Komende zaterdag is het alweer zover, de 2e tattooconventie in Eindhoven! Exclusief op Tons of Tattoo’s alvast een kleine kennismaking met de ‘Mudra Ink Family’ die ook op deze conventie bij elkaar komt om mensen te voorzien van nieuwe kunststukjes. Deze groep bestaat uit het gezelschap van Ferank Manseed, Swasi Dan, Nica, Raoul en Sakura. Het bijzondere aan deze ‘familie’ is dat ze voornamelijk met handtools werken. Tons of Tattoo’s had ze het een en ander te vragen….
How did you all become the Mudra Ink Family? Where did it start?
The Mudra Ink Family came together very organicaly over a love of swastika and handpoking. I found everyone online, then went and met them in person. Handpoke artists are very rare and I wanted to unite some friends under a family banner. we met Raoul (Flying Swastika) in Utrecht earlier this year. He is a great individual who has been doing this a lot longer than me, with similar interests. we endeavor to keep the dying art of hand tattooing alive and we promote the positive reclamation of the sacred swastika. The family grows constantly. Nica:
Ferank came to visit me in september 2009, we found each other over a mutual friend and startet getting in contact over MySpace. We clicked immediately and felt like a strong bond of same kind of interests and love for what we do. We came to Utrecht together for the first time as a family. Raoul is also working as the FlyingSwastikaFamily, so I am in two families now.
Do you only come together at conventions?
A lot of the time; yes, as were all from different parts of the world. But because of this it also offers us the chance to travel and work with eachother at the studios we are in.
Are all of you working with handtools, or do you also work with machines?
We all work with handtools using the poking technique, but I know that Swasi Dan and Ferank are also learning hand tapping. Nica works using machine also, and I am also starting to do a little machine work.
We mostly do handpoking. Raoul (Flying Swastika) does the hand tapping method as well. I want to learn more traditional tattooing techniques such as “longstick” from South-East Asia and hand tapping.
I started the first tattoo’s on myself by hand, never attempting to be a tattooist. I poked myself the eyes of buddha, and Xed (LeHead) was so impressed, that he made me my own tools and I didnt stop since then. When I started my apprenticeship, I worked by machine. I do handpoking for special occastions, such as wedding rings, ritual tattooing or if requested.
What is the advantage of working with handtools compared to machines (or vice versa)?
There are many advantages to handwork. It is very portable, and can be done anywhere. It’s less traumatic to the skin so that means it heals very quickly.
It’s a nice feeling to zone out and take the time to experience the gentleness of getting hand poked. It also can be quite therapuetic sometimes.
The process of tattooing is more comfortable and it bleeds less. Doing Handpoking can be some kind of relaxing and of course meditating. Nica:
I have to agree with all of what is said before. I love the fact, that you can do it where ever you want, that it is the most honest way of tattooing, how it used to be. The very first experience of mankind of bodymodification. So less trauma and a very peaceful way of working.
There are a lot of Swastika patterns in your work, why is that?
The thing of all the Swastika patterns is that I became interested in Asian culture some years ago. It is not a nazi sign. Just because Hitler used it it has such a negative meaning for lots of people. But this sign is a positive sign with lots of different positive meanings such as love, peace, protection, good luck and so on. There are so many different meanings.
The Mudra Ink Family is part of the Gentle Swastika collective.We are reclaiming the swastika. It is innocent, powerful and sacred. It features a lot in our art because we love it. Swastika is the most positive blessing. It is not a nazi sign. Education will give swastika the freedom it deserves in society.
I was captured in its negativity for years and didn’t know it existed before the time of the Nazi’s. We were kept down with information about the symbolic meaning in Germany, as it was simply banned and something bad. I could go to prison in Germany for three years, because I have swastika’s tattooed. Now it means pure love to me, the power of the sun. Whenever swastika lovers meet, we have a mutual love and understanding for it’s innocence. Humans are regulated by symbols and we should free them!
And what about the (other) Buddhist patterns? Do you feel people need to have a connection with Buddhism before they get symbols like that tattooed on them?
If you make a connection; thats great, but you don’t need to be Buddhist to own a Buddha, or Christian to own a Christ. If you are chosing to mark yourself with a swastika tattoo you should definately educate yourself to the many meanings, and be aware you may have to explain your tattoo to people who see it. Or rather; enlighten others, if you can. Information and opinions always begin at a very base level, and on most days I educate another person regarding the true meaning of swastika. Then…they tell another person….then they tell other people… The movement is spreading very quickly and positively online. I hope it continues. It’s a real people power movement. “Viva la swastika!”
Do you still have any bookings free for Eindhoven? If so, where can people contact you?
You can book appointments via my MySpace or Facebook, just get in touch and we can discuss your tattoo.
I still have any bookings free. If someone likes my work or likes to get some handpoking work done by me feel free to contact me via MySpace or Facebook.
Over MySpace or Facebook, search for Nica Lehead. You can contact me there or directly on the convention. I have a few things up already, but still time to do some more work.VIVA LA SWASTIKA!