By Molly Kitamura
Ceiran Thomas has quite an impressive resume, having worked at some of the best restaurants in Wales, where he currently lives. I got excited when he approached me about doing an interview as I have always wanted to visit that area of England! I have heard its beautiful and I am curious about the local food. Ceiran has not only worked in the best places with some of the hardest kitchens in Wales, but was the head chef of a team of 40 at the London Games in 2012. He got started cooking with his grandmother as a child and loves butchery and considers himself a fishmonger.
Read more on Ceiran just below…. Plus his mouth-watering recipe!
Where do you work now?
I’m between restaurants at the moment I’m awaiting the opening of a new restaurant next month with one of the great British chefs I’m currently privately teaching.
What got you into getting tattooed?
I think the beauty and art of it I’ve Always been creative and expressed myself and I think it’s a beautiful way to do it.
What was your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was a rib tattoo of the welsh national anthem it’s close to my heart I’m a patriot hearing it sung brings a tear to my eye.
What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love cooking fish it’s amazing nothing better than fresh fish it’s just magical especially strait off the line just brings you so much closer to nature. Just simple.
What is the food in Whales like?
Its Wales and its hearty and fresh we have a lively coast so the seas are abundant with shellfish and the like we also have a very green countryside full of the best organic veg and healthy cattle, wales is famous for its lamb.
Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions?
I’ve only ever been to tattoo conventions in Cardiff (Cardiff tattoo and toy convention I received a beautiful dot-work sleeve and Cardiff Halloween bash where I received an epic neo traditional calf tattoo and some scarification off a legend Dr Evil.)
Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?
I can’t pick and choose in the tattoo industry to be honest I’ve seen beautiful work from world class artists and just as good from local apprentices it’s not about who’s been tattooing for a lifetime it’s about the vision of the artist.
Who do you admire in the culinary industry?
In the food industry there’s many to name a few
Michel roux jr
The roux brothers
What will your next tattoo be?
My next tattoo will either be my lower knuckles or my kneecap tattooed with a neo traditional rose
What were the London Games like?
The London games were just alive the only way I can describe it just non stop I worked 17 hour days strait for the games and then 13 hours a day in the rest days between the Olympics and the Paralympics and then back to 17 in the Paralympics it was full on but I miss it
Ceiran has generously given us one amazing recipe, check it out and let the hunger pains begin!
Crab and Scallop Lasagne with Chive Bureè Blanc
.400g fresh white scallop meat (white only)
.480ml fresh double cream
.Pinch of course sea salt and cracked black pepper
.430g white crab meat
.aprox.500g fresh Pasta dough
For the sauce -
Small handful of chives
Block of unsalted butter (cubed)
40ml white wine
40ml white wine vinegar
Roll out pasta sheets and rest between cling film sheets in the fridge
(Can you ready made sheets but these much be cooked aldenté before you build the lasagne)
Pick threw your crab meat for any shell.
Blitz your scallop meat in a food processor and add your crab meat.
Slowly add your cream and seasoning, put in a piping bag and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes
prepare your lasagne in metal rings
First layer a pice of pasta cut to size in the bottem then pipe your scallop mix about 10-15 mm and add another sheet then another 10-15mm of mix then a final sheet
To cook steam over boiling water for 8-10 mins with a lid
For the sauce
Dice your shallots fine
Add your white wine and vinegar to a pan and reduce add shallots and reduce till there is allmost no liquid in the pan then add cream and reduce further till thick move to a low heat and slowly whisk in your butter cubes
Chop your chives and add to the sauce. Garnish with wild mushrooms if available and micro herbs.
Thank you Ceiran!! Incredible food and great tattoos!!
You can catch more of Ceiran and his food on his Instagram, @theinkchef
If you would like to be featured on our blog, please email us or tag us!!
