Category: Products

Crafters and the ink on their skin

Ahead of Sunday’s BUST Craftacular in London’s East End, our editor Alice Snape interviews three vendors about their creations, why they love crafting and the ink they wear on their skin. With over 70 independent designer-makers featuring at ‘London’s coolest craft fair’ (Time Out) we knew there had to be some awesome tattooed folk in there too.

Sarah Corbett, 32, Founding Director, Craftivist Collective, London based, works worldwide.

sarah“All of my tattoos help me on my journey to be the best version of myself. They are a mix of craft related tattoos, nature and music. I have scissors to remind me to help shape the future, thread to encourage me to thread my values through all that I do and jigsaw pieces to remind me to see where I can be part of a positive world and where it’s best to prioritise my time and energy. I also have Bjork ducks because she is such an inspiring innovator, quotes like ‘tough mind tender heart’ which is a Martin Luther King quote and reminds me to always be kind to people but always work as strategically as possible too and never get complacent. They might look fun to viewers but they all have big meanings for me and some of those meanings I keep secret.

“There are so many links between crafts and tattoos! Handicrafts are naturally a slow process and so is tattooing because you need to work carefully and often with courage. The physical results of both are permanent so people really take ownership of their tattoos or completed craft object because so much love and care has gone into them. They are both often very personal for the creators and intimate things to do.”

“I call myself a “craftivist”, which is someone who uses craft (mostly handicrafts) as a tool to deliver activism. Protesting against systems and structures of injustice using objects to help do in different ways from encouraging us to be the change we wish to see in the world, giving gifts to power holders to become critical friends rather than aggressive enemies and work together to leave small pieces of provocative street art to provoke passersby on particular injustice issues.

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“I started creating my own craftivism projects with my ‘gentle protest’ approach in 2008. Within a few months people asked to join me in my projects and the Collective was born as a small group of people in the British Library cafe meeting up monthly in London. Now groups and individuals around the world take part in our projects and use our DIY kits and tools. I will be at BUST Craftacular with some of our lovely craftivists from the collective in our ‘Craftivism corner’ where you can join us anytime 11am-5pm to rest and take part in some slow, gentle, positive activism alone or with friends. Every single one of us has gifts and talents we can use to be the change we wish to see in the world and our activity area hopes to help remind us of that. We will also have our own stall with other craftivism projects and tools people can buy and be inspired and empowered by.”

Check out how you can become a Craftivist at their BUST Craftacular workshops here craftivist-collective.com

Lucian, 29, Cambridge, artist, Vapvla leatherworker and Real Wizard

lucian-profile“All my tattoos are artwork that I’ve drawn up myself specifically for my body and its shape. I endeavour to portray, through my tattoos, inner workings of my mind, creative process and spirituality that would otherwise be invisible. These days, I am sufficiently covered that I think I could explain my religion just by rotating, naked and silent, before an audience – but I’m not finished yet! I had my first tattoo – my favourite David Bowie lyric – when I was 22. I wanted it to encompass as much of my hidden self as possible just in case I hated the process and wouldn’t want another. It turned out to be completely fine. People have said that I must be addicted – but when I receive a tattoo, the whole process – from idea genesis, to body painting, to drawing up, to needle, to clingfilm, to healing – leaves me with such an immediate positive effect upon my self esteem that I see no real reason to stop!

“I will be at BUST Craftacular with my exciting “new” endeavour – my leather company VAPVLA, which I founded last year. I love harnesses and leather, but always found the world of harnessry disappointing in that it assumes that, if you want to wear a harness, you must be either a cis woman who wants to appear vulnerable or a cis man who wants to appear powerful. Drawing lines across the body with a hard, restrictive (but supple) material like leather (or our vegan-friendly heavy vinyl) is inherently a neutral action. Bodies are wildly variable, much like gender and power presentation. I didn’t want to be prescriptive. I like to think our harnesses will do anything, or nothing, for anyone. The name, VAPVLA, is a stylisation of the name of a Goetic demon that I came across in 2014 when I produced an illustrated edition of the Ars Goetia – a demonology grimoire from the 17th century.

