The Maxx

Published: 22 February, 2010 - Featured in Skin Deep 138, October, 2006

In the tattooing world there are many artists that also have an affinity with the motorcycle, and this country is no exception. In the central region of this fair isle is the award winning tattooist Dean Ottley of ‘The Maxx Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio’ in Bromsgrove. 


Together with his wife Maxx who just happens to be the main body piercer on hand, they pride themselves on catering for the working man and woman in offering affordable high quality work. The tattooing in Dean’s life goes way back anumber of decades to when he was three years old. His uncle was a seaman and covered in tattoos. When on leave in Birmingham he could be seen wearing his trademark string vest which openly showed off his body art, and made his inquisitive nephew Dean somewhat awestruck. As the years marched by the youngster was growing into a young man which at the ripe old age of 15½ got his first tat. It proclaimed the word ‘MOTHER’ to which his

Mum promptly clipped him around the earhole for. She struck out for the use of ‘Mother’, rather than the underage inking.

1 Dean’s fist trade was as a builder but after a bike accident he chose a career change into this art. Being good at art in school it came relatively easy to him in designing flash and eventually specializing in freehand work. Residing in Bromsgrove wasn’t a particularly good idea to acquire premises for tattooing. However, the powers to be are old fashioned but did allow Dean and Maxx to use an extension they had on their home as a health registered studio.

Then six years ago and to this very day, this retail business premises was launched as their tattoo and body piercing parlour. This was on the upper floor and down below was full of biker paraphernalia. The stock also consists of adult items, one – off Indonesian wood carvings (sadly no more coz of the Tsunami), and a wide variety of novelties, clothing and jewelry. There are even marital aids, so if you’re unfortunate or stupid enough to have your mistress’ name inked upon your person by mistake, and when the wife spots it you’ll be out on yer ass you can at least offer to treat her to some ‘self help’.

What a loving hubbie you were ! That’s enough info about Dean for the time being. We will now turn our attention to Maxx and her rather caring history which ties in with her demeanour in her piercing role. Her motto is “If you can pinch it, then I can pierce it”! Before this occupation Maxx was a ‘MacMillan’ nurse and specializing in patient care. Need I say more ? Her work in Community Care and Social Services have also been invaluable in dealing with the shop’s customers.

With the addiction to the ink gun that many customers have they certainly have a wide choice of designs to pick from. As I’ve already stated Dean designs his own flash but also has an archive of over 100,000 designs from all over the world.  With seventeen years together the couple are now training their offspring to follow on in the family business. ‘The Maxx Studio’ is going to be around for quite some considerable time yet but don’t hang around dawdling, get your arses down there or make an appointment on 01527 873163 for a sitting. When you ring you may just get lucky and chat with the lovely Jenna who helps out around the place. There is another tattooist on hand as well. Darren Darby with six years experience behind him now specialises in tribal work, and also designs Celtic Crosses which is a damn fine thing to do. He’s a valuable asset to the business and one which is seen but rarely not heard.

During my visit to the studio Dean and Maxx had organised a showing of just some of their work to be on show for me. In came a steady stream of satisfied customers who were more than proud and  prepared to show off Dean’s handiwork to my camera. Some excellent work too ! My favourite being Gaz’ biomechanical work and Mecca’s ‘full evil back’.

We now return to Maxx, which you’ll then realise why the SAS styled highjack from 100% Biker magazine was masterminded and undertaken by your esteemed editor Master Neil Dalleywater. This supplement touches on the crossover of cultures between tattooing and custom biking, or more to the point with this feature – Triking. The machine you’re ogling at came about so that Maxx could ride out with Dean and their mates, which there are a good number of. The pair think that there’s too much legislative bullshit that a prospective motorcycle rider has to go through just to swing a leg over and ride one that Maxx would skip all of that bollocks and go straight onto the road with trike ownership. Something that one can do if one has a full car licence. So there !  Just as Dean’s ‘Warrior’ and ‘Wildstar’ custom bikes haven’t been left as stock it’s then little wonder that the three wheeler wasn’t going to be a simplistic affair either. The couple aren’t exactly shy in coming forward, and neither are their forms of transport either.

The rolling chassis was purchased with its Kawasaki ‘Z 1100 G’ engine already in place, but was shagged and the electrics in a sorry state as well. So a complete strip down was performed and this brought about a new livery of a tattoo theme to compliment their business empire.

The engine’s top end was rebuilt and tuned by Steve Powell who also fitted it with a one – off exhaust system. These pipes began as the original headers but then run into s/ steel link pipes and a turnout muffler, all being fabricated by Turbo Thomas at Turbo’s Pipes in Redditch.

The frame is of the rigid variety ( as in no suspension ) which is commonplace in the triking world. In this particular instance it’s mated to a Ford Escort ‘RS 2000’ rear axle running a pair of chromed 17” ‘Limited’ wheels with 205/ 40 rubberwear and all supplied by Pitstop also in Redditch. The mudguards covering these have been heavily modified by Dean himself. As you can observe around the vicinity of the back end Maxx has gained an extra couple of fuel carrying vessels to accompany the main H – D Sportster one. They are 5 litre chrome auxhilary tanks by Demon Tweeks and gives extra mileage capacity when she makes her regular shopping trips. The s/s luggage rack isn’t there just for show or carting about a doss bag and tent, it is put to a much better task in her eyes for the carriage of shopping bags.

The front end is an accumulation of Kawasaki Motocross USD forks, Pegasus Engineering one – off  billet alloy slab yokes, Yamaha front wheel and brakes, Mapam handlebars and a Bates headlight. The front muddie is of unknown origin so I can’t shed any info on that one. Not only does the trike sit well and possess proportionate well being but the paintwork does it justice The artwork unsurprisingly was designed by Dean and Maxx before being handed over to Lee at Motopaint, and ‘Boring Old Fartz MCC’ member Peanut to both relay these images onto the machine as a whole. This was somewhat of a result as the original custom painter of much repute made a complete pig’s ear of the paint and which understandably riled Dean no end. 

By the by, the skull and cross artwork is truly wicked, with Dean being a much decorated award winner and a dab hand at the art of ‘Sumi’ tattooing this style was to be used on this project. Over the past few years he has been inking a huge number of Maltese and Iron Cross designs upon many a customer, and has interpreted the theme slightly to his own detailing. In the maestro’s own words “ It’s sort of an ‘old school’ mix brought up to date”.

The couple have a fondness for evil and demonic art forms and with the help of Lee and Peanut it’s apparent that they have brought this into practice for the overall appearance of the trike. The finish of  ‘The Maxx’ is of a very high standard and also goes some as well. I witnessed for myself the machine being thrown about in and out of traffic on the way to the photoshoot location. The performance and handling being of excellent value.

When Maxx isn’t poking holes into punters, nor being a housewife slaving in the kitchen she does  find time to climb aboard and head off in the direction of ‘The Jewellers Quarter’ in Birmingham for a spot of fine shopping therapy. There is a shit load of room on that rack for this purpose. Hide the ignition key Dean, Maxx doesn’t know a thing about hot wiring. Does she ?

The Maxx Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio, 36 Worcester Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B61 7AE
Tel : 01527 873163
36, Worcester Road
Mob : 07971 585024