As I mentioned above (here), Melanie crossed my path on a day last week when I had been having some bad luck with inkspotting.
However, when I saw her on 34th Street across from Macy*s, I had to talk to her about her tattoos.
What caught my eye first was her chest piece, two traditional Sailor Jerry designs, including a near replica of the neck piece sported by Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail.
She told me an artist named Kenny up in Kingston, New York had inked the chest piece, but instead of photographing that, she offered up her stomach piece instead:
The reason for her offering this other piece is that it was tattooed by the artist she is currently working with, Cookie, at Pop's Tattoo Emporium in Kingston.
Melanie got her first tattoo at sixteen and fell in love with the traditional style. When I asked her how many she had, she had the typical response of the heavily-inked: she wasn't sure.
The guns and roses along the waistline are a traditional motif and part of her desire for ink is to fill in space, to keep working with the body's canvas. The sheriff's badge exemplifies this, as she noted it was added as an afterthought.
The "City of Sin" identification on the badge is consistent with the piece's theme, and it artistically brings the whole tattoo together, centering the focus at the ends of the gun barrels, and providing a stronger sense of balance in the design.
Thanks so much to Melanie for sharing her traditional holsters with us here on Tattoosday!