How To Make Tattoo Ink At Home?
- Place the ashes in a sterile blender.
- Add vodka slowly until the slurry is the consistency of commercial tattoo ink.
- Blend the mixture at medium speed for one hour. If the mixture is too thick, add more vodka. If it is too watery, add a little additional ash.
- Use immediately.
- 1 What can I use for homemade tattoo ink?
- 2 How do you make tattoo ink with Vaseline?
- 3 Can you use Sharpie as tattoo ink?
- 4 How do you make permanent ink?
- 5 Can you tattoo with fountain pen ink?
- 6 How do they make tattoo ink in jail?
What can I use for homemade tattoo ink?
Summary – If you want to save on tattoo practice, then you can try making homemade tattoo inks that are perfect for tattooing on fruit, pigskin, or silicone skin. You can make tattoo ink by mixing wood ashes and vodka or using dry pigments, propylene glycol, glycerin, and witch hazel.
How do you make homemade ink?
Making the Ink! – Ink is a liquid or paste that contains colored pigments and is used to write or draw on to a surface to create a design. Historically, people made ink out of a variety of things such as plants, animals, or minerals that they could easily find near their home or trade for in their community. Check out a few exmaples of inks below:
- Carbon Ink – was made of soot, glue and water. This ink was popular during the Greek and Roman times, but it was known to smear and fade quickly.
- Iron Gall Ink – is made from iron salts and tannic acids from vegetable sources. This ink is still sold today!
Let’s try to make an ink with items from around your house! Choose one of the inks below to get started. Ingredients:
- 1 cup fresh black raspberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. alum
- 1/2 tsp. gum Arabic or raw unfiltered honey (optional)
- Sauce pan
- Coffee filter or old T-shirt
Directions: Boil the raspberries with the water and alum for about 15 minutes then mash the berries really well to release the juice. Use and old T-shirt or a few coffee filters to strain out the liquid into a bowl. Whisk in the gum Arabic or honey until dissolved to thicken the ink. Let it cool and it is ready to use! You can also pour it into a small bottle or glass jar to use again. Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup tea leaves
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. gum Arabic or raw unfiltered honey (optional)
- Sauce pan
- Coffee filter or old T-shirt
Directions: Boil the tea leaves with the water for about 15 minutes. Use and old T-shirt or a few coffee filters to strain out the liquid into a bowl. Whisk in the gum Arabic or honey until dissolved to thicken the ink. Let it cool and it is ready to use! You can also pour it into a small bottle or glass jar to use again. Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup ground coffee
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. gum Arabic or raw unfiltered honey (optional)
- Coffee filter or old T-shirt
Directions: Boil the coffee with the water for about 30 minutes. Use and old T-shirt or a few coffee filters to strain out the liquid into a bowl. Whisk in the gum Arabic or honey until dissolved to thicken the ink. Let it cool and it is ready to use! You can also pour it into a small bottle or glass jar to use again.
What ink can be used as tattoo ink?
Download Article Download Article There are several ways that you can make tattoo ink. Using wood ashes and white liquor to make an organic tattoo ink is a cheap but sterile option. You can also use dry ink pigment with medical grade liquids to make a tattoo ink that mimics what tattoo artists use in their shops. Safety is important when you’re mixing tattoo ink, so make sure you wear gloves and a mask over your mouth and nose.
- 1 Burn wood to create ashes. In order for wood ashes to work well as a tattoo ink, you need to completely burn the wood you’re using. The ashes should be totally black, with none of the wood’s natural color still visible. They should also be completely cooled when you use them. 
- Different types of wood will give you a slightly different shades of color when the ashes are used as ink. Lighter woods will produce a grayer pigment; darker woods will produce a blacker pigment.
- 2 Grind the ashes. Once you’ve burned the wood of your choice to create ashes, you’ll need to grind the burned wood. You want the ash particles as fine as possible so that they make a smooth and easily usable ink. Advertisement
- 3 Choose a clear spirit. To create tattoo ink from wood ashes, you’ll need to mix the ashes with a liquid. Some people recommend that you use distilled water, but this still risks some bacteria getting under your skin as you press the needle in. Instead, use a clear spirit – like vodka or gin – as your liquid base. 
