Cremation ashes are not the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to memorial tattoos. Usually it's the designs and words of remembrance that people have to make a big decision on when it comes to RIP tattoo quotes for their deceased loved ones. But now it seems the type of ink is equally important as memorial tattoos are now being created using cremation ashes and human hair. This type of biogenic tattoo is a new technique of body inking that is starting to become very popular.
The idea is that rather than just lay a loved ones ashes in an urn to be visited a few times a year. Instead you can get what's called a 'cremation tattoo'—that way you can wear your dearly departed. The idea behind memorial tattoos are similar to ashes being turned into cremation diamonds to commemorate the deceased.
When it comes to preparing the cremated remains for a cremation tattoo firstly the ashes are sifted to remove large pieces. This dust is then sterilized by baking it, a tiny amount is then mixed with the ink in regard to memorial tattoos, which is then used in exactly the same way as any normal tattoo is made.
In the video above by National Geographic a woman called Riya DiCapo was interested in memorial tattoos and decided to get a cremation tattoo infused with her father's ashes. She sees it as a unique way to memorialize his life after her mom gave her a necklace with her dad's ashes in a vial.
Creating Memorial Tattoos Using Cremation Ashes
These so-called memorial tattoos (or biogenic tattoos to use the correct name for the application technique) also take the form of using carbonized human hair according to an article on Motherboard. Swiss startup Skin46 run by Andreas Wampl is one company who are looking at trying to extract the carbon from cremated human hair to then infuse into tattoo ink. Tattoos with ashes and human hair are now in growing demand when it comes to remembrance tattoos. Memorial body ink using the cremated remains of you loved ones is now a thing.
According to Motherboard:
The process will need to ensure against the creation of carcinogens, which can occur when organic matter undergoes incomplete combustion. To avert this, Skin46 wants to use temperatures in excess of 1,500 degrees Centigrade to incinerate the hair all the way through, creating pharmaceutical grade carbon that is inert and free of carcinogenic compounds.
Once the technology is ready, Wampl will demo it himself using hair samples obtained from his children. He then wants to take the project to Kickstarter to raise funds for his memorial tattoos to go into commercial production.
Cremation Tattoos Using DNA
The article also looks at biotech companies who are using DNA to create tattoos. A Canadian company called CG Labs have worked out a method of extracting DNA from cheek swabs. This is then sent to a lab to remove enzymes, binded to an inert substance and then sent back to the customer to mix with tattoo ink.