Baxter's Tattoo Blog's Daily Blog

Tattoo Road Trip Teamed Up With Vanishing Tattoo!


If you are a Tattoo Road Trip Directory shop, you are now connected via Vanishing Tattoo (the oldest tattoo site on the Internet… with a readership in the millions). We are now their official Shop Directory! Want to be part of this exposure for your shop? Just click the banner and see!

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Written by Baxter

April 24th, 2014 at 8:50 am

Posted in Directory

You Are Invited to Free Barbecue, Blues and a Cruise


Mary Gardner and I will be there with copies of “Tattoo Road—The Best of Oregon.” Click HERE for info and directions (Portland, Oregon). Event is hosted (for over two decades) by Mary Jane Haake of Dermigraphics Tattoo and Dermal Source Tattoo Supply. Invite is for our tattooed friends and their families.

Note: Click to see big image of BBQ chicken.


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Written by Baxter

April 22nd, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Announcements

Bob Baxter in Concert-Boulevard Music, Culver City, California


Click photo for concert information.

ferguson guitar 1

Baxter (with big hair) and Doc Watson, on Baxter’s Guitar Workshop CBS TV Show, 1975


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Written by Baxter

April 21st, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Events

NYC Easter Parade a Bust

Maury Englander 1Maury Englander 2MAURY’S NEIGHBORHOOD

NYC Easter Parade turned out to be a bust; too cold for most people to show much skin. Except for these two twin brothers who were separated at birth and met for the first time on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Mark it down as just another Easter miracle!

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Written by Baxter

April 21st, 2014 at 2:35 pm

A Pirate’s Isle Tattoo Studio—New Smyrna Beach, Florida


Will Arney’s A Pirates Isle Tattoo, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, was voted Reader’s Choice for Best Tattoo Studio, the second year in a row, at the Stars of the South Awards with the Daytona Beach News Journal! Arney also won Second Place for best Chestpiece at this year’s 2013 Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. To top it all off, Will also won the readers choice award for the Best Tattoo Artist for the last two years in a row as well.

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

April 21st, 2014 at 8:32 am

The Dangers and Rewards of Piercings


I ran across this article by Sarah Klein at Huntington Post. I thought you might find it interesting, since a great number of tattoo shops offer the service. Back when I ran Skin&Ink, we pretty much stayed away from piercing articles and photos, because, except for using the body as the vehicle for the “art form,” I never thought piercing was related to tattooing in any significant way. It isn’t especially artistic (placing tiny surgical steel do-dads in the shape of a triangle isn’t exactly a Filip Leu dragon) and it doesn’t involve illustrative skills. But a lot of tattooed people are pierced, so here’s the story. By the way, when I researched photos of pierced people, I chose the ones that didn’t turn my stomach. Some are extremely grotesque and unnecessary, which is why I don’t display those kind of images. Not to worry: I’m sure you can view extreme piercing photos to your hearts contest by logging onto Google and typing in “piercings.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Despite what your grandma thinks of kids these days, piercing is nothing new. Bedazzling the ears dates back thousands of years. Testament to the fact that everything old is new again: Dangling, chandelier-style earrings were particularly popular in the 18th century, the Chicago Tribune reported. One of the oldest mummies ever discovered, Otzi the Iceman, had stretched ear lobes, according to the BBC. Nose piercing is mentioned in the Bible.

aqwBut just because it’s been around for ages and has only grown more and more socially acceptable in the Western world, doesn’t mean we have all the answers. Whether you’re in the market for something shiny or still nursing your latest addition, whether you’re pierced as cultural tradition or as a unique form of self-expression, here are a few facts you might not have known about piercings.

1. Just 14 percent of people have piercings somewhere other than their ear lobes, according to a 2006 study co-authored by board-certified dermatologist Amy J. Derick, M.D. And only 7 percent have a piercing somewhere other than their ear entirely, according to a 2012 Harris Interactive poll.

2. There is some form of complication in up to 35 percent of piercings. A 1998 study is still frequently cited in estimates of ear piercing complications. The study found that 35 percent of nurses surveyed at a major Midwestern hospital who had ear piercings had reported some complication. Major complications were reported less than 1 percent of the time, and minor infection accounted for the majority of the issues. “You can get infection when you’re actually getting the piercing,” says Derick, who is also a clinical instructor of dermatology at Northwestern University, if the piercer doesn’t wear gloves or isn’t using clean instruments, “or later, in a piercing that’s already been done but didn’t heal well.”corset_piercing_close_up_by_deviantkitty13

3. You can be allergic to your piercing. Jewelry containing nickel, cobalt or white gold can cause allergic reactions, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). “Nickel is a common allergen,” says Derick, and any reaction would usually go away shortly after removing the piercing, she says. Surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium or 14- or 18-karat gold shouldn’t cause problems, according to the AAD.

