“Jewed, screwed and tattooed” was a phrase often used when we were growing up in Waynedale. I’m not sure exactly what that meant but it was anything but positive. In fact, back in the 50s, anything to do with tattooing had negative connotations. Tattooing was for sailors, bikers and prison inmates. Now, 50 years later, tattooing has taken on a whole new meaning.

The art of tattooing has been around for a long time. The 5000-year old iceman, uncovered from a glacier in Italy in 1991 had 57 tattoos, probably designating his worth and status. From the mummies in Egypt to the businessmen of North America, people from all walks of life have experimented with different types of body art. Now, thanks to the ingenuity of Jason McCorkle, we have a tattoo parlor in Waynedale.

Jason was born in Fort Hood, Texas, the son of a military man. He spent some time in Washington State and then moved to Fort Wayne. He has been drawing and sketching different types of art for as far back as he can remember. He is married to Rachel and they have two sons, Cody, 10, and Ethan, 9 months.

I visited Jason on Wednesday, November 8 in his shop next to Audio Professionals at the Colony Service Center, 6427 Bluffton Road. We sat and talked as he sketched a new design and then went to work transferring that design to his Waynedale client. Jason explained that a typical sketch can take about an hour and performing the actual tattooing may take from 3-5 hours. His present subject was Max Peterson.

Max attended Central High School and then became a soldier in the 9th infantry. He was in Vietnam in ’66 and ’67, seeing active duty in DaNang, Plakoo, and the DMZ. Max has been patronizing 1-Up Tattoos for the past four months, which is about how long 1-Up has been open.

Max said, “When I was in Vietnam I went into a tattoo parlor, planning on getting my first tattoo. My sergeant must have seen me go in and he followed me. Sarge asked me what I was about to do and when I told him, he advised against it as I would be defacing military property.”

A few months ago Max started thinking about that experience and decided he wanted to get that long awaited tattoo.

Jason’s artwork is original. Other parlors use designs out of catalogs, but Jason wants his creations to be one-of-a-kind art.

Max sat in a comfortable chair as Jason transferred the design from the sketch paper to Max’s shoulder. The actual tattooing begins when Jason applies an outline to define the perimeter of the tattoo. He uses a tattoo gun which supplies ink to a needle. The gun made a slight humming noise as he applied ink around the eagle motif.

The first outline penetrates only the first layer of skin, but the actual tattoo penetrates to 6 or 7 layers. The professionalism of the artist is critical as ink applied too deep or too shallow will leave a blurred line and negative results are hard to repair. Tattoos can now be erased via laser, but it is accomplished at about ten times the cost of the original tattoo. Jason has been tattooing for about ten years and keeps a portfolio on his desk so that clients can preview his work.

His clients have ranged from the ages of 16 –75 years and they come from all walks of life.

Jason said, “I give discounts to military veterans. It’s because of them that I have the freedom to open my own business and follow my art to wherever it may take me.”

All needles are disposed of after use and all other tattooing equipment is sterilized in an autoclave.

From the iceman of 5000 years ago to Max Peterson of Waynedale, tattooing has lost some of its negative stigma. Now, it is often the in-thing to do for people of all walks of life.

The Waynedale News Staff


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