Ash Ink

Have you ever given thought to what you might want done with your remains after you die? How about any heirlooms you might want to leave to the family? Why not become an heirloom for your family, a nice tattoo design for your family to remember you, made of you! That’s right you could will your family to tattoo your remains into their skin, what better way do you know to live on in the hearts and dermis’ of those dearest to you.

Before tattooing current rise to prominence in popular culture and its corresponding renaissance, tattooists made their own inks, needles, even machines, some still do. Due to the legal grey area of tattooing in many places, artists would go to supply stores buying the raw materials needed to make their equipment. Powdered pigments would be added to alcohols, glycerin, or Listerine. Carbon Ash was sometimes used for black pigment; in prison nothing but paper ash mixed with water and evaporated to the desired shade. I suppose at some point some enterprising individual thought why can’t I mix other ashes in, it could also have its roots in more ritualistic tattooing. Regardless the practice is on the rise within the tattoo world as more artists become willing to do it and the practice itself becomes better known.

The process is as simple as mixing a small sampling of cremation ashes in with the tattoo ink, the trick is filtering the remains to a fine enough powder to be fully dispersed throughout the tattoo ink. With the addition of a new component to the ink there is an additional risk of rejection but as the process to cremate involves temperatures of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, the additional carbon will most likely be completely sanitary and risk of rejection is low.

So the next time you’re wondering how to best remember your family, rather than put them in a coffee can, or scatter them into the ocean, you should put them in your skin. Now when people ask for the story, you can tell them all about how that tattoo doesn’t just represent, but is Grandpa Phil.