By Madison Hamilton
Imagine: A woman walks into a corporate job interview and her arms are covered in tattoos. Now, imagine another woman with no tattoos, but rather, apparent breast implants walking into the same interview. They are equally qualified for the position — who is more likely to get the job?
I’ve asked multiple people this question, and most seem to lean towards the woman with breast implants. This bothers me, not because I have a tattoo sleeve or breast implants, but rather because of the stereotypes associated with different forms of self-modification.
People dye their hair because they want a different look. Some get fluids injected by needles into their foreheads to rid their skin of wrinkles. Others have their lips, noses and entire faces reconstructed. So, why is it that other forms of self-alteration are accepted — and maybe even encouraged — while tattoos are still widely viewed as trashy or gang-related?
Perhaps the stereotype stemmed from World War II veterans’ ink; their tattoos represented their ranks. It could be because there are a higher percentage of tattoos among inmates (about 66 percent of inmates have tattoos). Or maybe it percolated from the mere idea that only a crazy person would willingly fuse permanent ink into their aging skin.
But — if you think about it — the people who are giving and receiving tattoos generally believe the design is a form of art. Thus, if their job performance is the same, why does corporate America continue to stifle this form of self-expression?
Don’t get me wrong; it’s understandable if an employer is biased when hiring someone with an offensive and visible tattoo, because one wouldn’t wear insulting clothing to work. But research from a Pew Research poll in 2010 suggests that 23 percent of Americans have a tattoo, and I have to assume that the majority of the designs aren’t offensive. So, what is it about our society that correlates tattoos with unprofessionalism?
Hannah Denitz was 19 when she applied for a promotion from Junior Lifeguard to Head Coordinator at Carpinteria Beach in California. At the time, Denitz had a few animal tattoos on her left arm, a Walt Whitman quote on her chest and a portrait of the Little Prince (a French children’s novella) on her ribs. Although she ended up getting the job, they wouldn’t allow her to talk with parents without being fully covered. “Basically if I wanted the job, which is on the beach all day everyday, I had to wear full clothing,” Denitz says.
This is the common theme: You can have the job, as long as you cover your art.
Art. That’s what it is, right?
Be that as it may, I’m not writing this to encourage you to get a tattoo, nor do I care if you like tattoos. I just hope that one day I have the opportunity to interview someone who doesn’t feel pressured to cover a personal choice.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Tattoos above by Andreas “Curly” Moore.
Tons of tattoo news hit the headlines while we were out on vacation, so I figured I’d give y’all a run-down of some of the ones I found most interesting:
First off, I had to giggle over how the fantastic Andreas “Curly” Moore offered his own version of “Palm Sunday” (shown above) last weekend at Lionel’s Tattoo Studio in Oxford. The Oxford Mail quoted Curly saying: “It was Palm Sunday, so we thought for amusement we would do three free palms. The tattoos had no religious meaning, it was just for the sake of beautiful art.” Check more of Curly’s beautiful art here. [He's also featured in Black Tattoo Art 2.]
Then, specifically designed to kill my post-vacation buzz, The NY Times published yet another tattoo essay. It wasn’t because the word “asymptote” was used twice in an article that was not about geometry. It wasn’t because the writer used the word “tat.” Ok, maybe it was that, but it was used in this context: “I felt how much I needed, from him and everyone, a certain kind of response: to feel inspired by the tat, and tell me so.” The “tat” in question was a Latin phrase homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto, translated, “I am human; nothing human is alien to me.” I can see how it would be interesting if the tattoo was just a hook in the article to have a discussion on what that means…but then the writer brings in all the same stale discussions about getting tattooed post-breakup as some form of reclaiming her body, a declaration of selfhood, and the tattooed body as public space in some form — all very true, but nothing new. It also neglects another real truism: no one has to break up with you for you to get a tattoo.