- 4 Mix them together. Mix your ashes and clear spirit together by blending them in a blender for 10 to 20 minutes. The consistency should be a slurry – a little thicker than water, but thinner than a paste – and should not have any chunks in it. 
- It’s hard to recommend an exact proportion of ashes to liquid for this, since it will depend on how finely you grind up the ashes, the type of wood you use, and the desired pigmentation of your ink. It’s better to add liquid slowly – you can always add more, but you can’t take any out.
- 5 Track the ash and liquid amounts. If you’re creating a larger tattoo, make sure you track the ash and liquid amounts you’re using. You’ll likely have to mix up more than one batch of ink, and knowing the exact measurements keeps the pigment of the ink consistent. 
- 1 Choose your pigment powder. Many tattoo supply companies have pigment powder available for purchase. You’ll need to decide which color or colors you want to use and purchase those colors.
- It’s best to purchase pigment powder from a tattoo supply company since you can be sure it’s safe. You don’t want to accidentally use pigment ink used in car paint.
- 2 Mix witch hazel with propylene glycol and medical grade glycerin. When using pigment powder, you’ll need to add it to medical grade liquids. Mix together 2 pints (32 ounces) of witch hazel (which you can get from most holistic health stores or online), 2 ¼ teaspoons (0. 38 ounces) of medical grade glycerin and 2 ¼ teaspoons propylene glycol to form a liquid base.
- 3 Add the pigment powder. Once your liquid base is mixed, add your pigment powder. The amount of pigment powder you use will depend on how bright or subdued you want the color to be. Add the pigment powder slowly – again, you can always add more but you can’t take any out.
- 4 Mix in a blender. To mix your ink together, put it in a blender at low speed. If you find your ink is too thick, add a bit more liquid. If it’s too thin, add more pigment. Once your ink reaches your desired consistency, turn the speed up to medium and mix your ink for about an hour.
- 5 Store in a sterile container. Once your ink is finished, store it in a sterile, airtight container. You should place the container in a cool, dark place.
- 1 Gather your supplies. To apply your homemade ink at home, you’ll need a few supplies: a few very fine sewing needles, a #2 pencil, a ballpoint pen, some sewing thread, matches, and alcohol swabs. You’ll also need your ink!
- 2 Wash your hands. Before you begin to give yourself a tattoo with your homemade ink, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands. This means washing your hands well, with soap, for at least two minutes.
- For some extra cleansing, you can also wipe your hands with an alcohol wipe after you’ve washed them.
- 3 Make your needle. You’ll want to prepare your needle for applying your homemade ink by attaching it to a longer handle. This gives you more control over the movement of the needle and makes tattooing easier. Insert the eye end of your thin needle into the eraser of the #2 pencil.
- You might want to wrap the thread with some tape to give it extra support and make sure it doesn’t move.
- 4 Heat your needle. Once you’ve got your needle put together, you’ll need to heat the tip up. Light a match and hold the needle over it for ten to fifteen seconds. Make sure you turn the needle so it heats evenly. Heating the tip of the needle kills any germs on the needle. This can prevent infection when the needle goes under your skin to apply the ink.
- 5 Draw your design. Use an alcohol swab to clean the area of your skin where you want to apply your tattoo. Then, using the ballpoint pen, draw on your design.
- If you’ve never done your own tattoo before, you might want to start with a small design.
- You should practice your design on paper before you draw on your skin.
- 6 Ink your needle. Once you’re satisfied with your design placement and style, it’s time to ink your needle. Simply dip your needle into your homemade ink. Gently tap the needle on the side of the jar or its lid to remove any excess ink. You don’t want the needle to be dripping with ink.
