My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Sat
    23
  • Sun
    24
  • Mon
    25
  • Tue
    26
  • Wed
    27
  • Thu
    28
  • Fri
    29
Bound Aug 23, 2014 Voz Alta presents a multi-media show featuring performance art throughout the evening by Janice Grinsell and Eider Fiedler de Mello, as well as paintings from Anna Zappoli and Tim Caton. 93 other events on Saturday, August 23
 
News
How one case study could potentially transform City Heights
News
Former customs agent got more than seven years for smuggling drugs and people into the U.S., but mysterious events are raising questions about the government’s prosecution
Well, That Was Awkward
Spooky hell, urine baptisms and other memories exorcised by the Broadway play
Film
Joe Swanberg’s new independent film starring Anna Kendrick leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Editorial
Formal complaint against the Probation Department shows how far local juvenile-detention practices are out of the mainstream

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Blogs / CityBeat Podcasts
. . . .
Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 - CityBeat Podcasts

Hand-tap tattooing in San Diego

Sulu'ape Angela Bolson at Big City Tattoo practices the traditional technique

By Kinsee Morlan
handtaptattoosandiego Sulu'ape Angela (left) with one of her clients

When most people picture getting a tattoo, they envision a pierced-up, heavily inked dude with a tattoo gun.

Sulu'ape Angela Bolson shatters that stereotype. You can find Bolson in a small room at Big City Tattoo in North Park, kneeling on a mat with her clients, strange-looking tools in-hand, with a team of female "stretchers" helping her pull a client's skin taught so she can employ the hand-tap tattoo technique. She learned the traditional art form by apprenticing for a year and a half under a hand-tap master in Western Samoa.

In Samoa, tattoo artists use bone tools for their trade. The process is painful and can take a significant amount of time. In the United States, where sterilization and time are on everyone's minds, Bolson uses specially made stainless-steel tools that mimic their organic counterparts. She says she's learned how to speed up the process over the years and most of her clients describe the hand-tap tattoo as less painful than getting inked with a gun; Bolson says she's even had a few folks fall asleep while getting a hand-tap tattoo.

Bolson is one of the only women in the world trained in the traditional hand-tap technique. Press play and learn more about hand-tap tattoos, why and how Bolson learned the technique, what some of the traditional tribal tattoo patterns mean and more. 


Sulu'ape Angela Bolson with her team of stretchers

 

Subscribe in iTunes!Subscribe to the CityBeat podcast on iTunes.


 
 
Close
Close
Close