To read the full article, visit: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/04/tattoo-news-review-32.html
Back in February of this year as a part of our ongoing professional development webinar series,
TattooNOW and Off the Map Tattoo produced and broadcast an unprecedented live streaming
internet event. A collaboration tattoo from tattoo masters Guy Aitchison and Jeff Gogue,
watched as it happened by over 6000 viewers. Matt McKelvey was the lucky recipient of this
amazing tattoo. Here is his story of the experience…
When I saw that TattooNOW was offering the opportunity to be tattooed by Jeff Gogue and Guy
Aitchison, I spent the next few days writing my submission. I treated my entry like a resume,
which was built upon the image of the Heike Crab. I first saw the unique creature and heard its
mythology on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. My goal was to have elements where both artists could
bring their strengths, but it would be unique enough to be exciting. A few months went by, and I
was honored to find out I had been selected.
It just so happened that I ended up in the same exact hotel room that I stayed in when I started
my bodysuit. There was some pretty bad weather in Portland that weekend and after a phone
conversation with Jeff, I wasn’t sure if Guy’s plane would be landing. We decided if things fell
through, the least we could do would be to work on my existing tattoo.
To Benefit the Children’s Burn Foundation
I am proud to announce the first annual “The Art of the Machine,” a charity event to be held July 11th 2014 in Downtown Long Beach at the Mai Tai Bar at the historic Long Beach Pike from 6pm – 2am.
The Art of the Machine will be a celebration of the Tattoo Machine with Custom Tattoo Machines to be auctioned off to Tattoo Artists as well as pieces by world renowned artists available to the public.
The Children’s Burn Foundation is the only known foundation that offers the Full Recovery Program for child burn survivors, locally, nationally, and internationally – a unique blend of medical care, psycho-social support services, and daily living support to help young burn survivors achieve their full potential.
The complex interplay of physical and psychological trauma resulting from severe burn injuries can profoundly affect the lives of children for years to come. Through the Foundation‘s full range of programs and services, young burn survivors receive new hope, a community of supporters who understand, and a chance at a full recovery.
Program services include:
- Medical Care & Support for Physical Recovery
- Family Emergency Assistance
- Camps & Retreats for Child Burn Survivors and Families
- Teen Support Group: Young Adult Burn Survivors & Supporters (Y.A.B.S.S.)
- Child & Family Support Groups
The night will begin at 6pm with a silent auction closing at 10pm and then followed up with live music and some special surprises until 2am.
There will be a special program highlighting the event, its donors, and sponsors with an article on the history of the Tattoo Machine and special cover art by Tattoo Artist Josh Duffy available to all attendees.
If anyone is interested in participating or sponsoring, please contact Casey Keener at email@example.com. We are still accepting Machine donations as well as art for auction to benefit the charity.
Current Sponsors Include: TatSoul, Eternal Tattoo Supply, Tattoo Artist Magazine, Tattoo Culture Magazine, Sullen Art Collective. Sponsorships are still available. Check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ArtoftheMachine
Machine Builders currently committed include: Tim Hendricks, Union Machine, Chris Quidgeon, Dewey Smith, Mike Schaeffer, John Boyd, Cory Rogers, Paco Rollins and Brandon Lewis.
Tattoo Artists donating art include: Josh Duffy, Tom Berg, Scott Richardson and Tokyo Hiro.
We will also have a website up in June, roughly a month before the event starts with profiles on the Machine Builders and Artists as well as specs on the donated machines. Anything that does not sell the night of the event will be available on the sites e-store after the event for purchase.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to everyone getting involved in this special night to benefit kids in need! If we don’t, who will?
Opening reception May 15, 2014
at Eight of Swords Tattoo and Gallery,
115 Grand str, 11249 Brooklyn, NY
Curated by Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev and Magie Serpica
An exclusive all ladies group art show featuring some of the most talented female tattooers: from the NYC ladies to international talents, this art show displays different styles and/or techniques, but only one love: tattooing. The show was also and foremost created to pay respect to the ladies who started tattooing first and paved the way for all others to follow, (names like Debra Yarian, Pat Sinatra, Kate Hellenbrandt, Vyvyn Lazonga and few more) in a tough industry, historically male dominated.
