Bournemouth Ink 2011

Published: 25 July, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 201, July, 2011

It’s cool to bring a different story to the table when doing a show write up sometimes. It was a cracking show for sure but being as you all know the drill by now, we thought we might take a shot at bringing you some behind the scenes action from this top flight event:

Once again, the Bournemouth Tattoo Convention went down a storm last month. Not only was the convention centre packed to the rafters with out of this world entertainment, the organizers made sure that they had the cream of the tattooing world attending. But there was a little story behind the convention that caught my eye and demanded a little further investigation.

Three weeks before the convention was due to open its doors, Martin Welsby (machine builder and tattoo lover) opened up his Inbox, to find an interesting request from Ester Gill, the convention organizer.

“Ester, the lovely lady that runs the Bournemouth Tattoo Convention, knew I made tattoo machines in my spare time. She had sent me an e-mail, asking if I could make twenty-six tattoo machines, to give away as prizes at the convention. I had to read the e-mail again, I just couldn’t believe it. Twenty-six machines in three weeks! Considering all my machines are hand made, three piece welded mild steel frames, it was a non starter. That amount of machines, from nothing to finished running machines, would take me a couple of months at least. I replied to Ester saying sorry, but I couldn't possibly do it. 

“The next day, I check my e-mails again and Ester has e-mailed me asking for fourteen machines this time; seven for Saturday and seven for Sunday. I thought hard about it and in the end I decided to take on the challenge. Ester and I chatted via email and came up with the idea of twelve white machines and two gold machines; the two gold being for best of day and the white being for best in category.”

“The next day, I took myself to my little old work shop and set about trying to create some of the best machines I've ever made. I spent the next few hours sitting thinking, ‘What the fuck am I going to do to please Ester and give the winning artists a machine that they will like?’ I decide to make fourteen full size machines in the Walker frame style. I kept thinking, ‘I have three weeks to complete and deliver these machines but I don’t want to cut corners because they have to be perfect as they are all going to end up in the hands of some of the country's top artists.’ So the pressure was on to get this right.”

Three weeks later and it is the Friday morning, my time is up. I have fourteen machines in a box, on the front passenger seat next to me, as I set off on my five hour drive down to the show. I finally arrive at my digs, right near the BIC, book in and find my room. A quick freshen up and of I go to find Ester. I get into the BIC and as I am wandering, I begin to think to myself, ‘I thought I had a challenge but to put on a convention as good as this one must be a nightmare!’ Looking around, I can see Ester is doing a fantastic job and eventually I track her down, going 100mph, dealing with traders, artists, staff and visitors. I grab her attention, it wasn’t easy, and we get back to her office. Nervous, I show her the machines and thankfully, she is very pleased with what I have made. The last touch, we put them on the polished stainless steal plinths, Ester has had made, and they look fantastic.”

And here’s where all those machines went


Winners & Runners Up for 2011

Small B&G: Ian Macey - Chantal Cody

Large B&G: Sebastion - Marcin Mikos / Tattoos By Design

Small Colour: Nick thompson - Chantal Cody

Large Colour: Chris Stellina - Joseph Gellar / Gellar Tattoo

New School: Volio - Ben Hamill / Ink Studios

Tribal/Abstract: Toby Staunton - Patrick Huettlinger / Sakrosankt

Best Of Day: Michael Collins - Coral / The Gallery


Winners & Runners Up for 2011

Small B&G: 1. Daniel Milbourn - Steve A / Indelible Tattoo

Large B&G: 1. Daniel Milbourn - Steve A / Indelible

Small Colour: 1. Pshemek - Eugene Tattoos By Design

Large Colour: 1. Scott Guildford - Derek Campbell / Ultimate Tattoos

New School: 1. Kelsey Mercer - Urban Vigilante / Forever & Ever

Abstract/Tribal: 1. Alan Chisholm - Alex Hennerley / Adorned

Best Of Day: Mark Harvey - Ben Hamill / Ink Studios


Text: Michael Lynch