4. Don’t consider it a trial run. If you find yourself in a piercing parlor with the cavalier attitude that, hey, you can always take your piercing out, Derick suggests you reconsider. Yes, she says, you can take the jewelry out, but healing flawlessly is a different story. Scarring, bumps, depressions or holes may remain even after you remove the piercing, she says. Not what you bargained for.

5. A piercing is technically trauma. It’s a wound — and a little bit of swelling and redness is all part of the body’s natural healing response and doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infected, says jewelry designer and retailer Maria Tash, whose company Maria Tash Inc. provides piercing services at two New York City locations. “We see more redness due to harsh [cleaning] products” than from infection, she says.

The body works hard to heal all wounds, piercings or not, and doesn’t need much help from you other than keeping your jewelry clean. In some cases, the body will interpret a new piece of jewelry as a foreign body, like having a thorn stuck in your thumb. If it rejects the piercing, it’s essentially trying to “spit out” that thorn, says Derick.

male-diamond-piercing6. There’s an art to it. “There’s an art to piercing, to do it well,” says Tash, who recently trained Harrison Ford in preparation for his piercing of Jimmy Fallon’s ear. “The truth is, to do it well is a lot more complicated.” Yes, a sterile procedure is of utmost importance, but don’t forget jewelry is typically worn to improve appearances. Placement of a piercing requires more thought than a “let’s just throw a dart at it” kind of attitude, she says. It’s also for this reason that Tash recommends not piercing an infant’s ears. Not only is he or she likely to squirm and cry, but the ear lobe is not yet fully developed, and what was once centered and flattering as a young child might look off as an adult.

7. Piercings in certain areas take longer to heal than others. You’re not imagining it. The greater the blood flow to a certain area, the faster it will heal — and the less vulnerable it will be to infection, Dr. Joseph Adrian Tyndall, M.D., of Brooklyn Hospital Center told ABC News. Ear lobes, tongues and lips have some of the fastest healing times, says Tash, at four to six weeks, thanks to their high blood flow, or vascularity. Cartilage on the outer ear or nose takes longer to heal. That doesn’t mean a nose piercing will hurt for months on end, says Tash, just that it still requires careful cleaning during that time.

8. There is such a thing as over-cleaning. Speaking of cleaning: The aim is to assist the body’s nature healing process, not derail it. Light cleaning twice a day will typically be sufficient, says Tash, with a very mild product. Sterile saline wound wash is the best bet, she says, which will irrigate a new piercing without causing reactions in people with sensitive skin, like iodine-based products used in the past sometimes did.

9. Ointment is out. You’d put it on a cut, so why not put some antibiotic ointment on your new piercing? Turns out, this thinking is dated, says Tash. Ointment doesn’t rinse the piercing like a saline wash will, plus, dust or other irritants in the air might actually stick to that goo, finding their way into the piercing later, she says.piercings20tattoo20convention20frankfurt

10. Only some states regulate the piercing industry. There’s no federal regulation of the piercing industry, and some states don’t have any legislation on the books. Yes, confirms Tash, that means that just about anybody can open up a piercing parlor, so it falls on us as consumers to make good choices about our health and safety. Check reviews online, but be sure to visit piercing shops in person, too. Take a look around at how obviously clean (or not!) the space is, and ask the staff some questions that can help you gauge how knowledgable they are, she suggests. See how comfortable you are in the space in general. Tattooing requires a license, but piercing doesn’t, says Tash, which drives many to a doctor’s office, where you’re certain (we hope!) to get a sterile procedure — but perhaps not the most flattering one, she says.

11. A certain complication varies among populations. In some instances, thickened scar tissue can form on cartilage on the back of the ear or on the nose, for example, says Derick. This piercing complication, called a keloid, is typically very difficult to treat. Keloids often run in families, and are more common in people of African, Asian or Hispanic descent. Keloids are also more common in people between the ages of 10 and 20, according to the National Institutes of Health.

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Written by Baxter

April 20th, 2014 at 8:39 am

Posted in Commentary

Building the Best Tattoo Shop Directory


Vanishing Tattoo‘s Vince Hemingson interviews Bob Baxter about the Tattoo Road Trip Tattoo Shop Directory… and why all the best shops have joined and new ones are joining every day.