- 7 Apply the ink to your skin. Once you’ve got ink on your needle, poke the needle into your skin at any point in your design. To make sure the ink actually stays in your skin, you’ll need to poke through the first two layers of skin. Continue this process along the lines of your design.
- Your skin may bleed occasionally when you poke the needle through. Some bleeding is normal, but if you notice a lot of blood, stop immediately.
- You’ll need to reload your needle with ink occasionally. If you notice that the ink color is fading, reload the needle.
- 8 Take care of your tattoo. After you’ve finished your tattoo, you should wipe it down gently with water and mild soap and apply anti-bacterial ointment. If your tattoo is in a place that is likely to rub against your clothing, wrap it with clear plastic wrap. Once you unwrap it, clean it with soap and water, but don’t use a cloth. 
- In the days after your tattoo is finished, you might notice your skin dries out quite a bit. This is normal. Just use a bit of fragrance-free moisturizer and rub it gently over your tattoo.
- 9 Touch up the design of your tattoo. Your skin will swell when you repeatedly poke it with a needle. Once you’ve finished your tattoo and your skin has had time to heal, you might notice that you’ve missed a few spots. Simply go back and repeat the tattooing process to touch up the areas that you missed.
Add New Question
- Question Will this ink be able to last up to a year? The maximum that this tattoo ink will probably last up to is maybe 8 months. But it all depends on how you make it, and how you use it, and where you put it. If you put it on your back, which will probably be covered up by your shirt, it will more likely last longer than if you have it all on your arm.
- Question If I don’t have a blender, what do I do? This may make it a bit harder, but you can try to beat it with a spoon. It will take longer, and it may not make the ink mix last as long. Otherwise, it is okay to use a spoon!
- Question Can I make tattoo ink from store-bought charcoal? Killian Campbell Community Answer You can, but it won’t last long. If you buy a good and more expensive brand with lots of phosphates, it will last longer than the cheaper brands.
- Question Is it actually permanent or will it go away within a year? It’s actually semi-permanent and will fade away in a year, more or less. If you want it to last less time, you can try henna tattoos.
Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement
- In the days after your tattoo is complete, you might notice that scabs form, and that your tattoo might bleed a bit. This is normal. Don’t peel the scabs off – they’ll come off naturally in subsequent cleanings.
- Your tattoo will remain swollen and sore for a few days. It might also feel warm to the touch. This is normal.
Thanks for submitting a tip for review! Advertisement
- Make sure you’re using ink pigment created specifically for tattoos. Some websites will sell ink pigment without noting that they’re actually for things like car paint. Buying your pigment from tattoo websites is the safest route.
- If your tattoo stays red and swollen and sore more than 2 days or so, seek medical attention. You might be having an adverse reaction to the tattoo.
- Use gloves and a mask when you’re mixing tattoo ink.
Can you make a tattoo with pen ink?
Final Thoughts – As you may have noticed, we seriously advise people not to do any DIY, homemade tattoo, especially the stick-and-poke kind with pen ink. This can be seriously dangerous and can put your health at risk. It is always better to go get professionally tattooed than to risk skin and tattoo infection. What we’re trying to say is that DIY tattoos aren’t simply worth it! Also Read:
- 5 Best Stick-and-Poke Tattoo Kits (2022 Updated)
- 6 Stick and Poke Ink Alternatives (And Why You Shouldn’t use Them)
Can you mix black ink for tattoo?
Making Tattoo Ink Darker Add some black in there to get it to the right shade! To make any color darker, start adding black. Add only one drop to blend at a time, don’t overdo it. Be sure to thoroughly mix in the black to test the color before adding more.
How do you make tattoo ink with Vaseline?
Download Article Download Article Whether you’re tattooing in prison or just on a budget, you can create “prison-style” tattoo ink using baby oil, charcoal, and a bit of water. Be aware that this is neither a safe nor a certain substitute for actual tattoo ink. Do-it-yourself tattooing is illegal in most prisons, and it can open you up to the risk of serious blood infections. People do, however, use the following recipe to make a basic ink.