Nowadays we cant help but notice the growing number and variety of skilled female talents taking over the tattoo world!!
The show is curated this year by Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev and Magie Serpica, and it’s at its 3rd edition.
Opening May 15, 2014 at Dave Wallin’s Eight of Swords- Brooklyn studio and gallery, for two months, la crème de la crème of female tattooers art will be on display and for sale.
A chance to buy original art and to meet some of the artists!
Not to be missed!
Some of the artists of 2014:
- STEPHANIE TAMEZ
- TAI IGLESIAS
- LARA SCOTTON
- VICKY MORGAN
- VIOLA VON HELL
- MARIE SENA
- MARIJA RIPLEY
- DAWN COOKE
- DEBRA YARIAN
- HOLLY ELLIS
- IMME BOHME
- JACKIE DUNN SMITH
- JACLYN REHE
- JAMIE RUTH
- ROSE HARDY
- ALIX GE
- AMY SHAPIRO
…… AND MANY MORE!!
By Kevin Miller
If you have visible tattoos, chances are that someone has asked about how much their idea cost, how much they cost you, or the worst – how much they paid. Well, this article is for those people who are curious. The article specifically talks about a sleeve, but it applies to any tattoo really.
Huge props to Dave Tedder for taking the time to answer this on Quora…
Tattoos: How much does a full sleeve tattoo (from wrist to shoulder) cost?
Your question almost has the same answer as “How much is a sackful of groceries.?” It really depends on where you make your purchase and what’s in the sack, or sleeve.
Purchasing a tattoo is the same as making any other investment into art. Sometimes you can find an incredible artist at very reasonable rates and sometimes you can buy a polished turd for tourist prices.
Many people spend far too much on sleeves or other large scale tattoos that they will forever remain unhappy with by starting out with the exact same question you have. “How much?” Because with that mentality the next logical move once you receive an answer is to look for it somewhere else for less. Price shopping for tattoos usually leaves you in a subpar artist’s chair receiving subpar art and tattoo services. Then what do you have? A sleeve that you’re unhappy with. After a few years of looking at other sleeves that are far better most people choose to go to another artist to try and salvage the bad decision they made years prior. The smart ones have done research and decided on a competent artist at the second time, but… The truth of the matter is, at this point the tattooer is entering a fight with one arm tied behind their back. Cover ups and reworks never turn out the same quality as a tattoo that starts with blank skin. Success is determined by wether or not the tattoo looks better than it did before, not by completion of original intent.
I can assure you that the best way to get an answer to your question and a quality tattoo is to decide what you would like your sleeve to look like. Think style(i.e. Traditional Japanese or Americana, color or black and grey, realistic, geometric, etc.), think theme, think subject matter. Then spend hours and hours scouring the internet and social media sites at hundreds of hundred of tattooers work. This is a much easier task today than say 20 years ago when you physically had to travel shop to shop to look at portfolios. Don’t bother looking at the artists location, airplanes make the world a very small place, and when you find the artist that you want, I promise no distance is too great. You have your entire life to wear this tattoo and you shouldn’t sell yourself short. Make sure that every time you look at your forearm you’re satisfied. Tattoos are the only thing you have with you for the rest of your life, everywhere you go until you die. It amazes me what some people will spend on shoes or vacations and then bargain shop for a tattoo.
