The tattoo art is thousands of years old. In fact, man has been indulging in the body art since the prehistoric times. Today, each and every region of the world has its own tattooing technique. Most of these techniques have evolved over a long period of time, adapting to the diverse climatic conditions, cultures and ethos in each region. Though the techniques of tattooing differ in different parts of the world, the end result remains the same - formation of designs and marks on the body. In case you want to explore the main techniques of tattooing in the world, the following information will come handy.
Techniques of Tattoo Body Art
In the western countries, an electric machine is used for the purpose of tattooing. The machine was invented in England and patented in the late 1800s. However, till date, it has undergone a few changes only, with the basics remaining the same. In the western technique, a solid needle, placed in a metal tube dipped into a cup of ink, is moved up and down a body part. A foot pedal is used to control the on and off positions of the machine. While only one needle is needed to make the outline of the intended design, coloring and shading requires groups of needles, arranged into even numbered flat configurations.
Japan has its individual style of tattoo making, which has been, to a certain extent, derived from the traditional methods. A hand-based style of tattooing, the Japanese technique makes use of elaborate bamboo handles. The handles incorporate a bunch of needles within themselves and work in a way much similar to a hand-powered tattoo machine. While making the tattoo, the artist stretches the skin with one hand and making use of his spread fingers, dips the brush into black ink.
Yet another tattoo technique that is related to the Pacific culture comprises of the Samoan one. In this tattoo technique, wooden hand tools are made use of. The tattoo artists works with the help of two basic tools, namely a bone-tipped rake and a striking stick. The rake is dipped in ink and placed against the skin. Thereafter, it is struck with the stick, resulting in the puncturing of the skin. As the artist moves the rake, a pattern is formed on the skin. In this method, a group of assistants help keep the skin taut, while the artist forms the designs.
There is a basic difference between the puncturing of the skin and piercing of the skin and the difference lies in the angle with which the tattooing instrument enters the skin and how and where the force is applied while doing so. Puncturing requires a lot of force and energy while piercing can be done at a shallow angle with much less amount of force and effort. In Burma, the monks practice the art of tattooing with the help of a 4 feet long, tapered brass or glass rods. The procedure of puncturing is guided with the help of a sleeve made up of brass, through which the rod is passed; it helps in keeping the rod steady. For tattooing the rod is dipped in the ink and then put on the part of the body where the tattoo has to be designed; the skin around that area is stretched with the help of assistants to give a plain surface area to work upon. These rods or tattooing instruments already have designs of animals or mystical figures and creatures engraved on it.
Ancient Thai Technique
The tool that is used for making tattoo, as per the ancient Thai technique, is quite similar to the one used by the westerners. The tattooing tool comprises of a long brass tube, along with a sliding pointed rod that runs down the centre of the rube. The artist makes use one of his hands to steady the skin of the client, while the other is used to dip the tool in ink and pierce the skin with it, just like the needle of a sewing machine. The ancient Thai tattoos revolve around Buddhism and have religious symbols as the main designs.
The Maoris Technique
The Maoris tribe from the New Zealand has a very long history of tattooing. The usual designs used in tattooing in this tribe were spirals and swirls. There spirals and swirls were usually designed on the face and all over the body. The technique used to engrave these spirals and swirls was through cutting of the skin. Chisel shaped instruments were used to create these tattoos. These instruments were made from greenstones or animal bones. The first step involved in designing these tattoos was to make a cut into the skin with the sharp instrument to make a design and then the instrument was dipped into the ink and put into the skin repeatedly. It was supposedly a very painful procedure but was considered as an act of bravery and courage from the side of the tattoo owner.