Lower back tattoos

Bridge over troubled waters
travel from Copenhagen to Malmo by train, along the brand-new Oresund Bridge, an architectonic eccentricity 12 km long that floats over the misty Baltic Sea and links in 20 minutes Denmark and Sweden. I see how the Klagshamm beach is coming, under a milkshake sky, and I repent of not having brought an electric swimming costume and a waterproof bathrobe made of wool.

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Tattoo back design

The voices of the Spanish who have arrived with me to Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport are the only ones perceptible. They stand out amidst the organized and silent human tide because of the high pitch of their voices and their booming laughs. They move -me included- the hands like mills and, most of them, are smoking (although it’s forbidden). People look at us oddly.

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Some advices. “Don´t work more than two or three hours on a large tattoo”

Establish a regular pattern of working hours. During your slow periods, you’ll find many ways to occupy your time. If and when you have a day when you’re tired, distraught or ill, go to bed or go fishing, tomorrow’s another day.
On a busy day, work customers on a rotation basis. First in, first out. Don’t offend anyone by taking on someone else before their turn comes.
You’ll find it better to do large pieces by appointment outside your regular office hours. Some artists work exclusively by appointment, but they are usually well known and established. It’s not a good idea to work more than two or three hours on a large tattoo anyway, it is advisable to spread the work over several or more sittings. Don’t touch it again until the previous work is healed.
You will be approached by people you would prefer not doing business with. There is always one out of ten that are just plain trouble. Don’t be arrogant with them, just explain in a firm way that if you’re not accepting their money, you don’t owe them anything.
From time to time, you might be approached by the media looking for what they like to call a human interest story. While it may be in your interest to cooperate with them, don’t forget that publicity is a double-edged sword. Once they get their foot in the door, they can write it the way they see it. There are those who swear that publicity promotes business, but it would be hard to prove that those customers wouldn’t eventually have found their way to your doorstep anyway. Give it your best thoughts, because in the end, it’s a decision you’ll have to make when you are confronted with it.
Spend some time building good public relations in your community, having friends on your side always helps.
A question that comes up is one about tattoo removal. Tattooists all have their special removal techniques, but you should be advised to stay clear of them all. The best answer is to have the name and address of a reputable dermatologist who specializes in tattoo removal, and send the client there. Your thing should be putting them on correctly. Let someone else’s thing be in removing them correctly.

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The Tattoo Studio

As we said earlier, it’s likely you will be starting out at home. Chances are, you will be most secure and have more confidence in your home setting, and develop a reluctance to move on. There are a lot of advantages working at home. If you are employed elsewhere, the overhead, after the initial outlay for equipment, is almost nil and whatever you take in, is spending money. If you are happy at home, you are ahead of the game. By using discretion and keeping a low profile, you may never run afoul of the zoning laws that exist in most communities. There are many instances of “kitchen tattooists” who do very well in their spare time and couldn’t be moved by flood or flame. If you’re a family person, keep equipment locked up, tattoo machines aren’t toys.
Others, like the “here today, gone tomorrow” call of the open road type, they setup shop in a van and can put the show on wheels at the drop of a hat. You have the choice of setting your own pace and schedule, stopping off wherever crowds gather for any number of reasons, or throwing in with a carnival or travelling show. Not everyone is thrilled with such a free-spirited life, but it does suit some folks. You may want to try it to see if that’s where you fit in.
Having a nice shop uptown, downtown or across the tracks is also hard to beat. It provides an atmosphere of stability that encourages people to put their faith and trust in you.