“My future plans are to render my body both more explanatory of my inner self and more baffling through tattooing and surgery, and to be number one in What Wizard! magazine, should such a thing exist.”

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VAPVLA is available at etsy.com/shop/vapvla, and Lucian’s artwork is available through misterlucian.bigcartel.com and you can buy in person at BUST Craftacular of course too!

Ella Masters, 28, Freelance illustrator

ella-masters-portrait-ink“My first tattoo was of a swallow and stars with music notes on my left wrist, I’ve also got a siren’s head on my thigh that I got at Brighton Tattoo Convention on a whim a few years ago. I have a large skull and kewpie on the back of my right arm done by Hugh Sheldon – I love his work. I recently got two that mean the world to me. I had a sentence tattooed near my heart on my side, it’s for my mum, we lost her suddenly and it’s been devastating, but we had a strong bond. I have “always be by your side” and, just last week, I got the Joy Division lyrics “love will tear us apart” in a heart. It’s by Luke Jinks, he took my illustration and did his own twist on it, which I’m in love with. I have eight hand poked tattoos on my ankles, which I did myself, and seven others dotted around my body, they all mean a little something, a moment I want to remember. I feel more me the more tattoos I get.

“I find inspiration in most places, and I love nature. I trained as a fine artist so I carry my sketchbook wherever I go. I will be doing live portraits of customers at BUST Craftacular! And I can’t wait to draw you all, so come see me!

“As far as the future goes, I’m hoping to just keep creating art, I’m currently writing and illustrating my own book about life, dating, tattoos and loss – a real mix of things. I’m working with some great companies at the moment illustrating for them and just creating great commissions for people. My blog is doing really well and collaborating with some big brands has given me a real boost, so hopefully just going with whatever feels right.”

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Visit ellamasters.co.uk and for a chance to be drawn by Ella, tattoos and all, visit her stall on Sunday at BUST Craftacular

43T Clothing

The love child of a culture crazed couple, London based fashion brand 43T Clothing was created by Oli and Steph who pride themselves on their quirky and unconventional hand-printed apparel. We chatted to the pair to find out more about their eco-friendly fashion line, cool product illustrations and what inspired their collections

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What inspired you to set up the brand? The main reason we wanted to start our brand is because we both love fashion and always have growing up! We also like to think of ourselves as green people so we thought why not try and combine two of our passions?
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What inspires your designs? They tend to come from things that we love or just ideas that sprout out of our head. The characters are all based on friends of ours and now they feel immortalised by the sketches.

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We love your interesting sketch style product shots, what motivated you to create these? Right at the start we decided to combine our love of tattoos and art, that’s what inspired us to draw the doodles of our ’43T Characters’. We’ve chosen to use them instead of conventional models, as we both feel this aesthetically looks great and stands us out fro  the crowd! We will eventually plan to use real human models but for the moment we like what the ’43T Characters’ give us and how we can keep adding more to the site.

What are your plans for the future, any new products in the pipeline? We have lots of new products coming out over the next three months and we have already started our new range. We feel it’s important to give people more variety so every Friday we release a new item onto the website and have done this for the past four weeks. This is going to be continued right up until Christmas so there is plenty to get excited about if you’re a 43T Customer! Finally our aim moving forward is to grow and grow, but not in terms of owning a million shops but grow our idea that eco and fashion can mix! Also that we should all support small businesses, creativity, individuality, music and the arts.

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Why is being eco-friendly so important to you? Well being eco-friendly is important to us for a few reasons, the obvious being is we kinda frickin love this planet! Also we don’t see that many ecological brands out there so we wanted to show that it can still be fashionable to wear eco-friendly garments. Another big  reason we wanted to go eco was because we feel there is no reason, in this day and age, that everyone shouldn’t produce eco or fair-trade clothing. Everyone that has tried on one of our famous Bamboo T-shirts can’t believe how super soft they are and what amazing quality they are!