- 1 Find a can or metal container. It should be able to hold 4-6 ounces of baby oil, along with a bit of balled-up cotton. Try using a clean, empty boot polish can. If you don’t have access to a pre-made container: use a sharp implement to shear a 12-ounce aluminum can in half, and use the bottom half as your container.
- You may be able to buy a boot polish can from the prison commissary.  If you can’t find boot polish, look for another suitable can that you can buy. It’s important that you don’t arouse suspicion from the guards, so don’t buy a can of something that you would never normally use.
- 2 Put cotton inside the can. If you have access to cotton, ball it up inside the can as a “wick” to help ignite the baby oil. Make sure to leave at least a bit of the cotton dry and oil-free so that it will be easier to light. Use cotton balls, if you can, or tear a small strip of cotton from a shirt or pillowcase.
- Try cutting the sleeves off your shirt. This way, you can use the cotton without arousing suspicion or completely ruining the shirt.
- 3 Douse the cotton with baby oil. You should be able to buy this oil from the prison commissary. Use enough baby oil to completely saturate the cotton, and make sure not to spill. You will burn this oil to create a black, sooty powder: the base ingredient of your tattoo ink.
- In the absence of baby oil, you may be able to use Vaseline or another petroleum-based substance. Do not melt poly fiber plastics, as these chemicals will irritate your skin. 
- 4 Build a “soot collector”. Find a flat, clean piece of metal that will fit over the opening of the can without covering it completely. If you can’t find anything else, try cutting a sheet from the top half of the aluminum can, then pressing it until it is flat. This piece will collect the sooty powder so that you can mix it into ink.
- 1 Make fire. Use a lighter or matches, if possible. If you are in prison, however, you may not have access to a traditional fire-starter. Find a way to make fire without a lighter. You will need fire both to make the ink and to disinfect the needle.
- Try “popping a socket”. Open up an electrical socket, then hold a pencil tip and a wire up to the charged interior. This will create a spark. Hold a piece of paper or tissue against the spark until it catches flame. 
- Be very careful when handling flame. On one hand, you might badly burn yourself or start a fire that you can’t control. You also run the risk of attracting the attention of the guards.
- 2 Burn the baby oil and cotton. Use the cotton (or paper) as a wick: light a dry corner of the flammable material, and let it ignite the oil. Arrange the metal sheet or “soot collector” so that the smoke hits it. As the baby oil burns, the metal sheet will blacken with soot. Let the baby oil burn until it is spent, and let the metal cool before handling it directly.
- Be prepared to burn the baby oil several times. The burning process does not produce a lot of powder, so you may need to burn the oil several times until you have enough to harvest.
- 3 Save the black powder. Use a paper or plastic card to scrape the black powder from the metal sheet. Do not use a razor or another metal scraper to remove the soot – the metal might leave shards in the powder, which will then wind up in your skin. Start by scraping the powder onto a clean, smooth surface or a white piece of paper.
- Do not expose the powder to any moisture until you’re ready to mix your ink.
- The metal sheet and canister will be hot from the flame. Do not handle the metal directly until you’ve given it time to cool. Avoid using a credit card to scrape soot from hot metal, as the edge of the card might melt into the powder.
- 1 Put the tattoo powder into a small cap or container. Many prison tattooists use a clean toothpaste cap. Fill the cap about halfway with the sooty powder, and leave enough room in the container to mix in water. If you collected the soot on a sheet of paper, you can fold the paper and let the soot slide directly into the cap.
- 2 Add water. Mix the soot with a drop of clean water. Be very sparing with the liquid-to-soot ratio; a bit of water goes a long way. Start with a small dose, and mix the soot together with the water in the toothpaste cap. Consider adding a bit of clear, scentless baby oil to thicken the mixture.
- Remember: the soot is much harder to come by than water or baby oil. It is a limited resource. Be very careful with your mixing so that you don’t need to make more soot.