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Working with the tattoo machine. Some advices

Dip the tip of the machine in the ink cap that was used for outlining (being refilled when need be) without letting the needle points hit against any side of the cap. The machine tube tip will fill up and the ink will gravity flow down the needles and enter the holes your shader needles are making in the skin and at the same time putting in the black.
Begin the tattoo by working on the portions of the design that are to be solid black. Let the machine do the work and do not press down on it, just guide the machine and move the tip in small circles, letting the needle points enter the skin where you want the black ink to go. Never try to run out of ink and try to keep the needles continuously wet with flowing ink. Don’t waste time by tattooing without ink or doing a tattoo that is bleeding excessively. Always work off the points of your needles for best results.
Learn early in your career how to put in solid black (or color) where it is needed. The tip must be kept moving in small circles, slowly covering the desired area. Wipe occasionally with tissue to keep an eye on how it is coming along. Do not over do it because the skin can only handle just so many of those small holes. Remember, all those holes have to heal later. Some people think that the deeper you go, the better the results. This notion is unfounded. If continuously grinding and pressing the machine, the skin will rip and excessive scabbing will occur which will reject ink from the body. If an area is covered way too rapidly, unshaded areas will be left and a very basic rule will be broken, and that is that a tattooist should not go back over what has already been done. Do it the first time right. The skin has to be stretched tightly and the needles should be going into the skin evenly with about a 45° angle measured between the skin and the tilt of the needle and tube.

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Tattoos. How to Sterilize liquids.

If you sterilize liquids, use the “slow exhaust” or the inside of the clave will wear it! The clave will sterilize everything except some rubber items and most plastics. For tabletop models use only distilled water (HOH). Filters are supplied for floor models.
Clean the clave once a week according to manufacturer’s specs. If you don’t, the company rep will be only too glad to pick it up and refurbish it for you when it fails to operate. It will be gone 3 to 6 weeks and carry the National Debt when returned. Check it with a spore strip once a month, and keep a running record in a log book. Log all maintenance, it makes good sense.
Never stand over a clave when you open the door, as the residual, steam, when exiting upward, will burn you. If liquids are autoclaved, remove the bottle tops, jar tops, etc., and place them inverted on the tray or shelf of the clave. Remember to slow exhaust.

The Ultrasonic Cleaner
This machine in no way sterilizes, it is a cleaner only. If you use one once, you’ll buy it, as it’s simply indispensable. It will remove dried ink from tubes and needle bars quickly. It works on a unique process. A cleaning solution is added to the tank and the soiled article is suspended in it. The machine, when turned on, cleans with microwave energy. It forms small bubbles on the dirty surface and causes them to implode. This action pulls the dirt away from the surface leaving it clean.
The tank should be sanitized with a 10% bleach solution whenever it is emptied.

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Skin Streetching for being tattooing

One of the major bonuses that you have working with skin is in its elasticity. It stretches a lot. In order to perform any kind of precise work and to get the ink in correctly, the skin must be taut. It’s important that the skin be stretched tightly like a drum so the needles don’t bounce, or get hung up in the skin. If the skin isn’t very tight, your lines will go from too strong to too weak. If it is too strong, you have gone way too deep and a big fat line with “knots” in it may occur and scar tissue will usually result.

If the skin isn’t stretched tight, it will be difficult to get the color to go in the skin. The needles will bounce off the skin instead of penetrating it. It may look like the ink is getting in all right, but it could be an illusion and be getting in on only the very top layer of epidermis. Keep the area you have just finished clean so you can see how solid the color is. Use a magnifying glass, if necessary, and stretch the skin while you are examining it.

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Tattoo Skin or Dermis.

Skin is the outer covering of the body, it consists of an outer layer called epidermis and an inner layer called the dermis. Beneath that is fatty tissue. The epidermis protects the body from injury and invasion of parasites. Skin is waterproof and helps contain water in the body. Skin also excretes poisons (sweat) and also acts as a sense organ. The point here is that skin is not some board to be etched on but an actual working, organism to be dealt with carefully, so extra sensitivity is needed.

