People getting into tattoo art for the first time will be faced with plenty of responsibilities and find that they will be picking up a new skill each day. Some people may think that all that is entailed in a tattooing career is the ability to produce fine tattoo art, being hygienic and providing a good service to customers. Whilst all of the above is true, there is much more than just simple creative talents. As a tattooist you are faced an abundant level of pressure and issues, which could go completely wrong if they were to make one wrong move.
Tattoo machines are just of the many responsibilities that come with tattooing. The tattoo gun was once a simple needle machine that distributed the lining and shading to the skin, forming the tattoo image. With a steady hand careful precision one was able to adorn a permanent and impressive artwork symbolising whatever it was they wanted the tattoo represent. As the tattoo guns have become much more than just a needle, keeping it clean, getting the job done quickly and less painfully is much easier now than it used to be.
Tattoo machines are developed using simple techniques and circuitry. This uses the same circuitry as the doorbell circuit, using a DC coil and spring points. They work well using a normal household current and have three basic components which are the base, sanitary tube and the mechanism. Each component have their own function and are structured very differently.
The base has the biggest component constitutes the bulk of the metal, with the front containing a round hole which holds the sanitary tube. Within the base are two coils of wire that are wrapped around an iron core, which very often looks like the handle of a tattoo gun. On top of the mechanism there are silver contact points, one of which is on a spring mechanism and the other on a screw. The spring is connected to the base component where a bar is then connected to the needle arm that is connected to the needles allowing it to move up and down inside the sanitary tube.
Connecting the volt power supply to the machine is a spring coiled U-cable, which is called a clip cord. This is so designed to move easily between the tattoo machines and remain in place so as not to cause sparks or fall out. The entire machine is built to be as safe as possible so as not cause any damage to anyone and work so that contact with water is possible. As the current is flowing through the coils and base, this will cause the coils to become electromagnetic.
This pulls down the bar, which in turn pulls down on the needles and opens up the points, that then turn the electro magnets off. The spring will then bring the bar back allowing the needles to move up and down, this is what makes the contact with the points and the whole process happens over and again. It becomes a cycle that allows for easy application onto the skin and a smooth fluid movement. The ink is drawn through the tube, loading the needles up and thus applying the tattoo effectively. The end of the sanitary is cut for easy rinsing and cleaning.
After each use the needles and tubes need to be sanitized, to prevent cross contamination and spread of disease or germs. As the needles are partially penetrating the skin, bleeding of the skin may occur and so it is vital for the tattoo artist to keep surfaces and equipment very clean. Getting into a habit of doing this daily will help prevent any problems.
Anna Stenning is an expert on using tattoo machines having researched and observed tattoo artists using them.