How To Make Tattoo Ink In Prison?
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.
- 1 What is used for ink in prison?
- 2 What does 5 dots on your hand mean?
- 3 How do you make black ink?
- 4 How do you make soot ink?
- 5 How are stick and poke tattoos done?
What is used for ink in prison?
Process [ edit ] – Since tattooing in prison is illegal in the United States, the inmates do not have the proper equipment necessary for the practice. Inmates find ways to create their own tattooing devices out of their belongings and found materials.
- Improvised tattooing equipment has been assembled from materials such as mechanical pencils, magnets, radio transistors, staples, paper clips, or guitar strings;
-  [ better source needed ] In addition to the tattooing equipment, the ink utilized also needs to be improvised—potentially consisting of ink taken from pens, melted plastic, soot mixed with shampoo, and melted Styrofoam;
Prison tattoos are not generally applied free of charge; they are usually done in exchange for food, stamps, cigarettes, phone time, canteen items, or favors. [ citation needed ].
How do they make tattoo ink?
What Ingredients are in Tattoo Ink? – How are tattoo inks made? Tattoo inks are solutions comprised of a carrier and a colorant. Carriers are fluids, containing liquids such as glycerin, water, isopropyl alcohol or witch hazel, that are used to transport the colorant to the injection site. Colorants are typically intensely colored compounds that can reflect light in the visible region of the light spectrum. These pigments were historically derived from mineral or geological sources. Certain hues and colors could be produced from carbon, iron oxide, and cadmium. Another compound, titanium dioxide, is the second-most-common ingredient in tattoo inks and has been found to degrade into toxic impurities.
- Other carrier ingredients may contain dangerous substances like antifreeze, formaldehyde, methanol, and other aldehydes;
- However, this inorganic chemical, like many others, is found in sunscreen, food additives, and many other products we frequently come in contact with;
There are more than 200 colorants and additives used to produce tattoo inks. Most standard tattoo ink colors are derived from heavy metals, including antimony, beryllium, lead, cobalt-nickel, chromium, and arsenic. Other additives include surfactants, binding agents, fillers, and preservatives.
What can I use instead of tattoo ink?
What can I burn to make 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.
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- 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.
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- 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 use pen ink as tattoo 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 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 Sharpie?
What does 5 dots on your hand mean?
By C1 Staff Jail staff can stay safer by knowing as much as they can about inmates. And sometimes, inmates make it easy to know exactly what they’ve been up to through the use of tattoos. Here are 15 tattoos and their secret meanings. Know a different meaning for the tattoos displayed here? Share it in the comments. 1488 (Photo freetattoodesigns. org) This number can be found on white supremacist/Nazi inmates. The numbers 14 or 88 on their own can also be used, which sometimes creates confusion. Fourteen represents fourteen words, which are a quote by Nazi leader David Lane: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.
- Be sure to check out more of our coverage on prison tattoos, including 15 more prison tattoos and their meanings , 12 Russian prison tattoos and their meanings , and a collection of inmate takes on prison ink;
” The 88 is shorthand for the 8 th letter of the alphabet twice, HH, which represents Heil Hitler. Typically, these tattoos can be found anywhere on the body. The Cobweb (Photo Timeless Tattoos Glasglow) Cobwebs typically represent a lengthy term in prison. The symbolism is associated with spiders trapping prey; or criminals trapped behind bars. This tattoo is commonly found on the elbow, signifying sitting around so long with your elbows on the table that a spider made a web on your elbow, though it can also be located on the neck. Teardrop (Photo trendfashion2013) One of the most widely recognized prison tattoos, the teardrop’s meaning varies geographically. In some places, the tattoo can mean a lengthy prison sentence, while in others it signifies that the wearer has committed murder. If the teardrop is just an outline, it can symbolize an attempted murder. It can also mean that one of the inmate’s friends was murdered and that they are seeking revenge.
