Today the sun is shining in my studio and spring is definitely in the air. After such a long bleak winter it is so uplifting! I hope the sun is shining where you are and bringing in some warmth and joy to your world.
Time at the studio has been scarce this month as the I have been focusing on getting fit after developing a minor back problem that developed from tattooing and spending time working on the muddle my accounts have grown into over the past two and a half years. It's strange to finally have had the time to focus on these problems and it has really made me rethink my approach to life and work. And it does feel lovely to let the work me and home me blend together a little more. It feels like a step towards a more balanced life.
At the studio we have been busy putting up lights and making the bathroom lovely. I am so lucky to work with such a clever and enthusiastic group of artists! Freya has volunteered to take over the decoration of the bathroom and we are looking forward to showing off her work next week when we reopen. I have also been replanting the window boxes and showing a little love to the sadly lonely studio plants. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
As one of the leaders of Nottingham's 5 Star Tattoo Hygiene and Safety Accreditation Scheme we take our cross-contamination policy very seriously. With the onslaught of Covid-19 and in response to the Government's new Recovery Strategy published on the 11th of May 2020 (here and address provided below), the team at Vellum Tattoo have put together a plan to ensure the safety and health of our clients when we eventually reopen.
Firstly, as you may be aware, the Government has currently notified us that the earliest date that retail shops, which may include Tattoo studios, may be able to open is the 4th of July, and, that this date is contingent on the state of the virus and it's containment. Whilst we are preparing for this opening date we obviously cannot guarantee that we will be allowed to open then, and so we are contacting all our clients who are currently booked with us to rearrange their bookings for dates after the 4th of July. Our artist are now taking new bookings for after this date. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact us by email, Facebook or Instagram
We have listed below the actions that we are undertaking to ensure that we meet the guidelines set out by the Government and in some areas we have chosen to go above and beyond these guidelines. We know that Tattooing and Piercing is an often overlooked industry and the regulations that cover it are commonly set at a lower standard than we believe is right for a cosmetic procedure (for further information about this please check out our 'How to Spot if Your Tattooist is Hygienic' article here. ). There are and will be many amazing tattoo studios out there who will also be taking these precautions and you will be able to find out what they are doing on their websites and social media feeds. I always advise you do this before visiting a tattoo studio - especially under the current restrictions.
The list below is subject to change and we will be contacting all of our clients before their appointments to check that they are well and to clarify any changes in procedure that they need to be aware of.
Finally, if anyone has any questions or comments please leave them in the comment section below or contact us directly by email!
Just like safe sex isn't about distrusting your partner but about all of their previous partners, so too checking your tattooist for good hygiene doesn't mean you think they have an infection - but how can you be sure of every previous customer?
When you go to get a tattoo you're probably looking to get some beautiful artwork or commemorate an important milestone, not to contract a debilitating and possibly deadly illness. But with poor UK legislation meaning that your tattooist may not have been inspected by the Local Health Authority since it opened - possibly years ago - it is a good idea to know what to look out for.
As the owner of a 5 Star Hygiene and Safety Rated tattoo studio I believe that no-one should ever be at risk from a cosmetic procedure. At present, anyone in the UK can set up a tattoo studio and offer procedures without proper training in either tattooing or hygiene control. As studios are generally only inspected at registration this also means that a tattooist who may have been working under good guidelines 20 or 30 years ago may now be unwittingly out of date and following dangerous practices. So, if you want to know what is safe, read on.
The basic principal here is to look out for cross-contamination. This is where there is the opportunity for blood and plasma from one person to come into contact with another. In tattooing this is vitally important as not only will this blood or plasma come into contact with your tattoo (an open wound) but it will also possibly be even hammered into that open wound with the tattoo needle.
But don’t worry, cross-contamination is relatively easy to spot and even easier to prevent, and as a client there are three simple things you can look out for when checking out your local tattooist.
1. What are the tattooists doing with their hands?
Whilst your tattooist has their gloves on and they are tattooing you they should not be touching anything that is not disposable or covered with a disposable film. This means no coffee cups, ink bottles or phones and ipads without a disposable plastic cover. If they are doing this with you they have probably done this with the last client and this means that your open tattoo may come into contact with blood or plasma left on that mobile phone from the previous client – and of course all their clients before that!
Finally, your local authority should be able to provide you with a list of all registered tattoo studios in your area and Nottinghamshire Local Authorities have gone a step further and set up a Hygiene Accreditation Scheme. This scheme assesses a tattoo studio every year and awards them certification for their hygiene and safety practices. Unfortunately however this is a voluntary scheme and most tattoo studios in Nottingham have not taken up the challenge.
Click here to read the news press about Vellum's 5 Star Hygiene Rating
Click here to read Nottingham City's Announcement of the Hygiene Accreditation Scheme
Our beautiful little studio, Vellum, has been open just over a year now and in that time we been joined by two wonderful new tattooists, Freya and Armelle, and supported by a huge number of wonderful friends, new and old.
Author - Jai Gilchrist
Vellum is a special place. It is made by all the people who work here and by all our lovely clients who come to us and make us feel like the luckiest artists in the world. The purpose of this blog is to document some of the crazy wonderful things and thoughts that happen at Vellum. If you would like to contribute to our blog please email us at Vellumtattoo@gmail.com