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Conversation and Pain | Fireside Blog

I spent pretty much all week at the hospital with my son. I had to watch a constant flow of scared child tantrums for everything from labs and I.V.s to outright refusal of nasty antibiotics. As I was leaving this morning, I was in an elevator with another child and his mother. The boy was maybe a year or two …

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Turning Japanese | Fireside Blog

The first time I walked into Three Tides Tattoo in Osaka was in February of 2001. I knew that I wanted to get a traditional Japanese tattoo while I was living in Japan for the year, but I had no idea how to seek any of that out. I had read about this shop in Skin and Ink magazine. I …

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The Changing Role Of The Autoclave For Tattooers | Fireside Blog

As many of you know, Jake recently left his long time tattoo shop home at Underground Art to continue providing you with quality content. Although he did not open his own shop, he still needed a place to work, so he had to get his new studio space approved and licensed as a tattoo shop so he would have a …

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The Unspoken Accountability of Being in a Shop | Fireside Blog

I was working at a friend’s shop in Birmingham one weekend last summer. My friend John has known me for almost 20 years. However, his partner did not know me. So as they sent back my first customer for me to lay some cherry blossoms down on, his partner very casually told me to make sure either he or one …

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Welcome to the Machine | Fireside Blog

Most tattooers are aware of the long history of the tattoo machine that dates back to the electric pen invented by Thomas Edison. We are also aware of the evolution that is still happening with the transition from the older style machines to the newer rotary machines. Even the most basic machines have a certain aesthetic about them that conjures …

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Hey! Don’t Throw That Out! | Fireside Blog

When I quit tattooing fulltime and went back to school, I was doing more traveling and independent tattooing in between semesters. So it goes without saying that my inks were sitting a little more than normal. After having to go back and retouch one or two splotchy tattoos, I realized I was going to have to rotate my inks out …

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Guidance vs. Mentorship | Fireside Blog

Episode 66 of Fireside Tattoos discusses the apprenticeship dilemma. The biggest part of which is how to teach the basic principles of tattooing while helping the artist both maintain and develop their own style. The main idea I wanted to add and expand on is that this comes down to knowing and understanding the difference between guidance and mentorship. An …

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The Tattoo Apprenticeship Dilemma | Fireside Blog

You know, I think I could throw a rock in any general direction and hit a good tattooer. It seems like they’re everywhere these days. It’s had me thinking about the challenges that today’s tattoo apprentices face as well as the problems that we encounter as mentors. In my last post, I talked about the perceived “hard and fast” rules …

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Breaking the Rules | Tattooing Light to Dark | Fireside Blog

A lot has changed in the 19 years that I have been tattooing. Many of the old “hard and fast” rules we once never questioned have given way to new, often superior, approaches in both technique and in the art itself. Not to say that we should throw our old habits out of the studio window. We should simply learn …