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Haters gonna hate.  What’s to say about societal objections to tattoo’s? Sure you’ve got some people with some ugly ones they regret, or reminders of a past they no long embrace. And then you’ve got the employment horror stories. People losing their jobs, losing out on opportunities, Japanese mayors thinking you’re a member of the Yakuza (and having to undergo the painful tattoo removal procedures as a perquisite for employment or status– increasing the demand for long sleeve clothing and neck coverings of all sorts—regardless of what it is bearing ink on your skin can in a sense make you some sort of a social pariah.  But one thing that’s untrue is the notion that tattoos are a fad or phase. That society just thought it was suddenly cool to tag each other’s skin with ink and call it “art”.

No my friends tattoos go back. How back? We’re talking B.C.-back. The truth is that tattoos have existed long before Hippies and the Yakuza have, respectively. In fact, they’ve existed before society even. As an art, no less as evidenced by a recent discovery deep within Russia’s permafrost: an Ancient Siberian princess to tell it all. A recent discovery of a preserved body belonging to that of Princess Ukok, a Siberian Princess from 2,600 years ago who died at the age of 25, has aroused much shock to the anthropological and scientific community regarding primitive cultures. She’s come covered in some serious ink. And not just stains on the skin, we’re talking designs.

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As the UK Daily Mail reports, “The remarkable body art includes mythological creatures and experts say the elaborate drawings were a sign of age and status for the ancient nomadic Pazyryk people, described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.” Tattooed lines and primitive designs we’re seen in the discovery of the iceman but nothing near as elaborate as this recent finding. And not only was she respected she was found buried with several horses, offerings of delicacies such as horse and sheep meat, ornaments made from wood, bronze and gold and a small container of cannabis…So that also existed before the hippies too, huh?

According to Novosibirsk scientist Natalia Polosmak who made the discovery, “’Compared to all tattoos found by archeologists around the world, those on the mummies of the Pazyryk people are the most complicated, and the most beautiful. More ancient tattoos have been found, like the Ice Man found in the Alps – but he only had lines, not the perfect and highly artistic images one can see on the bodies of the Pazyryks.  It is a phenomenal level of tattoo art. Incredible.” One would have to wonder what it was like making tattoos without all the technology that makes it possible today. And what it would take to make such an incredible design of permanence in the most primitive of setting.

Either way, tattoos have been around for a while. It never strayed from society, society strayed from it.

It takes a special conversation for the ink to become one with flesh, its hues heavenly marred through the song of the skin. But to get the perfect tattoo you want stained and symbolized on you it’s going to take a lot more than an inch up on your ink selection. Granted, some inks are brighter and more brilliant than others not to mention safer—it’s definitely important to make sure your inks aren’t counterfeit and include an MSDS report—but that’s not all that makes the art applicable. Sometimes it takes the right tattoo machine just as a Gibson Les Paul makes a difference in the hands of an Eddie Van Halen when you hear that solo, so too can the tattoo tubes, tips, grips and machines make a difference in performance in potency.

Prided and fueled by imagination, it’s said that the handmade tattoo machines provide the most options and approaches for the experienced tattoo artist. And it’s going to take some experience in the tagging arts to truly know what you want. You’re going to need a power supply to keep up with those demands.  Tattoo power supply comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and needs, some will run you as low as $40 and some as high as $400. A souped-up won’t pitch the inks any brighter or send the needle through the skin any faster, what it does rather is increase the magnetic field to allow the ink to travel farther, faster and more precise. Power supplies may also include extra amenities such as a way to see the voltage, hertz, duty cycle and follow through.

Next you’re going to need to be selective about your coils, outer aesthetic and springs of your machine. Make sure you differentiate between which kind of tagging you got going on there, for tattooing outlines, you’re going to need an 8-wrap coil but if you’re going big, you may need to enlist the services of heavier coil, sizes go all the way up to a 14-wrap. Depending on your magnetic field changing springs can be considered a trial and error process, depending on the aesthetic housing of the machine. 99.9% tattoo machines are framed with metal. Metal frames vary in cost based on weight, design, accessibility, and how they work with the conductive forces you got going on in your hand.

Like a motorcycle, many riders have personal preferences for how they handle the road. The best tattoo machine can only be measured by the magnitude of your masterpieces. In other words, finding what brings out the best in you should come first before anything. Depending on your demands they can run cheap or can cost quite a bit. But the consensus is that handmade tattoo machines are the best in quality since they cater toward creativity and customization over production-line makes. As long as you’ve got the design, with practice, you’ll find the doing.