For the love of country | PostIndependent.com

For the love of country

April E. ClarkPost Independent Staff
Photo by April E. Clark
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By April E. ClarkPost Independent StaffBrian Fulton never wins big in Las Vegas, but body art he received there made him a winner in the Post Independents Cool Tattoo contest.The lead measurement technician for Williams Production, a natural-gas exploration and production company in Parachute, received his contest-winning body art while helping his brother move to Vegas. The tattoo, which took four hours to complete, features an eagle with a tear in its eye, the World Trade Center twin towers, and servicemen and -women raising the American flag.The people raising the flagpole are from all walks of life, gender and nationalities, representative of the fact that in times of trouble, we rise together as a nation to protect our fellow Americans, Fulton said. I wish that unity was an everyday thing, not just in times of trouble.Before traveling west to receive his tattoo, Fulton researched tattoo artwork and saw a poster on the Internet of the patriotic imagery he hoped to display on his forearm. He commissioned renowned tattoo artist Luc Zietek to complete the task.It took me a long time to find something to put on my skin. After 9/11, I knew if I was going to get one it would be to memorialize it, Fulton said. I wanted it to be very high in detail and more visible so people would remember what happened on 9/11.Fulton, whose father, brother and uncles served in the military, said his body art is a way to show his love for his country.I love my country, said Fulton, who lived in Gillette, Wyo., before moving to the valley in April 2002. I definitely feel that I was blessed to be born in the United States.Rather than using the contests $100 prize credit to buy a new tattoo, Fulton chose to donate his winnings to American Legion Post 83s Memorial Day gravesite flag fund.Its wonderful, and were proud of him, said Dan LeVan, chairman of Post 83s Memorial Day service. That will probably buy quite a few flags.Fulton not only uses his tattoo to exhibit his patriotism, but he also lets his actions speak for the allegiance he has for his country.If a soldier happens to cross your path, take the time to shake their hand and thank them for protecting and defending the freedoms that we so easily take for granted each and every day, he said.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

Carbondale tattoo artist Calamity Jane is no stranger to law enforcement.In her 28-year career, Jane Nemhauser owner of Calamity Janes Tomboy Tattoos has tattooed half of the towns police department, a high-ranking elected official and a well-respected veterinarian.I have such a strong client base, she said. I run a clean and sober shop, and when it comes to the laws of Colorado, Ive been following the strictest rules.According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, mandates govern all state tattoo parlors on the use, sterilization, and disposal of needles or other instruments that puncture skin. Single-use needles are encouraged, and all equipment must be cleaned and sterilized using steam (autoclaving), gas (chemical vapor) or dry-heat sterilization.Theres too much madness going on, said Calamity Jane, whose numerous tattoos include a bucking horse that covers her back and a dragon on her neck. There are too many diseases, like hepatitis C, that can show up later. I stay ahead of all the regulations and take care of my customers, bandage them properly.Shelley Fishbein, owner of Hole in the Wall Tattoos and Piercing in Glenwood Springs, said she also stresses the importance of a sterile environment at her shop.All equipment is single-use service, and everything is autoclaved, said Fishbein, who has co-owned Hole in the Wall for 41⁄2 years. Ive been trained on American Red Cross and Alliance for Professional Tattooists standards, and cross-contamination, infectious disease and sterile procedures.A tattoo artist for 10 years, Fishbein has traveled to conventions worldwide to improve the quality of both her art and business practices. One of her most prized tattoos Fishbein says there are too many on her arms, hands, legs and torso to count is attributed to world-famous Japanese artist Sabado.American tattoo conventions are extremely professional, she said. Ive traveled to different conventions throughout Europe, and there was one in Rotterdam run by bikers in a bar that had some of the best artists from Holland and France but was like a freak show. Everybody was working on each other all over the place.For Calamity Jane, who attended the Oakland School of Arts and Crafts in California, training and learning from old-school tattoo artists in San Francisco helped her establish a professional reputation. She stressed the importance of safe, quality body art rather than quickie work by inexperienced tattooists.All the old-timers are dead and gone, but their words ring in my ears all the time. I always learned that if you take care of your customers, theyll take care of you, she said. The old-timers, they had it. These kids that are just tattooing for money, they just dont get it. Tattooing is not just a job, its a lifestyle.Like any type of art, tattoos are subjective even for the friendly neighborhood cop or small-town mayor.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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