Tattooing Ashes into clients
The ultimate memorial tattoo.
A lot of studios will frown upon it, but some studios will specialise in it. Tattoos originally were made from ash from the fire being rubbed into a pre designed wound.
Here at Bubblegum Ink we were in the press for tattooing ashes into a couple of clients after their grandfather passed away. The Times, The Daily Mirror, The Metro, The Sun and The Daily Mail all gave a lot of coverage to the designs and our ashes tattoo process.
Since then we have had a steady list of clients coming in for ashes tattoos. The true essence of a remembrance tattoo cannot be any higher than having a small part of that person with you till you too pass away.
So what does the process involve?
The cremated ashes are brought in and we take small portion of it to put in the tattoo, we select a small portion of the ashes that are in a small dust like consistency. We’ll autoclave the ashes in a vacuum autoclave. This makes sure that even though the ashes have been completely sterilized through the cremation process, the autoclaving will ensure we have a sterile product to use. The amount used usually equates to about the tip of a tea spoons worth.
Then the standard tattoo process starts. Design application etc. The difference comes with mixing the inks. Black has a much denser ash accepting pigmentation. Micro dispersed ink except the ashes best. If a thicker ink is used then the mix of the ink and the ashes is a lot more sporadic. The ashes are put in the ink and a small ink mixer is used. The vortex caused by the mixer will push the larger particles to the edge and keep mixing the more acceptable size of ashes to be mixed thoroughly in to the ink.
Our tattoo artists will make sure that they use the ink from the middle of the ink pot to make sure that the properly mixed ink is used. The tattoo process continues to the end and that’s the only difference. We are very aware that the ink that is left in the pots, still has cremated ashes left in them. So after the tattoo we will put the tip of a tissue into the ink pot. Blood will always come to the top of an ink pot, so the tissue, will, using a wick motion pull the blood onto the tissues for safe duty of care disposal by us, everything else is disposed of except the ink caps. The ink that is mixed with the ashes is put on a tissue or a tissue of the clients choice for them to take with them. The use by use of micro dispersed inks for ashes tattoos also makes the healing process a lot easier and there is a minimum amount, ( if any ) of scabbing. Big heavy inks will in most cases make big heavy scabs and seen as we have taken the attention to have the ashes put in then a scab will role reverse and pull the small ashes particles back out.
We hope this has given you a brief guide on the ashes tattoo process. We have tattooed dog ashes into clients and horse ashes as well. (If you are going to get a four legged loved on tattooed into you, always make sure you tell the place where your animal is getting cremated and they will make sure that the particles of ashes are of an appropriate size for the tattooing process.)
In theory if your beloved whether two or four legged has been cremated then we can easily tattoo ashes into your tattoo design to make sure your remembrance tattoo is as beloved as possible.
When we tattooed Dave with his honourable bomb disposal dog Treo, it was a fantastic tribute that the internet and papers loved..
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