I love the simplicity of Emily Malice’s tattoo’s and in particular her “mouths”. Since I make ice cream for a living and as my “day job”, I thought a piece inspired by her mouth tattoos licking an ice cream cone would be perfect!
I also thought what better medium to do the piece on but a piece of tattoo “fake skin” or practice skin normally used to practice the art of tattooing on. The medium is for lack of better terms, a pain in the ass to embroider on and does not allow for many mistakes due to the fact that when piercing the material it can split. So, I drew my image on tracing paper, lightly sewed the image to the practice skin and embroidered right through the paper. I did not transfer the image with transfer paper, which would have been easier because the medium would not work on the practice skin.
I also used Krylon Metallic Gold spray paint to shade the hoops a nice gold tone.
I stretched the finished piece on the hoop when finished and trimmed the edges with good fabric scissors for a smooth edge on the back. Stretched on on the hoop, the piece actually looks amazingly clean and sharp. I love the skin “fabric” and will be using it in the future for other tattoo-inspired pieces!
Making progress with the Dragon Tattoo and now I can visualize the entire project. I am still hand stenciling in the design work and will interpret it as I go. So far so good and I am happy with the progress.
My first large embroidery piece that I will be documenting along the way is my back piece. This large tattoo represents a milestone in my life and I have waited a long time to do it. It connects to a large Koi piece on my thigh. The story goes in an ancient tale of a huge school of golden koi swimming upstream the Yellow River in China. Gaining strength by fighting against the current, the school glimmered as they swam together through the river. When they reached a waterfall at the end of the river, many of the koi turned back, letting the flow of the river carry them away.
The remaining koi refused to give up. Leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall to no avail. Their efforts caught the attention of local demons, who mocked their efforts and heightened the waterfall out of malice. After a hundred years of jumping, one koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. The gods recognized the koi for its perseverance and determination and turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.
Many of us struggle along the way on our journey through this life we are given. I have had many struggles and continue to. But, now that I am in my 40’s, I feel as though I can tackle my demons and I am proud of the woman I have become. My Koi represents my son Cole and his struggles as well. Never giving up, never allowing his learning disabilities to get the best of him. My dragon represents my son Rohan who has also tackled his fair share of hard knocks, including heart surgery at the tender age of 2 weeks old. He was born in the year of the Golden Dragon, 2000. This piece, both the actual tattoo and the embroidery, will take months to finish because I will be multitasking with other pieces and living life:). Hope you enjoy the journey of my progress.
I blew up the picture taken of my tattoo and traced it with a fine black marker on transparent tracing paper. I then flipped the image and traced the image again with a hot iron transfer pencil I would definitely do differently next time! It did not transfer the image well onto the fabric and after ironing it, it looked smudgy. I had to then go ahead and “eyeball” the image and hand draw the parts I thought I could see. Luckily I am an “ok” artist and was able to draw it myself. I will try a black graphite transfer paper I used to use when designing jewelry back in the day next time that I purchased through Amazon. And so it begins….