Tattooing and Body Piercing
A tattoo is nothing more than ink deposited under the skin. How it gets there is another
matter all together. The following will be an overview of how modern tattooing, achieves
the desired effects.
Once the tattoo gun is set up, cleaned and disinfected, clean sterile needles are installed in
the needle tube. The needles are not hollow, and are approximately. 1 inch long, and soldered
upon a needle bar. For outlining a single needle is used, or 3 needles soldered
together, these are just examples 2 needles up to 15 could be used to create a line. The
tube, which the needle bar is inserted, acts as a guide, and an ink reservoir. The needles are
then set for the proper overhang from the tube tip.
Now that the gun is set, and the client has been prepared, the ink is dispensed into disposable
caps. This prevents contamination of the ink from one client to the next.
The ink is not reused, and any excess is thrown away. The gun is turned on, and dipped
into the ink cap paying care not to damage the needle tips. Ink is sucked into the tube tip
reservoir. The gun is then ran momentarily next to some paper towel to clean out the
excess, and now tattooing will proceed.
Outlining is usually the first step in the tattoo process. The needles extend into the skin
approximately. 1/16 th of an inch, depositing ink in the dermis region of the skin.
The skin is stretched tight with one hand, while the other operated the gun; power is
turned off and on via a foot switch. The stretching of the skin is vital is providing a smooth
clean line. The artist moves his gun forward, or to the side. This keeps the needle against
the back of the tube keeping the lines straight. The machine is slightly angled back and the
stenciled lines are followed until the design is completed.
The next step is shading. Shading is done many ways, for example a square tipped tube is
installed on the gun, and a flat set of 6 needles is installed. The needles are very slightly
fanned to help keep them from wobbling in the tube. With the skin stretched the artist will
start at the darkest area of the shading, and move toward the lighter section all the time lifting
the needles further out of the skin till the needles loose contact at the end of the shading.
Sprayed water can also be used to dilute the ink as it goes in to give a lighter gray or
washed appearance. Coloring is achieved by using the same needle set up for shading or a
round set of needles in a much larger grouping.
The skin is stretched and the artist will move his gun in small circles until an area is covered.
When the skin is stretched the artist should not see any missed areas, if so he will have to
carefully ink the missed areas, then when the skin is released the colored areas will look
When coloring a single pass with the needles is desired otherwise heavy scabbing could