By Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura
When I think about good tattooing, I think of art executed by skilled craftsman. In an era of chain stores and mass production, it is always refreshing to see something hand-made. I met Jamie from RePop through my good friend Chris Yvon. Chris told me about Jamie and RePop, and the hand-made goods they produced. The product certainly lived up to the hype! Rings, buckles, wallets and more, all with old world craftsmanship, with some weight -no cheap materials, and a great retro feel…
I was stoked to visit Jamie’s workshop, a small room, packed to the gills, where he works his magic. You can guess that growing up with Chris Yvon, Jamie would be into tattoos and he has a bunch. So I wasn’t too surprised when Jamie asked me about a collaboration between RePop and State of Grace.
He had a really cool idea, to make a stuffed leather collectible in the shape of a hand. Loosely based on the circus punk idea, Jamie wanted to print tattoo designs on leather and mount them on a base. We set about assembling a team of artists for the project and sent out templates for artwork. Many of the artists also donated their original drawings to Japan Tsunami Relief.
Chuey Quintanar- one of So-Cal’s finest! Chuey is one of the top black and grey tattooers and also an avid graphic designer for many companies.
Tim Hendricks- personality, artist, amazing tattooer, machine builder, inventor and all around nice guy!
Colin Baker- my apprentice and far better a tattooer, Colin is one of the most talented artists that I know.
Horiken- just in from Yokohama, Horiken is a true expert of traditional Japanese tattooing.
Chris Brand- this guy is a genius.
Scott Sylvia- a world-class machine builder and one of the best tattooers I know!
Chad Koeplinger- a great friend and even better tattooer.
Chris Trevino- a “Tattoo Artist Magazine book worthy” tattooer but I also chose Chris since he has made collectible toys before!
Dan Wysuph- the kid sensation, Dan was good from the start!
Chris Yvon- the Death Squad!! Tattooer, clothing designer and all around bad ass!
Thomas Hooper- had to call Thomas, when i think of tattoos on hands, I think of Thomas first!
Steve Byrne- another great traditional tattooer, Steve even painted a whole sheet around his “hand” design!
and me- in by default! And of course, as with any project, there are tons more people i would have liked to include… maybe round two!?!
Each hand will be made in a numbered edition of 100 only. RePop will release one per month starting this December. For more information check out www.repopmfg.com.
Horitaka (Taki) can be found at:
State of Grace Tattoo
221 Jackson Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 441-7770
Hours: 11am – 7pm
Closed on Tuesday