- If you see a multi-colored web, it’s probably not a prison tattoo; tattoo ‘artists’ in jail rarely have access to colored ink;
- The teardrop has been popularized recently by rappers and other celebrities, but still remains a staple in prisons;
Those who are newbies behind bars with a teardrop tattoo will make a lot of enemies, fast. Five-point crown (Photo Gwan Soon Lee Tattoo) This is the symbol of the Latin Kings gang, which is one of the biggest Hispanic gangs in the U. based out of Chicago. The crown will often be accompanied by the letters ALKN, which stands for Almighty Latin Kings Nation. The five points are due to the Latin Kings being an affiliate of the People Nation gang, which is represented by the number five. Latin Kings have a huge presence both in and out of prison, and their roots go back to the 1940s. Three dots (Photo Whiserkino) The three dots tattoo is a common prison tattoo that represents “mi vida loca,” or “my crazy life. ” It’s not associated with any particular gang, but with the gang lifestyle itself. This tattoo is typically found on the hands or around the eyes. It can also carry some religious significance, such as representing Christianity’s holy trinity. The three dot tattoo is often created using a stick-and-poke method, requiring very rudimentary tools. Five dots (Photo My Sarisari Store) These dots differ greatly from the previous tattoo – five dots represents time done in prison. Also known as the quincunx, the four dots on the outside represent four walls, with the fifth on the inside representing the prisoner. This tattoo can be found internationally, among both American and European inmates. The dots are typically found on an inmate’s hand, between the thumb and forefinger. The clock with no hands (Photo Tattoo Me Pink) This tattoo is, fairly obviously, representative of ‘doing time’ and doing a lot of it. Those serving a longer sentence might get this tattoo done on their wrist, with watch straps and all, much like a real watch. The clock face itself can come in a few forms, such as the face of a wall clock or a grandfather clock. Not all clock tattoos are tied to prison; generally just the ones lacking hands. Aryan Brotherhood (Photo Media Lib) This prison gang has a variety of tattoos to look out for, ranging from ‘AB’ to Nazi symbols like a swastika or SS bolts. The Brotherhood makes up 1 percent of the inmate population, but are responsible for 20 percent of murders inside of U. prisons, so identifying these tattoos are extremely beneficial. The tattoos can also be referred to as Alice Baker, the One-Two, or The Brand. Norte ñ o (Photo Know Gangs) Norteño tattoos represent the Nuestra Familia gang, which is associated with Hispanic gangs in Northern California. Their tattoos include the word Norteño, Nuestra Familia, a sombrero symbol, the letter N or the number 14, symbolizing the 14 th letter of the alphabet (yup – the letter N). The Norteños are rivals of the Suerños, Hispanic gangs based out of Southern California.
- Other details of the crown, such as the colors of the jewels in the points, can have a whole other level of hidden meanings;
- Five dots on other parts of the body can have different meanings, such as an association with the People Nation gang;
The unofficial dividing line between the two is in Delano, California. The Norteños identify themselves with red bandanas and mainly get their income from smuggling and distributing cocaine, heroin and meth. La Eme (Photo Police Mag) ‘La Eme,’ or The M, is the symbol of the Mexican Mafia. They are one of the largest and most ruthless prison gangs in the U. They’re allied with the Aryan Brotherhood, and have a common enemy in the Nuestra Familia. La Eme was started not in Mexico, but in Mexican-Americans who were incarcerated in American prisons. MS 13 (Photo Wikimedia) The MS 13, also sometimes seen just as MS or 13, is a symbol of the Mara Salvatrucha gang from El Salvador. Typically these tattoos can be found anywhere on the body, but are most often found in highly visible places like the face, hands or neck. LA Mara Salvatrucha was started in the Los Angeles area by El Salvadoran immigrants. There are now MS-13 chapters all over the U. Playing cards (Photo Tattos Time) Playing cards, or suits of the deck in general, usually indicate an inmate who likes to gamble. This applies to gambling games both within prison and without; it can also represent a person who generally views life as a gamble. This tattoo is very popular in Russian prisons, where each deck has its own meaning. A spade represents a thief; clubs symbolize criminals in general.
- La Eme is a Sureño gang, belonging to a large affiliation of Hispanic gangs in Southern California;
- and even in Canada;
- Their industries range from dealing drugs to child prostitution;
- Diamonds are reserved for stoolpigeons and informants – if the cards have this deck, then it was likely applied with force;
Hearts imply that someone is looking for a romantic partner in the prison, which may also be forcibly applied. EWMN (Photo Turner) These letters stand for ‘Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty. ‘ Having no particular affiliation with any gang, they simply represent the general disposition of some prison inmates. Typically found on the knuckles, these types of tattoos were popularized in 1955 by Robert Mitchum in ‘The Night of the Hunter. ‘ His sociopathic preacher character had the words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on the knuckles of each hand, which has brought about other variants such as ‘Rock/Roll’ and ‘Stay/Down. ‘ Cross on the chest (Photo Adimaz) Particularly found in Russian prisons, chest tattoos symbolize a ‘Prince of Thieves. ‘ This is the highest rank a Russian convict can achieve, and are generally worn by higher-ups in the mob. Russian prisons have a unique and intricate history of prison tattoos, each with their own unique meaning. Another example are bells, symbolizing freedom, or a tiger on the chest is symbolic of aggression toward the police. A. (Photo SAS) This acronym is commonly found on the bodies of British prisoners and stands for “All Cops Are Bastards. ” Some claim that A. also stands for “Always Carry A Bible,” but these are widely believed to be people who regret their tattoo decision.
How do you make black 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 ..
