You Can Use the Ashes of Dead People for Your Next Tattoo
Rest in pigment
We all know the old saying: Life’s a bitch and then you die, get cremated, mixed with tattoo ink, and implanted directly into the skin of a loved one. Wait, what?
Apparently, there’s a growing trend of memorializing the dead that ensures that those who’ve passed never leave your side—they literally become part of a tattoo. And despite being a bit extreme, it’s completely safe.
“There’s no worry of infection or spreading bacteria,” Diane Lange, a tattoo artist in New Jersey, tells the Philly Voice. “Once you heat the body [during cremation] to almost 1,800 degrees, you’ve killed anything that’s living in it.”
For the practice, Diane, who’s been tattooing for more than 30 years and has passed loved ones tattooed on her own body, adds one-half teaspoon of cremated human or animal remains to black tattoo ink, and proceeds to draw or inscribe a tat as per usual.
Diane owns a tattoo shop in Vineland, New Jersey, and says she’s not aware of many other shops that offers cremation-remains tat services. She says that many of her clients come to her from Philadelphia—she’s the only person at her shop who provides the service.
Philly Voice also spoke with Will Majors, another Philly tattoo shop owner, who says that they no longer offer the service after a messy little mishap involving the ashes.
“The remains actually spilled over and created not only a mess, but a state of panic for the family member,” Majors said. “To avoid such accidents from happening, our artists will generally turn down the request.”
Everyone deals with death differently. With the number of cremations outpacing the traditional burial method (and tattoos becoming more outlandish than ever), the demand for people wanting to use cremation remains as a part of tattoo ink is sure to rise.