- 3 Finish mixing the ink. Stir the soot-and-water mixture until it is about the consistency of a pen’s ink. If anything, the ink should be slightly thicker. Adjust the portions of each ingredient until the texture is just right. To thin your ink, add a dash of water or baby oil. To thicken it up, add more soot.
Add New Question
- Question Can I use normal pen ink? No, you cannot use normal pen ink as it can poison you if it gets into your blood stream.
- Question Is there a way to make a tattoo needle? To make a tattoo needle, start with a pencil. Put a needle on the side of the pencil and wrap a thin string around it. (A lot of string. ) Make sure that the string goes near the tip of the needle, but not too close. The string is used to hold extra ink so that you don’t have to keep going back to the ink cup.
- Question Do I need baby oil and shampoo, or could I just use soot and water? You don’t necessarily need the shampoo, but the baby oil is required to turn the soot into ink.
- Question Can normal pen ink work? You’ll run the risk of an infection, or having a very bad-looking piece of art.
- Question What kind of ink can I use for at home tattooing? You can use waterproof Black India ink from a local craft store. It comes in a small glass bottle with a dropper built into the lid. Thicken it up with ashes to desired consistency and start scratching.
- Question Does the “soot collector” have to be metal? Not necessarily, but it has to be able to withstand fire, so it can’t be anything like plastic.
- Question What kind of shampoo can I use? You don’t absolutely need shampoo, but the clearest and simplest you can find would be best.
- Question Other inmates have been burning their ramen for like 9 minutes. Could this be to get ash for ink? When I was in prison I did this by burning the ramen and mixing the ink with baby oil. It didn’t work that well, though, so I wouldn’t recommend this method.
- Question Can I thicken India ink with baby oil? Yes, you can.
- Question Will it be permanent? No, it is not professionally done so it will fade pretty quickly, especially if it’s on a place you wash frequently like your hands.
Show more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement.
Can you use Sharpie as tattoo ink?
Sharpie and Your Skin – According to Sharpie’s blog , markers that bear the ACMI “non-toxic” seal have been tested and deemed safe for art, even by children, but this does not include body art, such as drawing eyeliner, filling in tattoos or making temporary tattoos.
How do you make permanent ink?
Prepare the Black Ink –
- Mix together the egg yolk, gum arabic, and honey.
- Stir in the lamp black. This will produce a thick paste which you can store in a sealed container.
- To use the ink, mix this paste with a small amount of water to achieve the desired consistency.
Permanent black ink is not the only ink you can make at home. You can also make your own blue ink or non-toxic tattoo ink ..
What are the ingredients in ink?
How is printer ink made? – Ink is made with a combination of ingredients including varnish, resin, solvents, pigments, and additives including waxes and lubricants. Black ink is made using carbon black pigments, and white pigments like titanium dioxide can be used to lighten other ink colours.
Varnish is a clear liquid that is the base of any ink. Different varnishes are made for different inks, but they are all made by mixing the resins, solvents, and additive, often at high temperatures, to form a homogenous mixture.
Resins, which bind the ink ingredients together, react with each other and make the varnish more viscous. Pigments are then mixed into the varnish and ground down to break up any clumps so that the colours are spread evenly through the ink. You can see the amazing ink manufacturing process here , courtesy of The Printing Ink Company.
Is Bic pen ink toxic for tattoos?
Summing It Up – Pen ink is very rarely toxic and unless you ingest a lot of it, you should be fine. If some symptoms do appear, look for medical help. Play safe and don’t try any tricks with pen ink and tattoos. Not only it won’t look pretty, you can get a very bad infection and you don’t want any of that. So do try to be always careful and have fun with your inks! Back to the Blog .
Are there natural tattoo inks?
Most people enjoy the beauty and aesthetics of tattoos, but very few people know the potential risks from getting a tattoo. Although the idea of a tattoo can be fun and exciting, every clinical procedure carries some form of risk, so minimising any risk factors and making the procedure as safe as possible is of the utmost importance. It’s extremely important to go to a reputable tattoo artist who puts the well-being of their client first and is well versed in cross contamination procedures, and health and safety.