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Check out the website at 43tclothing.com

Shaded: Rich Wells

‘Shaded’ is an on-going interview series created by 22-year-old Bournemouth-hailing music journalism student, writer and editor James Musker, which focuses on tattooists, the interesting people that wear their work and both the artist and canvas’s relationship to the craft.

Rich Wells is a 29-year-old tattoo artist, clothing designer and co-owner of Dock Street Tattoos, who is currently living and working in Leeds. As part of Things & Ink’s ongoing interview series ‘Shaded’, the documentary enthusiast sheds light on his love of C-list celebrities, his relationship with simplicity and how he sees his Louis Theroux inspired clothing range, Jiggle Apparel, evolving.

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What is Jiggle ApparelJiggle Apparel is a Louis Theroux influenced clothing range that’s mainly centred around his infamous rap episode. I design the t-shirts and my friend John, who runs the operation with me, screen prints them and looks after all the online stuff. It’s a Louis Theroux obsession that’s gone a bit too far.

Can you speak about your relationship with Louis Theroux? I’m an old-school Louis Theroux fan. His ‘Weird Weekends’ series is definitely my favourite thing that he’s done. I’ve watched them hundreds of times and they never get old! It’s the only reason I have Netflix.

What influenced you to design and print the first t-shirt that eventually led Jiggle Jiggle Apparel to come together? The first Jiggle Apparel design was originally drawn up as a tattoo design for a flash sheet. I hadn’t thought about putting it on a t-shirt until I uploaded the design to my Instagram account. It got way more attention than I thought it would, so for a bit if fun I decided to print it. People were really into it and Jiggle Apparel was born!

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What do you do when you’re not thinking about Louis Theroux? A good 80% percent of my day is spent thinking about Louis. You know, working out how I could meet him, or maybe just brush past him at a UFO convention or a swingers party. The other 20% I spend tattooing at Dock Street Tattoos Leeds. I co-own the place.

What inspires you artistically? I’m really into documentaries and I draw a lot of inspiration from the strange side of human nature: cults, conspiracies – all that type of stuff. I also like to design things around words, like, quotes or songs. I find it’s a really good foundation for a solid idea.

What do you admire in other people’s work? Simplicity is one of the things I admire in other people’s work. I can appreciate tattoos with incredible detail, but I personally get more out of simplistic, bold, powerful designs. The ability to create something effective using only simple techniques really appeals to me.

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Can you tell me about your own tattoos? I have a photo-realistic black and grey portrait of Ross Kemp on the back of my calf. I got it done as a bit of a joke really. Rather than getting an A-list celebrity tattooed on body, I thought I’d go a little more C list with Kemp, as I was watching a lot of ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’ at the time. I ended up going to one of his book signings that he held at ASDA a few months after having it done. I told him I had a little something to show him, pulled down my jeans and presented him with the portrait. He was totally freaked out by it. I think he thought I was going to stick a potato sack over his head and stick him in the boot of my Corsa. I haven’t seen him since.

What attracted you to tattoos in the first place? No one in my family really has any. The influence came from seeing the bands I was into at the time with them. I thought they were really cool! My first tattoo was done in a street shop that was next to my old school. I got the tiny sunflower that’s on that girl’s t-shirt on the cover of Green Day’s album Kerplunk. It’s really small, but I thought it was the best thing ever at the time.

Most tattoo artists have no space left on their body for additional work, but do you have any plans for more tattoos in the future? Yeah, I still have some space to get some more work. I’m not totally covered yet. I’d like to get some more single-hit traditional pieces. I guess a Louis Theroux tattoo is on the cards as well.

