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Thoughts on putting human ashes into tattoo ink.

Hey guys,

A co worker has been asked by a customer if she would be able to put a friends ashes into the ink of the memorial tattoo she wants done. We've never been asked about this before and after doing some research online I haven't found much in the way of reliable information.

I'm wondering if anyone could tell me their thoughts/experiences if this has been asked of them before. I'd personally be reluctant to do it as I don't know the ins and outs of cremation and I'm worried about a potentially higher risk of infection.

Any advice would be very appreciated,

Thanks,

Morgan


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RE:Thoughts on putting human ashes into tattoo ink.

I promise you this is not a good idea.
Though the meaning is monumentally important and the significance is undeniable - it's simply not safe.

I, for the sake of getting a clear answer, attempted a memorial tattoo with her father's ashes. All I have to say is it wont kill you - but damn does the skin not like that shit at all lol. The healing process was frightening and she was a good friend so I was very active throughout her healing process. After paying close care to it - it looked alight at best. The color was not fully saturated and her skin had a very shiny texture to it - like a scar.

My recommendation is that if you DO find someone willing to do it. Just don't. You're putting burned bone particles INTO your skin. You may as well get the tattoo then rub ashes all over it like butter. You're smothering an open wound with, basically, a filthy object. It's going to infect.

Mind you I only used a mere pinch of ash to a large full scale black and grey memorial.

Wish you the best. Good Luck!
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RE:Thoughts on putting human ashes into tattoo ink.

Hey, all. Here are two things you may find helpful. First, nobody has mentioned the fact that the small amount of ash you wish to use in the ink needs to be autoclaved, just as you would other supplies. Second, you will find that older ashes will not be as fine, where the ashes that have been recently creamated are finer. Even so, you will find it best to refine it even more, we use a mortar and pestle. Then, in a separate, sterile ink bottle, add the ink an extremely small amount of ash, mix well. The amount of ash should only be minimal. You will find that most clients do this as a symbolic gesture, so don't feel like you have to saturate the ink with ash. Hope this helps.
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RE:Thoughts on putting human ashes into tattoo ink.

I had my husband's ashes mixed with ink for a memorial tattoo over two years ago. I carefully chose the shop and the artist for this. All artists at the shop are certified in "Blood Borne" and "Air Borne" education, as well as the shop being certified with the L.A. County Health dept and OSHA.
The shop adheres to strict sterilization practices. I personally ground the ashes down to an ultra-fine powder with a mortar and pestle. The shop autoclaved the ashes prior to mixing them with the ink.
I have had absolutely no problems with my tattoo. I love it and am very proud of it. Sure, I was nervous about this, but I am so glad I did it. Two and a half years later, it is still awesome!
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RE:Thoughts on putting human ashes into tattoo ink.

Growing up, the main form of ceremonial burial was to cremate the bodies of those who had passed, before mixing those ashes into ink and having those who knew the deceased tattoo that ink into one's flesh. I'm coated in tattoos, and the ink in and of itself has a history. My big brother was coated in tattoos made from ink comprised of the ashes of those who died before him, and when he died he was cremated, and those ashes were made into ink, just like everyone before him. We were all coated head to toe heavily in tattoos. The ink of my tattoos are made from those ashes, and in those ashes, by proxy, are the ashes of all of those who came before me. When I die, I will be cremated and the cycle will continue. It's a cultural thing, and it's worthy of respect just as much as any other form of burial is. Growing up, tattoos were a symbol of maturity. Those who were young in age or at heart had few if any tattoos, and those who had aged were covered from head to toe, that includes face tattoos. The ink used to make those tattoos were made primarily of human ashes, the ashes of those who came before you. Those who were young at heart and had lost few people throughout history had fewer tattoos, and vice versa.
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