After you have all of the above determined, contact the artist you’ve chosen and ask about their preferred method of appointment consultation. Please keep in mind that many quality tattoo artists eat sleep and breath their jobs so sometimes answering the emails takes a little time, especially older artists that have tattooed longer than the internet has been around. Many artists work 8-12 hours a day at the studio then go home to paint or draw for the following days/weeks, so sometimes you need a little patience and persistence. During your consultation, after you’ve discussed your ideas you’ll have the opportunity for “How much?”. But most artist prefer it if you’re a wee bit smoother, as in “What’s your hourly rate?”, and “About how many sessions do you think this will take and how many hours will we be working per session?”. If this exceeds your projected budget this would be a good time to mention that and discuss other options. Be honest and up front with what you have to spend. Most good artists that I know aren’t crooks, they just want what they have determined their work is worth. Some adjust this by the laws of supply and demand and others keep a set rate their entire career. Every artist is different, and as always in the art market it’s buyer beware. Do your homework before you purchase.
Hope that helps
By Molly Kitamura
My new and dear friend, Alessandra Palotti is a great tattoo artist and a great cook! Alexandra is Italian from Bologna, Italy where she has been tattooing for over 6 years. Alessandra and her husband, Koji Ichimaru, run their private studio in Bologna, what a beautiful place to live, definitely on my go-to list!
Alessandra and I got to cook together one day. I made beef Milanese and she made Bolognese sauce. I had never had traditional, authentic Bolognese before and had a completely different idea in my head on how it is made. I learned so much from her that day.
Here is a mix of Alessandra’s tattoo photos, her recipe and photos of the process. Please enjoy and try out her recipe, it will become a staple in your culinary repertoire!
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Liz Ohanesian
On Saturday afternoon, four tattoo artists went to work inside Little Tokyo’s Japanese American National Museum for the opening of “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern World.” They spent hours taking ink and needles to flesh, adding to the large, detailed illustrations that already marked their client’s bodies. Crowds gathered and dispersed throughout the day, watching with interest.
Most seemed unfazed by the buzz of tattoo machines. Many of the onlookers here have gone through a similar process. Some had tattooed sleeves that crawled out from under t-shirts. Others had art that peeked out above collar lines or below hems.
Instead, it was two of those tattoo artists working in silence at their stations who could provoke a wince from the crowd. They were practicing tebori. That’s the traditional Japanese way of applying tattoos. In other words, they were using equipment that wasn’t motorized. The artists dipped their instruments into ink before poking repeatedly at patches of skin on their clients. One lay on his back, an arm crossed over his eyes. His stomach moved with breaths that grew deeper as the prodding persisted. Another remained still on his stomach. From certain angles, you could catch the tension creases form on his face.
Tebori is an old-fashioned way of tattooing, but it’s not antiquated. Takahiro Kitamura, known as Horitaka in tattoo circles, is the curator of “Perseverance.” He notes that there are still plenty of tebori practitioners at work. Many of them choose to use machines to outline the tattoos, he says, but they’ll still use their hands for shading. It’s more than an adherence to tradition. He notes that some believe working by hand makes for a better, longer-lasting tattoo.
“Perseverance” is an unusual show in that it both documents and celebrates the art of Japanese tattoos, as well as the impact this style of body art has had globally. Tattoos date back to Japan’s ancient history, but flourished during the Edo period. Despite an extensive history, tattoos in Japan aren’t mainstream. In fact, many who have traveled to the country have reported of signs that ban people with tattoos from certain institutions. Even in the U.S., where body art is relatively commonplace, the Japanese style is extreme in comparison to everyday tattoos. These are not your typical daisy on the ankle. Some people invest in full bodysuits. Others may stick with the trunk of the body or limbs.
According to Horitaka, one of the major misconceptions about Japanese tattoos is that they aren’t “fine art.” Tattoos have some similarities with other traditional Japanese art forms that have found homes in museums. Take the names of the artists as an example. A number of the tattoo artists here are known by names that use the prefix “hori.” Horitaka explains that this word means “to dig or carve” and notes that woodblock prints are often signed by artists whose names also begin with “hori.” It is, he says, something that tattoo artists adopted from wood carvers.