Up to a point, all skin shares a common bond and certain characteristics. Beyond that, the variation is infinite. You should be aware of this because eventually you will come in contact with it all. Some people’s skin is quite flaky while others are naturally oily. Some skin seems to reject ink through an entire tattoo, and some accepts it quite readily. Certain people have extremely sensitive skin and others just the opposite, totally impervious to abrasion, as it seems. You should be aware of the type of skin that you are dealing with. For example, you shouldn’t grab everyone the same way, some bruise more easily. Be open to individual needs. No matter what skin type a person has, it can all be somewhat equalized in texture by keeping it moist. Always keep the skin lubricated with vaseline or bacitracin ointment while working on it.
A good tattoo does not have to go extremely deep to stay permanent, but can survive quite satisfactorily in just the epidermis layers of the skin.

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The needles of tattoo machine have to be “Tightened”

Take hold of the handle with the shelf on the bottom and the hollow tube open at the top. Insert three good needles carefully in the hollow tube. The points are down touching the shelf and the blunt ends are facing up. Make sure the points are all touching the shelf and are all even. “Tack” the blunt ends with a little piece of solder just to hold them together. Let off on soldering gun trigger when soldering needles as it will magnetize and pull needle from jig, making an uneven set of needles. The key here is to use just a little bit of solder, this will keep the needles in alignment, then remove them from the jig. After this step, the needles have to be “tightened” as a group. You will need a Spaulding needle bar jig for this, and the next steps. This is a great device, taking all the guess work out and it is also just about indestructible. The one used here will be the jig for three and five needle liners. There are ten holes on the side of this jig. Three needle for the top and fives on the bottom. You will be using the holes made for three needle groups. Insert the “tacked” three needle group carefully into one of the holes. This will tighten them up. This will go in about 1/4 inch, leaving the rest of the needles hanging out.

Solder these needles together with just enough solder to do the job and no more. No blobs or inconsistent messes here, just a good clean solder up and down the needle shafts. Carefully pull them out. You should have a nice tight three needle group soldered all the way from one end to about 1/4 inch from the sharp needle end. They will lay in a triangle, two needles on the bottom and one between them and on top of them. No matter which way they are turned, you can’t help but get this.

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Liner tubes on tattoo machines

Tubes
The liner and shader tubes are the machined tubes which encase the needle bars. They commonly have knurled grips on them for easier handling control. Each tube is designed specifícally for the type of needle bar it is to be used with. For example, a four needle shader is used exclusively with a four needle shader tube. The exception is with the three needle square tip liner tube. It is also used with the single needle liner. It is important to remember that suppliers make their needle bars to fít their own tubes. So be sure to order your machines, tubes and needle bars all from the same supplier to keep things consistent and fítting together right.
A Word About Liner Tubes
There are two types of liner tubes. One with a round tip and the other with a square tip. Which one you choose to work with is a personal preference, but each one has an advantage over the other. Let’s take the round tip tube fírst… You will not have many problems with ink splatter, and if you do, usually a rubber band adjustment will take care of it. If you make a sharp córner while tattooing, the needle could move over, causing a wider or crooked line. Also, if you have too much needle hanging out the end of the tip, it will tend to hang up in the skin. To correct this, move the tube down.
Now let’s go to the square tip tube which is the true professional’s tube. With a square tip tube, the needles will never move no matter how sharp or fast you go around a córner the line will always stay the same width. Everything has to be in perfect alignment on a square tip tube with the tip slightly slanted up so the needles hug down in the groove. There cannot be any excess solder on the needles or you will have a splatter problem, this also holds true if the tip is worn badly. If you continue to use a worn out tip, you will get short use from a needle bar, the tip will not feed ink correctly to the skin and the bottom needle will wear fíat and sharp, causing it to cut. If the tip feeds out too much ink, a rubber band adjustment is in order and also, you might try using a bit less power. You should always have a small amount of needle protruding from a square tip when not running, and a short or long stroke is a personal preference. It’s up to you if you want to ride the tip of the tube on the skin or work off the points of the needles. Whichever is most comfortable for you.

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