West Knoxville body art studio feels like a spa. It features Tebori or hand poke tattoos applied one dot at a time.
Tattoo technique does not use a machine and allows the artist to apply ink one dot at a time.
Emily Stroud and Kevin Umberger
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
00:00 Here's a story for your business and Knoxville is gone
00:02 upscale in its body art studio it's a studio where you
00:06 won't even Medicare and you won't get a massage. We have
00:10 a very spot like environments we try to be more relaxing
00:14 in a little bit calming and other studios can be welcome
00:16 to work this wave body -- Owned by a long time
00:20 professional body pierced -- with explored other forms of art I
00:24 begin paying eighteen and really fell in love with doing pointless
00:27 and you can see Luke Bryan thomas' -- to listen art
00:30 is made up of thousands of tiny dot. Better evolved into
00:34 an interest in temple -- tattoo also called. He and code
00:38 tattooed with a can -- tattooing and it's basically created one
00:41 dot at a time. Because I'm I'm just push them one
00:45 at a time like that so I'm using just a series
00:48 of dots to really create that overall image. Here that. No.
00:53 That's because this type of tattooing. Does say he's a machine
00:56 most people use an electric machine and that machine is going
00:59 to drive the needle up and down into the scanned him
01:01 but the pigment into the -- Com I take that factor
01:04 out of that now the machine is actually my hand you
01:06 second my hand to drive a needle into the -- It
01:09 sounds much more painful than actually as it's actually a little
01:12 bit more gentler on the skin less intense. No complaints from
01:15 Fletcher Burkhardt. Elbow is under the needle brain is focused concentrating
01:20 on every precision -- He says very few people in the
01:24 US practiced -- taxiing. Something he learned about only a few
01:28 years ago. Stumbled across to people online over in the UK
01:31 they were actually doing all by hand they were using the
01:33 traditional tattoo machine you can see the individual dot didn't Fletcher
01:37 stack to. Bryan Thomas for first geometric images like this. This
01:42 photo -- shows even more examples of his work. We traditional
01:46 tattooing your lines are going to be a lot more crisp
01:48 and solid everything's a little more sculpted. With a handheld tattoo
01:52 mean it's a little bit softer on the edges comments little
01:55 more organic in nature feeling that organic process is not fast
02:00 with the machines they're running and hitting them the scan hundreds
02:02 of times a second. My hand just doesn't move that quickly.
02:06 So it's definitely a longer progression. A lot of the pieces
02:09 that I work on take many sessions to complete it is.
02:11 Body art created by heat and one die at any time.
02:17 His hand must just -- Worn out I accident -- risk
02:21 for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome kind of checking -- he second --
02:24 special exercises hasn't the strength needed to do that. Amazing.
(WBIR-West Knoxville) It's a studio where you won't get a manicure or massage."We have a very spa-like environment. We try to be more relaxing and a little bit more calming than other studios can be," Bryan Thomas said.
Welcome to Born This Way Body Arts. It is owned by a longtime professional body piercer who has explored other forms of art, Bryan Thomas.
"I began painting and really fell in love with doing pointillism," he said.
His pointillism art displayed on the wall is made up of thousands of tiny dots. That evolved into an interest in Tebori tattoo also called hand poke tattoo.
"With the hand poke tattooing it's basically created one dot at a time because I'm just pushing one at a time like that. I'm using just those series of dots to really create that overall image," he explained.
The rooms where the work happens are quiet because hand poke tattooing doesn't use a machine.
"Most people use an electric machine and that machine is going to drive the needle up and down into the skin to put the pigment into the skin. I take that factor out of that. Now the machine is actually my hand. I use my hand to drive the needle into the skin. It sounds much more painful than it actually is. It's actually a little more gentle on the skin and less intense," he said.
No complaints from Fletcher Burkhardt whose elbow was under the needle.
Bryan remained focused, concentrating on every precision move.
He said very few people in the US practice hand poke tattooing, something he learned about only a few years ago.
"I stumbled upon some people online in the UK who were actually doing it all by hand. They were not using a traditional tattoo machine," he remembered.
Bryan Thomas prefers geometric images. His photo book shows even more examples of his work.
"With traditional tattooing your lines are going to be a lot more crisp and solid. Everything is going to look a little more sculpted. With hand poke tattooing it's a little bit softer around the edges. It's a little more organic in nature feeling," he said.
That organic process is not fast.
"With the machines they are running and hitting the skin at hundreds of times a second. My hand just doesn't move that quickly. So it's definitely a longer progression. A lot of the pieces I work on take many sessions to complete," he said.
It is body art created by hand one dot at a time.
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