Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anniversary Ink

Back at the beginning of April, when Tattoosday was celebrating National Poetry Month, my wife Melanie and I were celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary.

After Melanie's birthday tattoo (here), she was eager for another. We decided on something fairly traditional, as Jewish tattoos go, we wanted to get the phrase אני לדודי ודודי לי,which is from the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. It translates to "I am my Beloved's, My Beloved is Mine."

When we got married in April 1995, we decided on matching wedding rings that looked like this:

The phrase is engraved as part of the design circling the ring.

So we knew that this was going to be our tattoo:

Melanie was thinking about wrapping it around her ankle, and I was thinking how I could make it slightly different.

The reason this was so important to Melanie, and why it made such sense as a twentieth anniversary gift, is that her original wedding ring had been lost in the last decade. She had lost a lot of weight and the ring was loose. For our tenth anniversary, I had given her two thin rings to go on either side of the wedding band, which held it in place. However, one of the stones had come loose in one of the smaller rings and when it was being repaired, Melanie's band fell off, somewhere between Chelsea Piers and South Brooklyn. The needle in the haystack story did not end with a miraculous recovery of her ring.

So, we knew what we wanted, the next question was where to go. Who should tattoo us? This wasn't an elaborate tattoo design, but then again, lettering is deceptively challenging, especially if the tattoo is not a straight line on a flat surface.

I put on my Tattoosday thinking cap and reached out to several people, one of whom was Kevin Wilson, shop manager at Sacred Tattoo  in Manhattan. Sacred has top-notch artists and he said he definitely had confidence in whoever would be available on our anniversary.

Melanie met me after work and we headed to Sacred, which was relatively close - another bonus. When we arrived, Kevin greeted us warmly and introduced us to Gunny, who would be our artist.

After some discussion about size and placement, the tattoo was much bigger than I originally imagined and it had moved from her ankle to her right wrist. Melanie went first.

Gunny placing the stencil around Melanie's wrist
Gunny set to work, quickly and efficiently...

Gunny at work on Melanie's wrist
Before you know it, he was done, completing a solid and bold circle of Hebrew lettering around her wrist.
Here's a collage of what it looks like:

Next, it was my turn.

I didn't want anything circling my wrist or ankle, and I wanted something slightly different, yet the same.A little research resulted in the discovery of a design that comprised of the same words, but in a slightly different font and shape. I opted for it over my heart:

This has a more tribal look to it, but I'm pleased immensely. It's also in a circle, which recalls a ring in its shape. And, of course, it's over my heart.

Melanie jokes that she can't lose this ring. Neither can I. The two tattoos were the perfect anniversary gift for the likes of us!

Thanks to Kevin and Gunny at Sacred Tattoo for making this all happen! And thanks to Melanie for twenty years of marriage and patiently waiting for this post to appear on Tattoosday!

Be sure to visit Gunny on his web page here, as well as on Instagram here, and check out the photography Kevin has been doing here. Visit Sacred Tattoo and Gallery here. Talent abounds!

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1 comment:

bonnie said...

Beautiful story. Happy belated anniversary!