Humble Beginnings

Artmageddon Tattoo Studio is the brain child of Dave and Yvonne, combining backgrounds in graphic design, marketing, executive administration and even clinical expertise to give rise to what would become affectionately know as the “apocalyptink front!” Coming from an artistic/graphic novel/design background lead Dave down the path of designing flash sheets for tattooists in his sunny homeland in Australia, and, as is the way of the world, one thing led to another… until he was trading his one off flash sheets for his tattooist apprenticeship, and the rest, as they say, is history…until he met Yvonne. (We wish we could say that their eyes met across a star light night, amid the crashing of drums and the exploding colours of fireworks, but alas, this was not the case! Unfortunately it was more shell suits than shooting stars!)

After becoming disillusioned with their respective careers, it was time to make a change. Many sleepless nights were spent brainstorming, burning the midnight oil making plans and hatching schemes for what would become their future. After numerous conversations, meetings and enough phone calls to keep the telecoms companies in business, Artmageddons future was quite literally, sealed in ink.

Fast forward 8 years, and if you pop into our Mill Street studio on any given day you will still find Yvonne and Dave, toiling away, but now accompanied by James, who stumbled upon tattooing by way of a stomach ulcer, and has never looked back! James is an accomplished tattooist, specialising in the bold bright neo-traditional colour work, delicate mandalas and everything in-between!

We don’t just tattoo you know! We are fully trained, licensed and insured to carry out body piercings too. Yvonne carried out her training with one of the longest established blade piercing training institutes in Europe and has been inundated ever since! When she isn’t running the desk or piercing the masses, Yvonne can now be found providing permanent make up treatments having completed her training in October 2019 – it’s all go you know.

It is always worth noting, that whilst we now occupy our lovely 3 floor studio on Mill Street, we could once be found on Chestergate, and were lucky enough to work with and be supported by Simon Howarth, who is no longer with us, but is never forgotten, and we are all the better for having been able to call him “friend”.

As you can see from the photo…we’re a very sensible bunch!

A Brief History of Tattoos

A Brief History of Tattooing

(Really Brief – This is a blog, not a book!)


Despite what you might think, tattooing is not new, not even in the forms and shapes that we know now, people have been tattooing and marking their bodies with permanent markings for millenia…there is evidence supporting tattooing in communities and early civilisations as early as 3299 BC!

Heard of Otzi? He was an Iceman mummy found in the Ötz valley in the Alps and dated from the 5th to 4th millennium BC, so tattoos have been part our human history almost since the very beginning.

The Ice Maiden was found to have a number of tattoos, one of them (Pictured below…content warning – mummified skin) was so well preserved that historians were able to clearly make out the design which has already been replicated (even on yours truly) many, many times. The Ice Maiden, Princess Ukok was found in the permafrost of Russia around 2500 years after her passing, with intact tattoos on her shoulders and fingers!

Historically tattoos have been used to denote status, promote healing, to allow those who have passed to recognise each other in the afterlife and even to mark slaves and criminals.

The word itself is thought to be derived from the Tahitian/Samoan/Polynesian word “tatau” meaning “to strike” although it was also described by Captain James Cook using the same word, but to describe the sound of the 2 implements used striking each other in rhythm. This onomatopoeic description came to be the first written description documenting tattooing, and was bought back to the western world in the late 1770’s and the rest, as they say, is history.

We have a long and sometimes uncomfortable history with tattoos that, even when it does make us question our capacity for humanity, should never be forgotten.

Ice Maiden Princess Ukok Siberian Oldest tattoo

Piercing Guns V's Needle Piercings

There is no shortage of people (author included – at age 3) that were taken to jewellers, chemists and even hairdressers to receive the very first step to grown up jewellery, our first ear piercing!

As with all things, time moves on and knowledge evolves, those “in the know” take more interest and things change, and body piercing is no exception. Years ago, piercing guns were the norm, and could be owned by anyone, but now we know better.

That isn’t to say that piercing guns aren’t still a thing, and they most certainly can still be purchased and used by anyone, but, to quote a very well-known movie… they “were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” And they long and short of it is, they shouldn’t.

Piercings carried out using guns (as found in a popular high street chain store also stocking yucky jewellery!) are quite simply a blunt force trauma. They are more prone to embedding, infection, soft tissue damage and migration.

The guns cannot be sterilised. It is impossible. The methods used for sterilising are incompatible with the material used to make the body of a piercing gun…no sterilised equipment means a far greater chance of infection.

Due to the “one size fits all” nature of the jewellery used in piercing guns, the recipients anatomy is not taken into account, meaning that jewellery that is too short can often be used and end up embedding, or sinking into the ear.

Or, you can find yourself a professional piercer that is trained in blade piercing. Simply using a piercing needle, or “blade” can help to avoid all of this! Needles are sterilised before use, and only used once, then destroyed – no chance of cross contamination there.

They are designed to be super sharp, so pass through the skin without causing excessive trauma, and are the same size as the jewellery used, meaning that there is less chance of foreign bodies being able to get into the piercing site. A professional piercer will also size the jewellery to fit each individual – what more could you ask for?