“Your life is a piece of clay, don’t let anyone else mold it for you.”

IAM:somekindarobot is no stranger to working with his hand. A quick look at his page will show you some of the works he has sculpted out of clay as well as his works in other mediums (bonus points for the C’thulhu image).  So when he decided to get the alchemical symbol for clay tattooed on his chest, it seemed only logical to have it done by hand (tapping).

clay1

Somekindarobot is no stranger to blackwork, as evidenced by his arm, and it’s always fun to watch a hand tapping session.

There’s something very primal about the entire experience, possibly from the use of the tools, or just the technique itself.  Which is part of the reason this image drew me in.  As anyone who has worked with clay knows, the entire process of creation involves sculpting something out of a lump of what can best be described as mud.  It’s a raw material, and no matter how modern things have come along in the sculpting world, it’s a process that goes back to the stone ages.  To craft something from nothing with your hands, to turn a lump of clay into something practical or beautiful, or both.  So here we have an artist, who works with one of the oldest mediums known, getting an ancient symbol tattooed on his chest by one of the oldest tattoo techniques.  Regardless if you love heavy blackwork or not, you have to appreciate the the utter primitiveness that is evoked by the linking of the artist and the art.

clay2

There are a few more pictures of the session up in the “other” tattoo galleries.  That’s where you’ll find images of tattoos done by hand, using a variety of techniques.

I think what I’m taking away most from this image ties to the anonymous quote I used in the headline.  This is an artist who not only molds clay, but also his own body, in the way he wants.

The Flower of Life

Aesthetics can often play a large part in the appreciation of a mod.  Not always mind you, but often enough that it’s fair to say that it is quite commonplace.

The beauty of an aesthetic judgment is that it is subject to personal interpretation.  For example one person may love the look of multiple facial piercings, while another may not.  There is no right or wrong answer in this situation because human beings, as individuals aren’t locked into a single mindset as to what is pleasing to the eye.  Obviously in the case of animals, mate selection is a primary motivation, and many species have adapted/evolved to the point where mate selection comes down to which potential mate displays the proper requires traits the best.

Now I realize that a lot of this is pretty common knowledge, and I do have a reason for bringing all this up.  The Flower of Life is a geometric figure that has been linked to almost every culture ever known to man.  For different people, the image means different things, but most recognize the inherent power of the symbol.  One variation of the Flower of Life is that of Metatron’s Cube.  The cube is thought to be a visual representation of the basic building blocks of the universe, right down to a single atom.  So it was no wonder that while I was browsing the BME galleries my eye was drawn to this tattoo uploaded by Atrocity Exhibition.

metatron's cube

If you look closely, you can see that not only is the image painstakingly geometric, but the spaces between the lines are filled in not with a solid color, but with very small black dots.  This symbol, combined with the flower atop it, really stood out to me as one of the finest examples of blackwork I’ve seen in a very long time.

The picture was taken the day after it was done, and I’m really curious as to see how it will look when it’s fully healed.

I Got Pretty Close


We’ve featured this particular beefcake before, and I mistakenly identified him as having been carved out of granite by Jesus. This was false, and I apologize for this mischaracterization. In fact, he was installed at the bottom of the sea over 60,000 years ago, by aliens, and occasionally surfaces to assert his dominance over killer whales and giant squid and underwater volcanoes and the like. He is literally standing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in this picture, on top of a shark that had been alive since the Cretaceous period, which he killed just by looking at it. When asked for comment, he kindly shooed us away, as his mouth was full of Loch Ness Monster meat and he didn’t want to be rude.

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Homina Homina


This man is 12 feet tall, and was carved out of pure granite, by Jesus, under supervision of the Justice League of America, for some reason. About his tattoos, he says, they “started off as just a tribal sun in the middle of my back, and then it grew wings, then went down the left arm, and a few months later down the right arm. Next up will be the left and right thumb and wrapping around the wrists, about four inches up the arm.”

Sigh. If anyone needs me, I’ll be doing three- or nine-thousand sit-ups and eating raw eggs by the handful, shell included. Have a good night, ModBlog, and we’ll see you in the morning.

See more in Tribal and Blackwork Tattoos (Tattoos)