In curating this exhibition, Horitaka is challenging the misconceptions about tattoos. Artist and professor Kip Fulbeck photographed numerous human canvases bearing the work of the best artists in the field. Horitaka selected photos that zoomed in on the art, juxtaposing those with full-sized portraits of the people who wear the tattoos. The goal was to explore the diversity within the Japanese tattoo tradition, while making the show as much about the people as it is about the art. It’s a massive collaboration between the curator, the photographer/designer, the tattoo artists and their clients. For the opening day festivities, many of the clients turned up – some traveling to L.A. from Japan – to model work that can take months, even years, to complete.
Shawn McHenry and Chad Sachman, both from Rancho Cucamonga, are both clients of Inland Empire tattoo artist Espi. They were amongst the models at the exhibition’s opening event. McHenry has a full back tattoo. It took about a year to get that done. He also has work on his leg that’s been in progress for two-and-a-half years. His tattoos tell the story of Kintaro, a folklore hero, and his encounter with a large carp. It’s a tale that relates to McHenry’s work. He owns a koi fish shop and got into the business when he was barely an adult. “If you’re foolish and blind and just want to do it,” he says of the story’s message, “you can succeed.”
Horitaka says that tattoos almost always tell a story. Those may be based in folklore, religion or history. You’ll see narratives unfold down the back, below the buttocks and onto the upper thighs. They might scroll down arms or across the chest.
As Japanese tattoos have increased in popularity, the stories they tell have changed as well. “We’re in a world of fusion now,” says Kitamura. Time-honored tales aren’t the only ones told on skin. Chris “Horishiki” Brand is an artist at Good Time Charlie’s in Anaheim. He’s also part of the L.A.-based art collective UGLAR. For this exhibition, he presented 108 Heroes of Los Angeles. It’s a retelling of Shui Hu Zhuan, a Chinese novel that later made its way to Japan, where it’s known as Suikoden. In this series of tattoos, Brand merges Japanese and Chicano art in a story of rebellion. Photos of the tattoo piece are exhibited in the museum.
Undoubtedly, with narrative-based pieces as involved as these, getting a Japanese-style tattoo requires a serious commitment. Shawn McHenry once went through three days in a row of tattoo sessions, with each one clocking in at about 12 hours. “It got to the point where we would have to stop because of the smell of flesh,” he says.
He says that there is an endorphin rush that comes with being tattooed. That, however, can wear off when you’re in the lengthy sessions that occur with large pieces. He says that, at a certain point, the pain stays in a specific part of the body. It doesn’t move with the needle. Chad Sachman agrees with that sentiment. Last week, he had work done on his lower back, over the spine. “I was actually feeling the pain in my knee,” he says.
As for the artists, their work requires constant study. Horitaka, who owns a tattoo shop in San Jose, spent several years as an apprentice in the U.S. and another decade studying under a Japanese tattoo master. Although he works solo now, he’s not done learning. He says, “I think I’m always going to be a student of the Japanese tattoo.”
By Molly Kitamura
Grime, Grime, Grime. One of the best tattoo artists in the world! On the slim chance you have not heard of him, he has a shop called Skull and Sword in San Francisco. He is widely known for being a renaissance man of tattooing (and art in general!). What I mean by that is that man consistently crushes any tattoo or style of tattoo requested of him no matter what it is. Grime has created his own style in the process, one that cannot be imitated or replicated although many have tried and failed. Basically you have to see his work for yourself to understand what I am talking about and I highly recommend checking him out!
But today that is besides the point. Today we are talking Grime and his food! Mr. Grime can also cook (…renaissance man…) and he occasionally sends me photos of his dishes. They always look amazing. The other day he sent me a particularly mouth-watering photo of his pan-fried salmon filet with an oven-roasted yam and sautéed spinach garnished with raisins, pine nuts and a balsamic glaze. That photo had me seriously second-guessing what I had already decided to cook for dinner that night. You can never go wrong with simple yet sophisticated! Check out a few great recipes and some of Grime’s tattoo work below… Cheers!