There are always tattoo artists out there who are willing to compromise the health and safety of their clients, and those who do not follow the correct procedures, such as using unsterilised products can risk the safety of their clients, who could become infected by unsterilised products which can pass on infections such as HIV and hepatitis.
Another risk is getting allergies and complications from the tattoo ink, especially the coloured inks. Some complications include granuloma, lichenoid diseases, cement dermatitis, collagen deposits, and carcinoma. That’s why it’s paramount to go to a decent artist who uses reputable tattoo ink brands. If you research and read articles on potential complications that can be caused by tattoos, you will definitely want to make sure that you’re going to a reputable tattoo artist! The components that make up the huge array of colours in tattoo inks have changed quite drastically over time, and the science behind tattoo inks has came a long way. Many years ago, the main focus for tattoo artists was about getting the brightest boldest ink, rather than the safest. Fortunately we’ve came a long way since then, and the importance of sterility and safety is the main focus when it comes to a tattoo artist’s colour palette.
- Tattoo Ink manufacturer’s first and foremost aim is to achieve the safest possible formulation of tattoo ink, which gives both tattoo supplies companies, artists, and clients alike the confidence that their inks are non-toxic and safe to use;
Some of these formulations are organic, and vegan-friendly. If you’re interested in using a non-toxic tattoo ink, these are the some of the ingredients you should look for:
- Carbon and Logwood – used to produce black tattoo ink
- Titanium Dioxide – used to produce white ink
- Tumeric – herb that produces yellow ink
- Monoazo – carbon-based pigment used in green ink
- Sodium, aluminium, and copper – produces blue dye
- Napthol – produces red ink (this pigment may cause reactions on skin, however it’s still safer than red inks made from iron oxide or rust, cinnabar and cadmium red
- Dioxazine and Carbazole – produces purple ink
Aside from these ingredients, non-toxic inks also include purified water , vegetable-based glycerine, and ethanol. We stock a huge range of high-quality non-toxic tattoo inks so you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best when it comes to tattoo ink. One of the well known brands that produce non-toxic inks is Eternal Ink. It is made of organic pigments, free of animal by-products, and is not tested on animals! So if you’re a vegan and you are dying to get yourself tattooed, do your research and look for artists who use Eternal Ink and other vegan-friendly inks. For tattoo artists and for those who own a tattoo studio, considering what’s best for your clients is a must to keep a good reputation, so use trusted brands like Eternal Ink. Aside from using non-toxic and organic ingredients, Eternal Ink is also carefully packaged to keep its good quality, and to extend its shelf life. It is also easy to keep Eternal Ink’s colour consistency, all you have to do is to shake it every three months when stored and to keep it at a comfortable room temperature away from direct UV sunlight.
- Choose your artist wisely, and do not be afraid to ask questions;
- You can even ask them for a patch test;
- It’s better to be paranoid than to suffer the consequences afterwards;
- Other non-toxic brands available include the likes of Radiant Ink , Kuro Sumi , Dynamic , and Solid Ink;
Next Post →.
Can you tattoo with fountain pen ink?
Some time ago I was thinking about ink and wondering if it would be possible to use a fountain pen ink for a tattoo, specifically J Herbin’s Stormy Grey which I really loved. A quick check made clear that this was not advisable or even possible and I had to let go of the idea of a sparkling picture embedded in my skin.
So the simple answer is no, you can’t use fountain pen ink for a tattoo. But recently I have been thinking again about ink and what makes one ink work in a pen and another in the body. So, why can’t you use fountain pen ink when having a tattoo done? Fountain pen ink is generally a dye-based ink, where the colourant is fully dissolved in the liquid.
Tattoo ink however is a pigment-based ink where solid particles of colour are suspended in a liquid carrier. Pigment-based inks would be a problem for fountain pens as the particles would clog up the feed, although you can get specially formulated particulate inks such as the Diamine Shimmer range.
