A wildland firefighter called to California to suppress major fires took a break to come get a second tattoo, this one a tribute to the strength of his heritage and the courage of his profession. A Celtic cross fills the center, surrounded by weaves of knotwork that fill the arm and continue with the tail wrapping to the inside of the arm.
A sweet heart centers a flowing feather. Lightness of spirit, flight and freedom, in a delicate tattoo. For this woman it was a way to always remember how the feathers tied in her horse's mane float in the air when they ride out on the trails.
This band was worked on a metal nose protector strip on an ancient Saxon war helmet found in a burial mound in England.
Very much a traditional Celtic knot-work band, it shows how the medieval cultures clashing for dominance in the island we now know as the United Kingdom shared their art styles and love of intricate ornamentation.
Today a father came in to have his second daughter's footprint placed on his chest, playing yin-yang footsie with the print of his first daughter that I installed many years ago. In addition we placed a tiny Navajo Naja symbol in the center of his chest. It is an exact size replication of the one he has worn for 25 years, a gift from a beloved cousin who committed suicide. The Naja symbol is found in various forms throughout the world, and is a central part of the squash blossom necklaces of the Navajo. It is seen in Paleolithic art, and is even mentioned in the Book of Judges as an ornament worn around the necks of Moorish camels and on the browband of horses and mules to ward off the evil eye. It is thought to have been brought by the Moors to Spain, then to Mexico by Spaniards, then with Mexicans up to the Navajo.