I will try my best to recreate Grime’s recipes for you all. Try this dish for your next dinner, you will love it!
Grime’s Pan-fried Salmon Filet With Oven-roasted Yam and Sautéed Spinach
By Kevin Miller
Last month we posted this video featuring Mr. X, also known as Duncan X. Since we’ve posted the video, it’s become a ‘Staff Favorite’ on Vimeo, and it’s receiving national attention. The Atlantic featured a short interviewed Alex Nicholson, the mastermind behind the short video.
The Atlantic: How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Alex Nicholson: It was a combination of things really, summed up by one event really: I once saw Duncan walking down the street. Fifty percent of the people walking past almost got whiplash from turning around to look/stare at him. I was wondering what was going through their heads. I have been getting tattooed by him for a number of years and the way he speaks, his manner and personality all smack of a man who wouldn’t make people walk into lampposts if they knew him in this way.
TA: Do you personally have a connection to tattoo art?
AN: Only in the way that I have tattoos really. Duncan once said in an interview (paraphrasing here) that getting a tattoo was like getting a (actually very cheap considering) work of art that you can’t give away. That resonates nicely with me.
TA: What’s the process for digitally removing and then re-illustrating tattoos?
AN: Well I have to heap praise on my make-up artist (the lovely and talented Denise Kum) here who relentlessly edged out his many tattoos during the course of the day. We put them back on (when they animate) digitally. The process of removing the tattoos was a mind blowing process that I’d probably get killed for talking about in detail.
While it’s an interesting interview, I think the fact that The Atlantic published an interview about a short tattoo film is far more interesting. It says a lot about the world we live in, and how comfortable people are with tattoos.
By Gene J. Koprowski
A mummy of an Egyptian woman dating back to 700 A.D. has been scanned and stripped to reveal a tattoo on her thigh that displays the name of the biblical archangel Michael.
The discovery, announced by researchers at the British Museum over the weekend, was made during a research project that used advanced medical scans, including Computed Tomography (CT) images, to examine Egyptian mummies at a number of hospitals in the United Kingdom last year.
The woman’s body was wrapped in a woolen and linen cloth before burial, and her remains were mummified in the desert heat. As deciphered by curators, the tattoo on her thigh, written in ancient Greek, reads Μιχαήλ, transliterated as M-I-X-A-H-A, or Michael.
Curators at the museum speculate that the tattoo was a symbol worn for religious and spiritual protection, though they declined to offer additional details.
‘Michael is an obvious identity for a tattoo, as this is the most powerful of angels.’
- Maureen Tilley, professor of theology at Fordham University
But other scientists and theologians offered their thoughts on the tattoo’s cultural context.
“There was a sizable Christian population in Egypt in the 700s, perhaps close to a majority of the population,” said Maureen Tilley, professor of theology at Fordham University in New York.
“Like Greeks and Romans across the Mediterranean, the portion of the population that was literate was fascinated by the shapes of letters and delighted in making designs with letters in names. Hence, we have the odd shape of the tattoo composed of the letters.”
Placing the name of a powerful heavenly protector on one’s body by a tattoo or amulet was very common in antiquity, Tilley told Foxnews.com. “Christian women who were pregnant often placed amulets with divine or angelic names on bands on their abdomens to insure a safe delivery of their child,” she said.
“Placing the name on the inner thigh, as with this mummy, may have had some meaning for the hopes of childbirth or protection against sexual violation, as in ‘This body is claimed and protected.’ Michael is an obvious identity for a tattoo, as this is the most powerful of angels.”
Christian Gnostics, religious cultists in that era, were especially interested in the names and functions of intermediary beings between humans and the divine, Tilley noted.
“The Gospel of Truth and the Book of Enoch were both popular among them and have much about an angel whose story sounds very much like that of Archangel Michael in many Christian stories, the angel who led the heavenly army against Satan and the Fallen Angels.”