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Since you have now found yourself bridging clothing and tattoo art with Jiggle Apparel, can you speak about the relationship between the world of fashion and the world of body modification? I really like the crossover! The high end world of fashion collaborates with tattoo artists all the time. I think company’s like RSI Apparel who commission tattoo artists and illustrators to work on designs for them offer artists a whole new platform for their work to be seen which is really great. However, I could definitely live without Ed Hardy’s diamond studded jeans…

How do you see Jiggle Jiggle Apparel evolving? We’re looking at getting some more merchandise; hats, hoodies, patches. Maybe our own brand of red, red wine would be nice! The ultimate goal though would be for Louis to actually see what we do, stick one of our t-shirts on and possibly take us out to dinner. If he could be there when we open our first store that would also be pretty great.

Tattoo Aftercare Instructions – The Complete Guide

You’ve spent a lot of time, energy, and money on your new tattoo and you want to make sure it looks as good as it does now for a long time, right? Don’t forget that proper tattoo aftercare is crucial to the healing process and will ensure that your tattoo looks fresh for years to come. Follow these surefire steps from Monster Steel to properly take care of your tattoo, then sit back and enjoy your new art…

 

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Monster Steel – #tiarchive sponsors

For our recent exhibition, #tiarchive, we were kindly sponsored by the tattoo supplies and wholesale company, Monster Steel.  We caught up with company owner Gustavo Mitchell to discuss what it is like to own a tattoo supply company and how he ended up getting in the business when he is yet to go under the needle!

How did you get into the tattoo supply industry?

As much as I would like to sit here and type up an exciting story of how I rose to prominence in the tattoo industry as a supplier, the truth is that I fell into this industry by chance. I’ve always admired tattoos and their symbolic nature but I never imagined myself involved in any facet of the industry. My initial introduction into the business was in 2001 when I started as an e-retailer for body piercing jewellery. Over time, as business grew, I became a wholesaler and started to form business relationships with several tattoo / piercing shops.  It was a conversation with one of these shop owners that led me to the concept that is now Monster Steel.

What I found out was that as a shop owner it was an annoyance to have to purchase from two different sources when purchasing tattoo and piercing supplies.  At the time companies like Monster Steel did not exist and sellers would specialise in either market but never both. Another key element to the company’s growth was the fact that we were an online company. Nervousness and doubt are common when taking any risk but thanks to the support of family, friends and customers I was able to take the leap and form what is now Monster Steel.  I am involved in one of the most exciting industries I could think of and working alongside some of the most creative, dedicated and inspiring people I have ever met.

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Do you have any tattoos?

I get this question all the time and people are always surprised when they meet me because I don’t have a single one. As I’ve continued to grow in this industry I have met some incredibly talented and passionate artists. I’ve become so enamoured with tattoo designs and the artistry that social media has allowed me to admire the work of several artists around the world. I enjoy their art so much that I’ve always said that I would get one if I ever found a design that truly inspired me or embodied an important experience in my life. I simply never found that inspiration and envy all of the individuals that have and were able to take that next step.

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How do you see the future of the tattoo industry evolving?

We all know that the tattoo industry constantly changes and evolves. The cultural significance and meanings of tattoos have also changed over time.  I remember during my youth that tattoos were taboo but fast forward to today and they have become mainstream. From stay-at-home mums to business professionals, tattoos have become a norm and an experience shared by everyone. In that transition from sub culture to mainstream I have also witnessed changes in designs and techniques, but because this is an art form I know that the tattoo industry will never stop evolving. As a supplier I am happy to see that the industry is being pushed towards stricter health requirements. As a major supplier I am disheartened when I see that over 50% of needles on the market are marketed as sterile but in fact are not sterilised.  These types of poor business practices endanger customers as well as the industry’s reputation.

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What advice would you give someone who wanted to launch their own career in the tattoo supply business?

Go for it and don’t hesitate. This is an enormous market and an industry that is not going anywhere. It’s also an exciting market where you’ll have the chance to work alongside creative minds as well as meet with some amazing people. I will add this. You have to be ready to work as hard as possible.  It’s a large market but also a competitive one, so my biggest piece of business advice is to listen to the customer. If you’re loyal to them then they will be loyal to you.  Don’t ever ignore that aspect of the process regardless of how much the business grows.