How do you make soot ink?
What’s the ingredients in tattoo ink?
What is black tattoo ink made of?
Tattoos have quickly gained mainstream popularity in the last few years. In fact, 45 million Americans, including 36 percent in their late twenties, have at least one tattoo. It’s becoming more and more rare to not tattoos. Although tattoo inks are not something we are doing every day, like toothpaste or deodorant , it is still important to be aware of what carcinogens may be lurking in them.
Do those chemicals have long-term effects? How toxic are they? What we can do to get safer tattoos? Just like personal care products and other cosmetics, the FDA does not regulate or approve any tattoo pigments for injection into the skin.
This includes UV and glow-in-the-dark tattoos. Even Henna isn’t approved for skin injection, just for hair dye. State and local authorities are charged with regulating tattoos in their area, but the FDA does have the authority to investigate safety concerns if needed.
Only recently, with the growing number of tattoos, have the FDA shown some interest in the safety of ink. Unfortunately, like fragrance , tattoo ink recipes may be proprietary, and therefore are not required to list their ingredients.
So consumers are left to do their own investigations. Some recent studies have been done to see the possible long-term effects of tattoo inks. These studies are few and far between, but are the beginning of really getting to know the possible skin and health reactions to tattoos.
Some fairly common reactions to tattoo ink include allergic rashes, infection, inflammation from sun exposure, & chronic skin reactions. These reactions could be linked to the presence of harmful chemicals in most mainstream tattoo inks.
Phthalates and benzo(a)pyrene are two of the most harmful chemicals present, both having been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. They can also be found on the EPA’s carcinogen list. Black ink is often made of soot, containing products of combustion, called hydrocarbons.
- Black ink can also contain animal bones burned down into charcoal;
- That’s right, not all inks are vegan;
- Some ink also contains animal fat as the carrier, as well as gelatin and beetles;
- Heavy metals are often present in colored inks;
Colored inks can contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and titanium. These metals can trigger allergic reactions and potentially lead to disease. Scientists are unsure of the exact effects. Scientists have seen possible connections with tattoos to skin cancer , but the overwhelming conclusion is that they are unclear of the role of tattoos and cancer.
There have been rare cases of skin cancer malignant tumors found in tattoos, but scientists say these could just be a coincidence. There are even theories that phthalates clear the body within hours and could be the case with tattoos since they are not continuous, like some phthalate exposures.
One question the FDA has tried to answer is, where does the pigment go when it is faded by sunlight or removed by laser light? Are they flushed out by the body? Or disbursed throughout our body somehow? Some of the ink could be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Making it possible that getting a tattoo removed can be even more dangerous than the original. These are questions that will hopefully start being answered and lead to more studies conducted about the toxicity of tattoo ink.
The good news is that as the demand for tattoo has spread, so has the variety of inks offered. There are many tattoo ink brands that are willing and able to tell you what is in their products. And they are made with safer ingredients. Another way to stay safer is to choose your artists wisely.
Do your research and see what artists are conscious about their inks and willing to talk to you about it. The best non toxic carriers to look for in ink ingredients are vegetable glycerin , witch hazel, water, or ethanol.
You can also avoid certain ingredients in ink pigments that are seen to be “riskier” than others. Red pigment often causes the most skin reactions and is considered the most dangerous because it contains cadmium, mercury or iron oxide. Choose a red ink with naphthol instead.
- Choose Carbazole or Dioxazine for this pigment, try to avoid manganese violet;
- Choose Arylide or Tumeric based pigments;
- Copper pthalocyanine pigments are the safest choice for both of these;
- Specifically Monoazo for green and sodium based for blue;
Just watch out for iron oxide. Avoid animal based inks that are often referred to as “India Inks. ” It is better to use black ink derived from logwood and magnetite crystals. Just like many things we put on our bodies, the effects of tattoo ink are unknown.
How are stick and poke tattoos done?
What Are Stick-and-Poke Tattoos? – Stick-and-poke tattoos are a form of non-electric tattooing—that is to say, there’s no tattoo machine used. Instead, ink is applied to the skin by hand by attaching a needle to a rod-like contraption, much like a pencil and thread (professionals use a tattoo-grade needle) to create an analog tattoo machine.
Basically, stick-and-pokes are exactly what they sound like; once the needle is secure, the design is created by dipping it into ink and then poking it into the skin dot by dot. The hand-poke process originated from traditional forms of non-electric tattooing across cultures that were generally used in connection to community or religion; the single needle and ink process dates back as far as ancient Egypt as mummies were found to have intricate tattoos on their arms, shoulders, and abdomen.
The modern stick-and poke-movement, however, is attributed to the skate and punk subculture of the 1970s, where using sewing needles and India ink to DIY a tattoo was popular.