Conversely dye-based inks would be a problem for tattoos as they are soluble so they would simply be flushed out. In fact this is how tattoo removal works – a laser is used to break up the pigments into smaller particles which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream and flushed out.
So for a tattoo you need an ink with larger particles in it as they will attract the attention of your body’s macrophages, a type of white blood cell. As the needle of the tattoo machine punctures the skin, so the macrophages rush to the wound site and eat the invading particles and these cells essentially keep the ink in your dermis, the thick layer of living tissue below the epidermis.
- Even if they die, another macrophage will absorb them along with the particles which is why over time, the image will slowly fade and neat lines will eventually blur;
- Top tip, avoid small fine text and detail, it’s not going to last the course;
As to whether it is dangerous to put fountain pen ink into your body? Well the main concern would be infection as tattoo inks are sterile and formulated to have few allergens, red being the colour that causes the most problems for people due to the presence of mercury sulphide.
But there is surprisingly little regulation around, considering the prevalence of tattoos and the potential need for the NHS to manage any fallout. Some products have been found to contain the same ingredients as car paint and printer ink so is it the case that pen ink is not necessarily as bad as you might think? The earliest ink was Lamp Black, made with soot which is a form of carbon.
Subsequently Iron Gall was used which mixed iron sulfate and tannic acid and would darken when exposed to light. These inks would block a modern fountain pen unless specially formulated not to do so but even so, they are best washed out if left unused. Polish ink company KWZ make a beautiful range of iron gall inks for fountain pens which will literally darken before your eyes as you write.
Tattoo inks can contain metals such as titanium and also carbon, so not that dissimilar to the inks of old. On balance though, best to go for an ink that is designed for the job, pen or skin. Out of interest I decided to check what I have had injected into my dermis and as a strictly black-only devotee it seems I am sporting quite a lot of US brand Dynamic Ink.
The black version of which contains Carbon Black 7, Acrylic Resin and Isopropyl Alcohol. I’m no wiser really..
Can you use pen ink to do a stick and poke?
Use India Ink – Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images Do not use just any old ink for your stick and poke. Ink, like the ink from your pen, is not sterile and can be highly toxic. A non-toxic ink, like India ink, would be your best bet. It’s natural, carbon-based, and less likely to cause infection.
How do they make tattoo ink in jail?
Feature | Filed 06:00 a. 06. 07. 2019 D an Grote spent the last week of his seven-year prison term getting tattooed. Grote, 42, a prison teacher, had promised his students that if they passed their high school equivalency exams, he’d get a tattoo of their choice on his arms.
- Almost all his students passed, and by the end of the week Grote’s arms were a melange of tattoo art that included prison towers and William Blake poems;
- Some of the students inked Grote themselves, using tattoo machines fashioned out of CD players, pen casings and guitar strings;
Other students just drew the art. “It was our way of saying thank you to each other,” said Grote, who left the Canaan federal prison in Pennsylvania two months ago after serving his sentence for a robbery. From notorious tattoos, such as a filled-in teardrop that connotes a murderer, to the more heartfelt, including girlfriends’ names or wedding bands, prison tattoos are badges of inmates’ identities.
- “Some people want to look the part, some people actually do get them to illustrate their life story and some probably get them just because it’s against the rules to get them done,” Grote said;
- “Not too different from in the world;
” But unlike those on the outside, prisoners must go to great—and often ingenious—lengths to get tattoos, using broken spoons and deodorant labels to create the foundation for tattoo machines and burnt ash for ink. Body artists and the people who manufacture tattoo machines are highly respected by other inmates, but they are viewed warily by guards and corrections officials who say tattoos carry health risks.
(Nobody in prison has access to a sterilized tattoo parlor. ) As a result, inmates who are caught freshly inked or making tattoo machines can be disciplined and put into solitary confinement, sometimes for days.
Eric Glisson, 43, spent 17 years in Sing Sing making tattoo machines for extra money. The state paid Glisson about $6. 50 every other week for various prison jobs. A tattoo machine, he said, sold for considerably more and could be made in a day. “I could crank out about three machines a week, maybe one every other day, and charge $30 each,” he said.
