Tattoos tell the world who we are, without saying a word. As unique as the DNA of the skin they decorate, they reflect both an independent attitude and a common bond – standing apart, yet part of a tribe – just like our Highland Park Inner Circle. Telling stories on the skin can be traced back over thousands of years to ancient tribal traditions but remain a vital part of our social and cultural heritage today. From his studio, Skin & Bone, in Denmark, Colin Dale maintains the tradition of telling stories on the skin in his own unique way.
Over many millennia, tattooists’ tools have become more sophisticated – from sharp fragments of flint or hawthorn spikes used with soot or even human ash many centuries ago to today’s electric needles and specialist inks. Colin, our partner in creating the packaging for TWISTED TATTOO 16 Year Old, is a staunch advocate of traditional methods and specialises in the ancient art of ‘hand poking’ or ‘dot work’ – building up intricate tattoo designs, dot by dot, using a hand-held needle and ink.
Colin’s fascination with the history of tattooing and his extensive research have helped to reintroduce the lost tattooing techniques of Nordic, Native American and Inuit cultures to the art of telling stories on the skin today. And although his studio, Skin & Bone, uses both traditional and modern techniques, Colin created our packaging design using dot work to reflect the techniques that would have been used in the Viking Age.
The art of carving or making a mark, in the Viking age, was known as ‘riste’ and we know that our Norse ancestors carved runes in Orkney which followed the contours of stone as a tattoo follows the contours of muscle and sinew. Colin’s intricate design for TWISTED TATTOO is inspired in style by the free-flowing Nordic knotwork found on Viking wood carvings from the 11th century and in content by the Norse legend of the Midgard Serpent, which grew so large it could twist around the earth to grasp its own tail in its mouth. Both a fine craftsman and an expert on Norse tattoo techniques, Colin’s highly skilled approach, dedication and commitment to tradition make him a true modern day Viking Soul and our perfect partner for this very special edition of Highland Park.
Find out more about Colin and his work on our YouTube channel.