Bob Baxter


Bob Baxter has been a writer, editor, photographer, musician and father for most of his adult life. With three tattoo artist sons (Jesse Tuesday, Riley Baxter and Noah Baxter), Baxter was hired, in 1997, by Larry Flynt to head Flynt’s seven-year-old tattoo magazine, Skin&Ink. An author of over twenty books, newspaper columnist and television host, Baxter turned around the faltering publication and, ultimately, guided the magazine to a prestigious Folio Magazine Editorial Excellence Award (the magazine equivalent of the Oscars), the first for a tattoo magazine and the first ever for Flynt. Enlisting the top writers, photographers, historians and collectors of the art form, Baxter ran Skin&Ink for fifteen years. After leaving the magazine, Baxter’s wife, Mary, suggested he turn his attention to an Internet magazine, and Tattoo Road Trip was born. Baxter and Mary operate the website and maintain a small family farm, in Hood River, Oregon, a stone’s throw from the mighty Columbia.

I was fascinated by Bob’s growing Tattoo Directory and how he’s been using it to not only highlight the best tattoo artists and tattoo shops in the business, but also to educate and protect consumers, many of whom don’t know the first thing about tattoos, but have the impulsive nature that comes with youth.

Question: Bob, what made you think there was a need for another Tattoo Shop Directory on the Internet?

Answer: I wanted to create a website that had the same high standards of quality and ethics as I established with Skin&Ink magazine over fifteen years. My first thought was to make it the best Directory by including every shop in the universe.  (Click for the complete interview.)

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Written by Baxter

April 19th, 2014 at 8:07 am

Posted in Announcements

Color Tattoo Contest Finalists and Voting Booth!


Thanks to everyone who entered the color tattoo contest. Not everyone made the finals, but the ones who did would love to have your vote, so they can win a copy of “Tattoo Road Trip—The Best of Oregon” or “Tattoo Road Trip—The Best of the Southwest” (out in May). Remember, the voting booth is calibrated to accept only one vote per person… so vote wisely. The voting booth is open for two weeks and closes on Friday, May 2nd.


• Robert Rodriguez, Murda Ink 3, North Babylon, New York

• Andy Clemer

• Danny Gordey, Ink Machine Tattoo, Edmonton, Alberta

• Brandon Breedon

• Shaun Nel, King’s Avenue Tattoo, Massapequa, New York

• Gianni Orlandini from Grosseto, Italy

• Javi, Tattooed Theory Customs, Hialeah Gardens, Florida

• Anthony Hunter, Victorian Tattoo, Honolulu, Hawaii

• Kenny Reynolds, Big Bear Tattoo, St. Peters, Missouri

• Bob Bayer, Big Bear Tattoo, St. Peters, Missouri

• Chris O’Donnell, King’s Avenue Tattoo, Massapequa, New York

• Julio Arroyo, Victorian Ink, Elizabeth, New Jersey

Note: Click images to enlarge.


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Written by Baxter

April 19th, 2014 at 7:31 am

Posted in Contests,Vote Today!

Iron Buzz Tattoos—Mumbai, India


The latest addition to our International Tattoo Shop Directory is Iron Buzz Tattoos, from Mumbai, India. Mumbai, also known as Bombay, is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, second most populous metropolitan area in India, and the fifth most populous city in the world, with an estimated city population of 18.4 million and metropolitan area population of 20.7 million (as of 2011). Along with the neighbouring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai is situated on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbor. It is also the wealthiest city in India, with the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia. Here are some examples of tattoo artistry by owner/artist Eric Jason Dsouza. Pretty righteous ink, if you ask me.

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

April 18th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

King’s Avenue Tattoo—Massapequa, New York


What a roster of artists! It looks more like a list of the featured talent at a top tattoo convention, but no. This bodacious crew is busy making art at King’s Avenue Tattoo, in Massapequa, New York. Check this out: Mike Rubendall, Grez, Matt Beckerich, Justin Weatherholtz, Brian Paul, Shaun Nel, Jason Tyler Grace, Frankie Caraccioli, Chris O’Donnell, Phil Szlosek, Matt Bagwell, Chick D and Rose Hardy… and that’s not to mention visiting guest artists such as Timothy Hoyer, Henning Jorgensen, Juan Puente, Tim Hendricks and Kat Von D! Clearly two very happening shops. Here’s some samples of the various artists’ work:

Note: Click images to enlarge.

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Written by Baxter

April 18th, 2014 at 10:31 am