I have shifted the focus of my column this month to include a very well respected artist from outside the tattoo industry. I took the opportunity to interview him last year when he came in for a traditional tattoo from me. I had planned on asking him five quick questions, and was going to call the article “The Law of Five” but that quickly blossomed into a full-blown interview, his words flowing as fluidly as his work, his passion evident as he strongly and thoughtfully opined as we talked. So without further adieu, may I present to you: The Carl Block Interview Q: How did you develop your iconic face jugs that a lot of us in North Texas are so familiar with? A: Well, there’s a long tradition of sculpting on pots. Now, the first face jugs were found in Egypt. So, I mean, It goes that far back. I’ve always been drawn to sculpting on things. So, you got a pot, it resembles a head in the form, and so, if you put a face on it, there’s more of an association with the viewer. I guess it’s just from not being able to leave well enough alone. […]Read More
A Traditional Tattoo is a tattoo that has a history, a past, a precedent. Traditional tattoos are now known by this name because they were handed down to us by our forefathers. These are the designs that have been used in American tattooing since the invention of the electric tattoo machine in 1891. What Were Traditional Tattoos Originally? The first designs were almost always patriotic. The American eagle, the American flag, US Navy anchors, daggers with banners reading “Death before Dishonor”, are all examples. Religious tattoos also emerged, although they were less prevalent. Next in line were the love tattoos, hearts with mom or a sweetheart’s name added in the banner. The red rose was there early on. In the ’30s a book was released which had a strong pose of a crawling panther illustrated within. This powerful image quickly made its way to the walls of the tattoo parlor, and it was instantly accepted into the tattoo design oeuvre. In The ’40s And ’50s, More Tattoo Designs Were Added Throughout the ’40s and ’50s, more designs were added to the Tattoo Flash the early American Tattooers painted. Some designs became wildly popular. They looked so good, so right, […]Read More
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