"generations of killer ink"
March 28, 2013 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Bristol Tattoo Club & the Skuse Family - Awesome vintage photos from the studio of legendary Champion Tattoo Artist of all England, Les Skuse, who opened shop in 1928 and founded the Bristol Tattoo Club. After his death in 1973, son Danny ran the business and son Bill had his own shop. See Bill and his celebrated wife Rusty in Famous Couples in Tattoo History. Grandson Jimmie Skuse runs the Les Skuse Tattoo Studio today.
posted by madamjujujive (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my goodness, how nice to see this! I used to live round the corner from their studio in Mina Road. The grandson - would that have been Jimmie? - used to come and pick up his kid from nursery, always wearing a white vest to show off his sleeves, which were Japanese style. Tattooing has become more mainstream since them but he certainly looked spectacular and unusual for 1987.

There was a mural on the side of the building facing Mina Road Park. The studio was converted into a hostel years ago, I didn't know the family carried on the tradition, because Les Skuse is, as you say, legendary among tattoo artists. There's a pretty good Tachen book on tattoo art which has quite a few pictures from the Skuses (and lots of fascinating other stuff.)

I have heard say the bloke in Body Art, Kingswood, is one of the best Bristol tattooists. But there's a lot of conflict between tattooists, protection issues, etc. Some people work out of private houses because setting up a shop can be so challenging. Tattooists from Bath think Bristol are crap, and vice versa.

I have thought, as a person who can draw, it might be possible to retrain as a tattoo artist. But then I saw the Meet Tommy ebook (thinking of the continuum from tattooing to more radical body mod) and got a bit scared. Being an old lady and all.
posted by glasseyes at 9:43 PM on March 28, 2013 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the local perspective, glasseyes.

Being an old lady and all. You are certainly not, don't sell yourself short there - think of it as being in the "wise woman" years, that's how I see it. And I think a newly launched career as a tattoo artist would be a great antidote to premature aging ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 5:20 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

glasseyes, I'm glad you had some astute local perspective to add, because I'm afraid my sole input would have been to say that I was puzzled going down Keynsham high street the other day why there was a tattoo shop with a French name. But now I know that the Les in Les Skuse rhymes with fez, not may.
posted by ambrosen at 7:39 AM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

tattoo shop with a French name

Hah, funny that. In posting this I kept defaulting pronunciation to French in my head, too -- and I don't even really speak French. Pro tip to the Skuse Family: Preface your business name with "The" to avoid this confusion.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:24 AM on March 29, 2013

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