Short Course on Art – Covering The Basics

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All About Leather Tattoo Art

An art that express one’s individuality is defined as a tattoo. Tattoos are used in the Polynesian culture as an indication of their status in their hierarchical society. The various statuses include identities, genealogy, personalities and the rank in the society. Not only is the use of tattoos by Polynesians an art but also quite spiritual to them. There tattoos are symbolic as one can see picture representation of humans, animals, birds and flowers. Depending on the rank of a person in the society, geometric designs are drawn on a person and have different meanings. Polynesian tattoos are not tribal tattoos even though they have a tribal nature.

Tattoos by Polynesians are treated with respect and honor as they embrace their traditions and history. Representation of the elements of water, fire, earth and wind are the symbols of Polynesian tattoos. The shell symbol represents peace and fertility. Sea shells specifically represent protection and intimacy while turtle shells signifies peace and wellness. Representation of courage and power is through the tattoo symbol of shark teeth.

Showing of courage and power by Polynesians is done by getting a tattoo of a full set of shark teeth. Shark teeth is represented by patterns of triangles and is done as multiple rows of shark teeth that show adaptability and bravery. The next tattoo symbol is a spearhead which represents the power of the individual. Apart from representing power the spearhead tattoo symbol also represents courage and dominance.

Grandness and riches are symbolized by the sun in the Polynesian culture however in other areas it symbolizes rebirth while its rays signify brilliance, eternity, brilliance and leadership. The final destination or death is represented by the ocean in the Polynesian culture. The ocean is also considered as their source of food, fertilityand homeland of ancestors apart from the final destination. After injecting the skin with a needle that is made from shark teeth, bird bone, turtle shell and bamboo its then added ink formulated from plant-based liquid. Candlenut oil, sugar cane juice and coconut milk are examples of ink formulated plant based liquid.

Planning and cleaning, applying design to the leather and practicing tattooing with other items are the main processes involved in leather tattooing. Under planning and cleaning the first sub step is determining the design. An individual’s imagination is the limit when determining the design although if starting out a simple line drawing will do.

The surface of the leather is cleaned by rubbing alcohol as the next sub step. Alcohol rubbing removes oils and grease from the leather while at the same time sterilizing it. Stencil gel is used to transfer the design to the surface of the leather when the design has already been outlined.
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