Sailor Jerry has embarked upon an epic quest to track down a rare breed of individuals – those walking the earth with tattoos inked by Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins himself. Not imitations, just tattoos inked by the man himself.
These men and women represent living history, so Sailor Jerry want to photograph their tattoos and interview them about their session with the father of old-school tattooing.
These stories and photos will contribute to an exhibition celebrating the life and legacy of Sailor Jerry. If you’re reading this post and you have an original Norman Collins tattoo (or know someone who does), please get in touch with the guys over at Sailor Jerry, by emailing them at email@example.com.
Very exciting news from our fave rum makers over at Sailor Jerry…
Iconic artist and musician designs exclusive pieces for the Sailor Jerry Clothing line ‘The Flash Collection by Paul Simonon’
Today Sailor Jerry announced The Flash Collection, a series of annual collaborations between Sailor Jerry and like-minded artists inspired by the legendary tattoo flash of Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins. And first up, it’s Paul Simonon, the legendary man who formed The Clash, with Mick Jones.
Paul Simonon – photo: Derrick Santini
Paul will design three limited edition pieces that I cannot wait to get my hands on – a leather jacket, a t-shirt and a neckerchief. Each piece will combine Norman Collins’ iconic flash artwork with Simonon’s signature design style to produce truly iconic and collectable items.
These will be available in a handful of selected stores around the world and on www.sailorjerryclothing.com, in September 2013. So watch this space for more details…eek exciting, and all sounds very exclusive.
In the meantime…watch this video with Paul talking about the collacboration:
For further information on The Flash Collection by Paul Simonon contact follow Sailor Jerry on twitter @sailorjerryUK #flashcollection or on www.facebook.com/sailorjerryUK.
This red number is my fave, it’s called Red Sky At Night.
Of course, no stocking would be complete without a piece of art. And I love the male pin-up created for the launch issue of Things&Inkmagazine by Rachel Jamie Baldwin. It is a bargain at just £5.74, available from Rachel’s Etsy shop.
Who doesn’t want some new jewellery in their life? I would be more than happy if I had some festive BMM (bloodymarymetal.com) to wake up to on Christmas day. It is very hard to pick a fave piece from the collection, but I do keep looking at the Lonely Bone and Cross Bones…
I am also partial to getting a little tipsy over the festive season, and what better way to do it than with a bottle of Sailor Jerry rum. And the limited edition gift pack isn’t just for good girls, as Father Christmas might have you believe… It also comes with a poster of Sailor Jerry flash.
And of course, I couldn’t not mention the best present for the tattooed lady EVER and that’s a copy of the launch issue of Things&Ink. (I know I am biased as I edit and created the magazine, but it really is beautiful and insightful – a collector’s item!). Buy from Newsstand with free P&P and embrace female tattoo culture this festive season.
And if you don’t like any of these options, I definitely always accept cash for more tattoos!
Henk has curated the gallery at Hotel Street with all the Sailor Jerry artwork, and is the founder of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum. Henk has tattooed a host of celebrities including the likes of Kurt Cobain, Limp Bizkit and Robbie Williams. In other words, Henk is a bit of a legend in the tattoo industry.
So on 13 June, I, along with other excited bloggers and journalists, went to The Diner to have a lunch date with Henk and his lovely wife Louise van Teylingenm, who used to be his apprentice.
Henk talked to us about the changing image of tattoos, “it used to be more about you pick ‘em and I’ll stick ‘em”. In other words, the tattoo world used to be more about going into a shop and just picking something there and then and from a piece of flash. Nowadays there is lots more custom tattooing, where you work with an artist to create a unique tattoo. And people are becoming much more considered tattoo collectors. We also chatted about whether or not tattooing is losing its spontaneity because of this, spur-of-the-moment tattoos can be lots of fun and also a memory of a point in time.
But I think that is the beauty of tattooing, some tattooing is about creating a unique piece of art for your body, but a huge part of it is also about fun and memories – something that you choose to do just because you fancy it on the day.
And of course, we all showed off our ink, too.
I love the story behind this one. Below is a little tattoo on Louise’s neck that a Japanese friend of hers did for her. The monkey is reaching up, because it is based on a story or myth that a monkey is always trying to grab for the moon.
The conversation also got round to how we feel about having names tattooed on us – something which always divides opinion. Names can be tattooed when you’re drunk, mistakingly or not, when you’re in love with someone or as a tribute. But I loved Henk’s opinion that people who have names tattooed on them are the most loyal people and that it is a huge compliment for someone to get your name tattooed on them.
Henk also told us how he would like the romantic part of tattooing to be kept alive. He doesn’t like the white, minimalist shops that exist now. Tattoo shops should have history, they should be places you feel comfortable, the walls should be covered in flash that the artists in the shop have created themselves. And I guess it’s a sign of the times, that there has even been a pop-up tattoo shop in Selfridges…
We chatted about so much more than that too. From tattooing being a kind of passport and how we can be drawn to fellow tattoo enthusiasts, to tattooing being a form of non-verbal communication – the mirror of one’s mind – and Russian prison tattoos – stars on the knees means that being in the hole did not break you. We even talked about April Flores’ Cyberskin pussy. And on that note I think I shall end this blog post…
Henk is an extremely interesting man and I hope to go over to the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum in July to see him and Louise. And in the meantime, I would highly recommend you pop over to Hotel Street to take a look at the Sailor Jerry flash…
“Good work ain’t cheap. Cheap work ain’t good.” – Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins - The father of old-school tattooing
The new Sailor Jerry venue in London is now open. Hotel Street is named after the infamous Hotel Street district in Honolulu, where Norman Collins aka Sailor Jerry made his name.
By night Hotel Street is a lot of fun, and I would highly recommend it for tattoo and music fans alike – or those who just want to have some fun in a cool new London venue and drinks lots of lovely Sailor Jerry cocktails…
And if that type of deborturous mid-week behaviour doesn’t take your fancy, this multi-functional venue turns into a rather arty affair by day….
Hotel Street by day is home to a gallery of original Sailor Jerry flash and artwork. His work is stunning in real life. And each bit of meaningful flash is described in detail – for example the swallow was to commemorate 5,000 miles travelled at sea and swallows are also deeply rooted in the symbolism of returning.
By night, all the artwork is hidden away from drunken revellers, so I suggest making at least two trips to the venue.
Oh and if none of that entices you, they also ply you with lots of free popcorn!