She added that Christians were not the only ones to use the names of angelic powers in ancient days. “Jews of antiquity were fascinated by the identity and nature of angels,” she said.
Villanova University biology professor Michael Zimmerman, who also has used advanced technologies to study Egyptian mummies, said this kind of find has been sought for years.
“I did participate in an expedition to the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt’s western desert several years ago,” he told FoxNews.com. “This was an early Christian site (around 200 AD), and the deceased were still being mummified, by simply being dried in the very hot climate.
“We did not see any tattoos on those mummies, so the British Museum find is remarkable.”
The museum, which is located in London, will reveal what it has learned about this and seven other mummies in “Ancient Lives: New Discoveries,” an exhibition scheduled to run from May 22 to Nov. 30.
John Taylor, lead curator of the ancient Egypt and Sudan department at the museum, told a local newspaper over the weekend that the exhibition will tell the story of the lives of eight people from antiquity, portraying them as full human beings, rather than as archeological objects.
Using sophisticated medical imaging usually reserved to study strokes and heart attacks, the research team discovered that these eight ancient individuals, whose remains have been held in the museum for some time, had many of the same traits that modern man does, including dental problems, high cholesterol levels and tattoos.
The exhibition portrays one mummy that dates back to 3,500 BC, as well as the tattooed female, aged between 20 and 35, who lived and died about 1,300 years ago. Researchers pointed out that regular Egyptians – not only the royals – were mummified.
The tattooed mummy, the remains of which were found less than a decade ago, was so well preserved that archaeologists could nearly discern the tattoo on the inner thigh of her right leg with the naked eye. But medical infrared technology helped them see it clearly.
The Vatican’s school of science, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, did not return multiple requests for comments made by FoxNews.com.
By Jason Brown
S.T. Tattoo Studio celebrated their 15 year anniversary March 1st with a charity art show, featuring over 60 of the best artists in the industry. The show consisted of hand painted skateboards from throughout the country from some of our dearest friends in the tattoo industry, graffiti, and art scene. Despite the down pour that weekend we still had a great turnout. Over 200 people in attendance Saturday night, doors opened at 6:30 and the show went strong until midnight. Keeping track of 60 people, let alone 60 artists, was a feat in itself. Artists such as Bob Tyrrell, Big Gus, Chente Rios, Dan Smith, Josh Duffy, Allana Padilla, Jeb, Rich Pineda, Robert Atkinson, Josh Hagan, Dan Dringenberg, Johnny Quintana, Rick Clayton, Jimbo Phillips, Wes Humpton, Michael “Buck” Ramirez, Axis, and many more. Still we managed to get all the boards shipped out and returned with fabulous art work to raise money for the Heart of Los Angeles. (H.O.L.A) provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts, and athletics, within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their community.
S.T. Tattoo Studio in West los Angeles was founded in order to celebrate the fusion of punk rock and tattoos. Jason Brown and Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies) opened the shop together in ’98. After a few years, Brown bought out Muir, but the shop is still very much connected to the S.T. movement and the band. 15 years later the shop is still going strong. Jason Brown has since taken on a new partner Donovan Faulkner, long time friend and fellow tattoo artist of 13 years. Together they continue to push themselves daily to create great works of art and preserve as much tattoo tradition as possible in our ever changing industry.
We would like to thank everyone who donated their time and product. Thank you to DTLA Tattoo for offering to host at their location. We would like to especially thank all of our friends and fellow artists that contributed, you guys rock! Special thanks to Sullen Art Collective, Jarritos, Starr African Rum, NRC, and Marina Graphics Center, for sponsoring this event. We would also like to thank City of Angels Photography, Santa Monica Airlines, Rip City, the Barrios family, and PWD, for all their donations. You all helped make this charity event possible. Join us next year for the 2nd Annual Possessed to Paint Charity Art Show.
Tattoos by Ryan Willard
Marrion Street Tattoo, Denver Colorado