Wednesday, August 27, 2008

at long last, i am able to sit down and post some of the things that have been it is:

special thanks to Jason Copeman and Mike Schweigert for supporting the "tattooing to save babies" charity by placing the winning bids on the damascus bolties. i hope that the machines that they bought will bring them a lifetime of good karma and their good intentions (and cash) will save lots of babies. extra special thanks to ken and colleen motter for organizing the guys are awesome. we need more like you!

..well, henry got all of the stuff. i sent SIX big boxes of tattoo gear, books, shirts, flash...damn near a full shop for the iraqi tattooer dude. come to find out, he went "home on vacation" and never came back! i really appreciate everyone who sent magazines and other junk to send over there, and henry is over there for a good while longer, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed in hopes that he'll turn up again.

more special thanks to bob/jimmy whitlock and graham martin for their support by placing the winning bid on the iraq specials. the Special Operations Warrior Foundation received $1,170.00 on your behalf. so shines a good deed in a weary world.

the dude who made that sick poster of
the iraq machines, tony ezzell, sent me some pieces of steel plate that he cut off of a decomissioned iraqi tank from a tank graveyard over there. they are super cool...there's about 20 different khaki color layers of paint on em. they are going to make SICK bolt together machines. he also sent some coin and currency to dress them in. when i get a chance to make them, they'll go up for auction, with all of the money going to

make sure you check back for those. even if they aren't your favorite flavor, they'll still be super cool and have incredible prominence. for sure an heirloom with story of the time.

click on the picture to see the "war trophy registration" and the tank plates up close.


i bought a hydraulic press to start making my own damascus steel and mokume gane! i've forged my own damascus in the past with my little air powered hammer, but with this new tool and all of the help that i've been getting from chad nichols and a.c. metsala, the possiblities are endless. i have BIG ideas, and hopefully i'll get the results i'm looking for. i am determined to find a way to bring my usual bag of tricks into play.

i've been completely consumed by metal working for a long, long time, and this will take it to a new level. if i ever get the rest of my tools from storage in maryland, everything is going to change.

the press is on the truck and on it's way! STOKED.

i've still got PLENTY of stuff in my materials drawer to keep me busy while i am learning the subtleties of this new medium.

i have a lot of both devin thomas and sakmar mokume-gane, as well as a ton of eggerling, nichols, metsala, thomas and norris damascus steel in lots of different patterns, some brand new, some tried and true. i'm learning more and more as time goes by, and i am striving to make each project better than the last.

gallery/museum show with some super cool tattoo art. check out their myspace page for more info.
i sent 2 pairs of sick boltie machines for the show, as well as one of the all-damascus machines that i made for the workshop section on the TLC show "tattoo wars." for anyone who'd like to check out some of my newer machines in person, this would be the time to do it if you are in the area. i also loaned 2 of my shawn barber paintings to the show, and there will be lots of his other stuff there, too.

this is a sculpture that i made for the show. it has 50 zekonah frames, all set-up in a spiral fashion on a 24" tube with a 25-1/2", 11 magnum needle. these pictures were taken before it was finished, so the top machine had not been built yet. ironically, it ended up being one of my nicest running machines ever. i made it with ten dollar-bill coil covers and a fast, long, strong stroke. even with the efficiency of this machine, the extra weight of the HUGE needle bar, makes it sound like a mack truck with a bad clutch trying to get up to 60.

it will be hung in the gallery, with power supplied, so it will run all day, every day! stand back and keep your kids away, because this is a live exhibit with actual needles!

hopefully i will get pictures of this thing installed at the show soon, and when i do, i will update this section. worth the price of admission just to see this monstrositiy!


i've been trying to get the latest batch of production machines out the door forever! they are 99% finished and just need to be signed and numbered. this is the best batch of ACJ's yet, and they have the new rear binding posts that were part of the original design. the older models had rear binders that were tight together. they will get them early next week for sure.

i've go t a big bin of zekonah shaders right behind...2-3 weeks at the most.


this pair has polished, bio-meched and patinaed copper sideplates and hardware with brown heat-colored baseplates and spring-shelves. green sparkle over dollar-bill coil-covers seal the deal.

this pair has blued, metsala "aztec snow" mosaic damascus sideplates, armature bars and binding posts.


this machine was another tribute to Paul Rogers. it has some super cool metsala damascus.

thanks to rich duenas for his support for the PAUL ROGERS TATTOO RESEARCH CENTER. $100 of the sale of this machine was donated to the PRTRC.

this pair was made out of the test cuts from the vector program for the "production damascus" bolt-together machines. a couple things were changed before the first run, and then i decided that i wouldn't be doing any more.

welded, sculpted, polished, mech-etched, heat-colored steel.

"MOKUME & BLACK" pair. scuplted
devin thomas "raindrop" mokume-gane.

carved bronze workhorse irons "roundback" pair. only 6 of these blanks were cast in bronze.

i apologize to those who have been waiting patiently for their repair/retunes. they are my going to be shipping out early next week. i've got 23 ill machines that will be better than new on return, in house.

if anyone reading this is considering making the switch to at&t just to get an iphone...DON'T DO IT! absolutely horrible, non-flexible corporate policy. they don't give a f*ck about you. and as part of apple's exclusivity agreement with them,apple doesn't give a f*ck about you either.

i made the switch to get my iphone, paid my $300, i had to wait a week to get it. when i picked it up and signed my 2 year contract for way more than i was paying with my other provider, i went ahead and ordered another iphone for my wife. 2 days later, had to jump into a swimming pool to save my 1-1/2 year old, gibson, with the phone in my pocket.

of course, i didn't care at all about having to replace my phone, as i was able to save my brainer! so i call the at&t store the next day to see if i had to wait another week to buy a new phone for $300, or if they had any sort of "hero" expidition program so i could get it sooner. "well, mr. cain, we actually have them in stock now, but you will have to pay full price." FULL PRICE?! so now they want me to pay $500, to replace a $300 phone that i had for two days. there was no option for insurance, they do not repair "water damage," and when i told them that i just wanted to exercise my 30 day "buyer's remorse" to cancel my contract, they told me that i would have to pay the $175 early termination fee because the phone was damaged and i wasn't able to return it. so...bottom line, over $650 for TWO DAYS of phone service!

i was NOT looking for anything for free, i was NOT looking for a deal. i just wanted to replace the wet $300 phone with a dry $300 phone. i spent the better part of 2 days on the phone with close to a dozen "customer service" reps from both at&t and apple, and they were passing the buck back and forth like they were playing hot potato. not one of them was sympathetic, not one of them could do a thing for me.

i would jump in the pool a million times over to save my son and never once think about what was in my pocket, but i will never sign another contract with at&t, and i am even starting to consinder going back to PC on my next computer, even though i love my mac.

welcome to corporate america. take a number. get in line. bend over.

and on that note...
hopefully i'll be able to post more soon. i'm sure there is some stuff that i left out. it's been a CRAZY month. i don't remember ever being busier...or ever believing that i could've been any busier than i've been in the past!

thanks y'all!