the digital engraving machine

The PARLOUR MAID allows the customer to inscribe the designs of CYBERTATTOO into his/her skin whilst on-line, i.e. visiting locations. The downloaded data automatically starts the digital engraving machine.

Following the industrial revolution, Samuel O'Reilly invented the 'electronic engraving pen' in 1880, and subsequently revolutionised tattooing. Pricking, tattooing hand picked designs, was replaced by normed, established motifs with a fundamentally different feel. Also the time it took to execute designs changed from hours to minutes. Soon afterwards a standardised industry established itself around tattoo equipment.

The industrialised process afforded new access to the customer's body. But as well as achieving new possibilities it also rendered certain motifs and traditions unrealisable. Whilst new rituals were being derived from the 'electric engraving pen', old traditions such as ritualised tattoing suffered. On the whole, the electronic development can best be described as establishing a different style, affecting old ideas and designs, but gaining new ground at the same time.

The PARLOUR MAID has technical restrictions affecting the range of tattoos which can be realised. Currently the maximum size of tattoos cannot exceed 6 cm x 6 cm (which seems bigger on the body than on a piece of paper - if you think about it...). Also the way in which the engraving machine can interact with the surface structure of the body is limited, not to say non-existent!

But, like the above mentioned technological breakthrough, it also establishes new features such as the possibility of distributing standardised stencils world wide and simultaneously. It also follows the concept of shareware. By building your own PARLOUR MAID and relying on the perfection of telematic control CYBERTATTOO will ideally bring the skill of tattooing to many users in their homes.

Plans and Instructions for the building of PARLOUR MAID can be obtained here.

Generally the application of CYBERTATTOO can be split into two central points:

Select the above topics for further reading.

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