And in a place where a loaf of bread is 30 cents and the price of peanut butter or jam is the same, the sales meant Glisson could eat well. In Reddit threads and YouTube videos , former inmates describe the painstaking task of making tattoo machines and colored ink.
Prisoners take apart beard trimmers or CD players to get at the tiny motor, which they can adapt to make the tattoo needle go up and down quickly enough. (Tattoo artists who use beard trimmers can quickly put the shaver back on and trick guards searching for contraband.
- ) The needle itself is often made from a metal guitar string split in two by holding it over an open flame until it snaps in half, creating a fine point;
- The springs inside gel pens can also flatten into needles;
One former prisoner who now runs a tattoo shop said he used to make black ink by trapping soot in a milk carton placed over a burning pile of plastic razors or Bible pages. He would mix the leftover ash and soot with a bit of alcohol (for hygienic purposes).
- To get color, some inmates use liquid India ink that family members buy from arts and crafts stores;
- An example of the kind of rudimentary tattoo rig used by prisoners, assembled with tape, a pen, a lighter, scissors, a battery, a motor, a guitar string and paper clips;
A guitar string slides through the body of a pen to become a needle. Paper clips form a platform for the motor. A lighter heats up paper clips to fuse them to the plastic motor body. The guitar string connects to the motor, and excess wire can be snipped. Wires from the motor attach to each end of a battery.
Though banned in all prisons and jails, the tattoo gun is fully functional, if not sterile. All prisons prohibit getting or giving a tattoo with a do-it-yourself machine, which are considered contraband.
Corrections officials say shared needles can spread blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis C. It’s not an unfounded concern: In interviews, former inmates said it was common to see multiple people tattooed with the same needle. In 2005, a Centers for Disease Control report examined 88 males in Georgia’s prisons and found that half the men had contracted HIV from getting tattooed while incarcerated.
To try to fix the problem, the province of Ontario, Canada, allowed prisons to set up tattoo parlors. (That program was cancelled, though, because of costs. ) Essays by people in prison and others who have experience with the criminal justice system But some prisons are relaxed about tattoo machines, said Manny Vargas, a former prison recreation therapist in California.
Next to other contraband that prison guards have to look out for, such as drugs or handmade guns crafted from aerosol cans, cracking down on tattoo machines isn’t a high priority, he said. “It’s kind of like, pick your poison,” he said. Department of Corrections officials in New York wouldn’t discuss how people are disciplined if they are caught with tattoo machines, but said that “disciplinary sanctions” could happen. Khalid King tattooed his right arm with the name of his ex-girlfriend, Veronica, who said she would stick by his side while he was locked up. Aileen Son for The Marshall Project The tattoo on King’s left arm shows a hand holding a crystal ball saying “Shadow Bred,” because during his time in prison, he wanted to be in the shadows and not draw attention to himself. Aileen Son for The Marshall Project Still, inmates often believe that tattoos are worth the risk.
“The prohibition on tattooing exists to preserve the health of incarcerated individuals and staff, as well as the security of the facility,” said Dee Johnson, assistant public information officer for the New York Department of Corrections, in a statement.
Khalid King, 38, who served 11 years for a robbery and got five tattoos while incarcerated, described how he would play a kind of duck-and-run game with prison guards to avoid being caught with fresh tattoos. He’d stop going for food in the cafeteria for days and would even avoid the showers for about a week, he said.
- For King and others, a tattoo can be used as a gift-giving ritual to loved ones on the outside;
- While at Rikers Island jail in New York City, he wanted to show his appreciation and love to a girlfriend who said she would stick by his side while he was locked up;
“It’s not like I could get her, like, something from the commissary,” he said. A tattoo was the only gift King could think of. So, he got his first tattoo—Veronica, his girlfriend’s name—done with a dressmaker pin. The girlfriend is long gone, he said, but the significance of the tattoo stays with him.