opening reception: Saturday, July 31st, 2010 | 8-11pm
Tattoo Hollywood Opening Party & Book Release: Thursday, August 19th, 2010 | 8-11pm
Show runs: July 31st – August 19th, 2010

Where:
Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

About the artists:

Bob Roberts
The man, the myth, the legend: Bob Roberts. Few people have had the impact on tattooing that Bob Roberts has. His sheer artistic genius is sublime, and his biography reads the same way. For over thirty years he has been part of the vanguard of talented tattoo artists who, unbeknownst to them at the time, have pushed tattooing from a craft to an art form.

The list of artists Bob has worked alongside reads like a star-studded who’s who of the tattoo artist hall of fame, of which Bob would no doubt be a member if such a thing existed. He apprenticed with Colonel Todd and Bob Shaw at the infamous Pike and then worked alongside Cliff Raven, Greg Irons, Paul Rogers, Jack Rudy and Don Ed Hardy. His own shop, Spotlight Tattoo, continues to house a roster of talented artists bent on following in Bob’s footsteps.

Bob’s creative genius is not limited to tattooing and painting, he is also an accomplished musician. His musical career reads much the same as his tattoo resume. Bob has played with Ruben and the Jets, Hot Tuna, The Offs, New York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, to name a few. His life has been “rock and roll” as well; Frisco, New York, LA, Europe, Japan, Bob has done the world tour. He’s also ridden across most of the United States on a Harley, and he’s “ridden it like he stole it.” That is how Bob lives his life, and his artwork reflects it.

But the thing that stands out the most to me about Bob is his persona. Ungovernable, fiercely independent, Bob does not compromise…. He does it HIS way. And thankfully for us, Bob Roberts has forever changed tattooing for the better.

-Takahiro “Taki” Kitamura
State of Grace
June 2010

Bert Krak

Loyal husband, father of four, expert tattooer, fine artist , business man, genius. Was born July 12th,1977 in Hollywood, FL. Met his wife in 95. Had his first son in 96. Started tattooing and painting around the year 2000. Currently owns and operates Top Shelf Tattooing in Queens, NY and Smith Street Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn, NY. Specializes in electric walk up style laser proof tattooing that look like they were drawn and applied by a man.

-

Crew Blog #2

australia will kill you

East Point, Darwin. photo and caption by Meg Dejmal

Well, here we are.  Another crew blog.  I meant to write one last week as well but holy jebus have we been busy.  We had a day off and literally; we all just slept.  And Meg got tattooed.  But we just mostly slept.  These guys sleep like champions! I thought I was an opportunist napper but boy howdy, I think Richard and Meg are tied for that distinction.  MS Word is telling me that I am using bad grammar right now with green squiggly underlines, just so you know.  What can I say; I excel at some things, not so much grammar.

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One Hour Tattoo – Ran Maclurkin

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided to get tattooed again but the day we were leaving Melbourne, I had to let Trevor finish what he had left of the background on my right calf. I wasn’t sure if he was going to have time for a second session so I had made an appointment later that same day with Ran Maclurkin of The Piercing Urge. The tour team and I had spent the day prior to the tattoo interviewing Ran, Matt and Pete for the tour videos and interviews that we’re doing. As I had explained before, I’m getting a series of skull tattoos to fill up the front and sides of my thighs while I’m out on the road. I really liked Ran‘s “Abstract Noir” style of tattooing and wanted to get a piece from him. He’d already tattooed Chez‘s thigh the day before. I decided to ask Ran if he’d do me the honor of being the second in my series of “One Hour Tattoo” video and he said yes!

Check out the video and I hope you enjoy it!

ran

Due to weird inconsistencies with the “Auto-Play”, I’ve moved the video to behind the jump. Click the image to go to the post to watch the video or click more.

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One Hour Tattoo – Rhys Gordon

As someone who spends most of their time behind a computer, I don’t get a chance very often to meet tattooers from various ends of the earth. I’ve decided to get a series of tattoos that I’m calling the “One Hour Tattoo” and I hope to make time lapse videos of all of them. The first tattoo I’ve had done is by Rhys Gordon at InnerVision Tattoo in Sydney, Australia. He drew the skull and cross bones while we were chatting for his interview, which we some how managed not to do! He came out a couple days later to visit with us while we were working in Melbourne and I interviewed him there. I’ll wait to tell you more about Rhys when we post his interview for BMEtv.

rhysDue to weird inconsistencies with the “Auto-Play”, I’ve moved the video to behind the jump. Click the image to go to the post to watch the video or click more.

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Where in the world is BME?

Where’s BME? Where are the posts? Are you guys okay? Have you frittered away the budget in strip clubs across the world? Those are the sorts of questions I’ve been getting. While I’d love to be on the perfect schedule of making at least one video a day, it’s going to take us a couple weeks to get to that point. Now bear with me while I try to get you caught up to where we are in the world tour. First I want to take a moment and thank H2Ocean.com and Industrial Strength for being our main BME world tour sponsors. They’re making this trip possible and I, as well as the rest of the crew, appreciate it!

I snapped some quick photos of our group. From Left to Right are Darah, Chez, Richard and Megan.

Darah WraineChez StockRichard KennedyMegan Dejmal

I have exactly 34 minutes of battery life on the flight between Sydney and Melbourne and I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish this post in that time. It simply isn’t possible to recount what we’ve done over such a short time. I’ll do my best to give you an over view and hopefully make you feel like you’re here with us. Some of you came out and showed us around town and for that I couldn’t be more grateful!

In order to get everyone up to speed without creating a massive tl;dr, I’ll try not to go over what Chez has already posted but it’s easy enough to say that the trip started off on a lame first step. We had one thing after another present itself, from drama to suitcases that wouldn’t zip shut, lost laptops to delayed flights, emptied pre-payed phones and more than I will waste any more time writing about. If it wasn’t complicated, it wouldn’t be fun and I wouldn’t trade it for the world on a silver platter.

Click through to read more of the story and what we’ve been up to since we arrived in the country of kangaroos!

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