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What future plans do you have for Monster Steel?

Our number one objective as a business is to stay relevant to our customers by rolling out innovative products and ensuring that our supplies are always the safest and most reliable. I am excited about many of the upcoming projects we have planned as well as several new products that we have live on the site. We want to make sure that our customers trust us to provide not only the best supplies, but also the newest technology that allows them to grow as an artist.

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Do you own any other brands?

I own several other brands that I take a lot of pride in, such as our line of Ruthless needles and grips, our Mag Lock cartridge needles, Ringmaster Irons machines and other brands that our customers enjoy like Gorilla Grips, Black Buddha Ink, Monster Point and our newest creation – Strype Power.  As I mentioned before, customers are always looking for quality products and that their source keep up with trends, so that is what we’re here to do and will continue to do thanks to all of our loyal and supportive customers.

Monster Steel can be found at www.monstersteel.com or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Monstersteel and Instagram: www.instagram.com/themonstersteel

Toy Tattoo Machines

Emily Rose is a 31-year-old stay at home mom who was a tattooer in Lewisville, North Carolina in the United States who runs an Etsy business from home selling toy tattoo machines that she makes. We chatted to Emily about how she makes the toys and what inspired her to do so… 

il_570xN.808635497_4h7wMy health and lack of child care after having our daughter meant that I was forced to stop tattooing for the time being but I found a way to still contribute to my family and stay somewhat relevant in the tattoo industry when I started my Etsy adventure so I just found another way to work.

I have a solid background in art, I’ve been in art classes my whole life and have my bachelor’s degree in fine arts from a university here in North Carolina. I started my apprenticeship straight out of college and never looked back; I was 21 and now my husband and I run our own shop in our little rural town. He now tattoos there by himself while I’m home with our daughter making toys. It’s tough but I like to think we’re making the best of some difficult situations we’ve been handed.

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I created my toy tattoo machines out of necessity really, our daughter just needed one, and there wasn’t one out there for her, so I made one. She stayed at the shop with us for the first year of her life, we opened the shop when she was a month old. I had to take her with me to breastfeed and tattoo, it was a mess really, but the one thing that made it all worth it was seeing how much she really loved to be at the shop as she grew. The bigger she got the easier it was to have her there with us, so she’s just been a little shop girl from day one.

It was too hard for me to say “no you can’t handle that machine, or that ink” because she couldn’t understand why, so I tried to find ways to make her feel like a part of what we were doing at the shop. But it really inspired me to start making her things that she could use to mimic what she saw us doing at work. I thought they make those little doctor kits why not a tattoo kit? And it worked!

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She had her own little machine and didn’t need to mess with mine, she had something that made her feel like a part of the work day and I decided to start selling them locally before I eventually opened up an Etsy shop. The first ones I made were just scraps of wood and bits of stuff I had laying around, I was able to make them better! I save enough here and there for a new tool or some fancy new paints and I get the most rewarding feedback from moms out there! I could tell my own little one was dying for a way to connect with us over work, she sees us so dedicated and in love with our work I think it’s only natural for her to want to be a part of that too.
I’m beyond excited to see how many people are ordering for little girls, the toys avaliable for girls are still geared towards shopping and domestic duties so I’m happy to see how often the pinks sell out! People are excited to give their kids something other than what they see at the store, and they’re excited to be getting it from me! It’s amazing!

 

IMG_5454Emily’s art work 

I grew up around the art world but it wasn’t until I started getting tattooed that I really felt like I’d found where I was meant to be. I just felt an instant sense of belonging in the tattoo industry as soon as I was old enough to start collecting my own. I was drawn to tattooing because for me I can make such an impact on someone’s life just by giving them the fruits of my labor. I can tattoo anyone, normal people, cancer patients or victims with scars and they always feel so much better afterwards. I liked the idea of sitting with someone and helping them make a monument on their bodies to some internal struggle or painful event, I loved the idea of helping people feel more beautiful.
When I get tattooed it’s almost like I’m becoming more of who I was meant to be, like this colored and decorated version is the real me and I’m just revealing it as I get tattooed, I wanted to help people feel that way too. I also really enjoyed being friends with artists, feeling really connected to them as the people I’d chosen to tattoo me. It’s a special bond, I miss it terribly!

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My own tattoos are mostly pieces I’ve collected from friends at conventions and shops in my years. I have a full sleeve from an amazing friend in Texas named Mark Vanness and it’s a whole arm of birds, it’s probably my favorite! I have a birds nest on my hand there and even a secret ostrich on my bicep, my other arm is generally American traditional and I have black and gray movie portraits on one leg, and some weird ocean creatures on my other leg. I’ve been saving my back for a really epic pelican I’ve been thinking about for years while waiting for the right artist to cross my path. I have saved all the worst spots for last.

Check out Emily’s Etsy store for tattoo toy machines… 

Inkluded Launch New Online Store

Here at Things&Ink we are big fans of the Inkluded blog founded by freelance journalist Beccy Rimmer. So when we heard Inkluded launched a brand-new online store, we had to share it!

We’ve teamed up with Inkluded to give you the chance to win a T-shirt! Check out our Instagram for more details.

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Inkluded have created a clothing range in which every design has been drawn by tattoo artists. Inkluded has worked with five UK tattoo artists, Hannya Jayne, Dan Metcalfe, Mike Love, Clare Lambert and Kat Winifred, who have all designed something from scratch for the launch range.

Founder of Inkluded, Beccy Rimmer, said: “At Inkluded, we’re passionate about showcasing and sharing amazing tattoo art. This country’s creative tattoo scene is fast-growing and flourishing with talented artists, remarkable artwork and innovative styles – we thought it was time tattoo enthusiasts had one online place from which they could buy tattoo products and fashion.”

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Inkluded was set up with a strong mission, to raise awareness of exceptional tattoo art through blog posts, art exhibitions and by creating an artistic community that people can feel included in. As well as browsing the new products, readers can meet the artists through a series of interviews published on the blog.

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A selection of limited edition T-shirts and vests (prices from £15) are available from www.inkluded.co.uk/store.

Photographs by JustJodie Photography

Goldengrove Jewellery: Margaret Cross

Margaret Cross creator of Goldengrove Jewellery, Brooklyn, NY, designs and makes beautiful pieces inspired by antique momento mori jewellery. We talk to Maggie about how she started her business and her tattoo collection… 

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Photograph by Maxim Ryazansky

How long have you been creating jewellery? I took my first silversmithing class in college in 2003, but I was creating jewellery for a few years before that.

How did you start, what inspired you? After taking a few classes in the jewellery department in college, I realised that I loved the process, it’s tedious, but there’s a lot of freedom for your mind to wander while you work, so I’m constantly filing, designing, sanding, etc. Jewellery was a sweet relief from the printmaking department in college where I majored. I’d hide up in the jewellery department casting and soldering human teeth and tiny animal bones for me and my friends to wear. My focus shifted to mourning-specific jewellery after the sudden death of my best friend in 2008. It was really traumatic. I bought my first antique mourning piece in memory of him, and made memorial pieces for each of his family members and began to wonder why something so seemingly important to the grieving process had become so obsolete.

I use his writing desk as my jewellery bench, with his eye glasses sitting on top, my daily memento mori. I still mourn him.

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Photograph by Maxim Ryazansky

Did you take a course or study? I have a BFA from Pratt Institute, my scholarship program wouldn’t allow me to be a jewellery major (the materials are really expensive) so my electives were in the metal arts department, and I stayed an extra year to focus on jewellery. I still occasionally take classes independently to learn new techniques and skills.

12716759_1580785585493377_1880924051_nWhat inspires your pieces? I’m obviously inspired by antique memento mori and mourning jewellery, but I also draw inspiration from travel. Both of my parents are immigrants and I draw a lot of inspiration from their respective motherlands (England and Italy). After a trip I’ll usually come home and design a new collection with direct references to places, people or pieces I’ve seen. I see both cultures influence in my work. I still continue to make pieces in memory of my friend as well as pieces that might be comforting to someone going through the same thing today.

Where do you source your stones? Each stone is hand picked by me in New York City. Some stones are salvaged from antique pieces ruined beyond repair. My favorite stone dealer has been in the business for 57 years, he’s a WWII survivor and such a pleasure to see every week. He likes to say he “knows a little about stones”. He must be in his 90s, he’s great.

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How would you describe your style of jewellery? Tough and pretty, having a future and a past.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I started getting tattooed really young at shitty street shops in the city. I’d also let my friends practice on me and we’d give each other stick ‘n’ pokes, so I have lots of that stuff, little inside jokes and punk band references. I’ve become a little more discerning and now I only get tattooed at Rose Tattoo in Brooklyn. Mostly by my husband Mark Cross, but also Hillary Fisher-White and Frank William really appeal to my macabre sensibility, plus there are always great guest artists coming through.

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Where can people buy your jewellery? You can shop the collection online at goldengrovejewelry.com, on Instagram and in store at a handful of shops around the US.

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day isn’t always the easiest holiday to tackle, and some people take it more seriously than others. Our guest writer and journalist 22-year-old Rachel Tucker shares her top five gift ideas to satisfy your beau this coming Sunday…

1. This collaboration from our long-time loves, tattooist Guen Douglas and homeware creators Red Temple Prayer, would be the perfect way to perk up your Valentine’s desk. Gwen’s traditional envelope design is available on a mug or on a card and is available on the Red Temple Prayer website. Red Temple Prayer have a rad collection of kitchenware and accessories, the Forever My Queen mug might even make a good gift to myself. Self love and all that, right?

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2. Tattooist, designer for the Grit N Glory clothes line, model and all round bad-ass woman, Megan Massacre, has created these “not your school Valentines” cards for those of you who aren’t into all that lovey-dovey mushy stuff. Saying “you’re my homeslice” and “be my weirdo” might just be the way to win them over without wearing your heart on your sleeve.

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3. Great gifts often involve days out, giving up your time and just hanging out, and what better way to celebrate being the rad couple you are than by treating yourselves to tickets for this year’s Brighton Tattoo Convention. This year the date’s been moved closer to summer meaning you might even be able to brave a romantic walk on the beach without being blown away!

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4.  London based artist Alex May Hughes creates amazing, one-of-a-kind gold and glass artwork. Using actual gold carat foil, pearl and mirrors, Alex creates these amazing pop culture inspired pieces. If you’re feeling lavish, why not commission your Valentine’s name, anniversary date, the place you met? Maybe even something from their favourite film or a quote. The possibilities are endless and the results are beautiful.

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5. Last but not least, the idea that I’d like to think is most obvious to fall on. Get a fucking tattoo! Now I’m not saying go and get eachother’s names on your buttcheeks, just because there’s so many different ways you can appreciate eachother through tattoos now! Plenty of studios have flash days on Valentine’s Day so you’ll have loads of ideas to chose from, and lets face it, having something on you forever that reminds you of that person is pretty much the ultimate sign of love.

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Tattoo by Ian Parkin

So there you have it! The perfect gift guide for this Valentine’s day. Eat, drink and get smushy.

 

Gypsy East Desert Erotica Photo Shoot

In the depths of the Rajasthani desert, the Gypsies created magic… 

Check out the Gypsy East ASOS for your own magical treasure that the gypsies discovered on their travels 

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Art direction & styling – The Gypsy East Collective
Model – Emily-Louise McGuinness
Photographer – Alexandre Fantie-James
Shoot assistant – Harry Newbould