This week has been all about chest plates!

Two consecutive clients, completely unrelated and unknown to one another chose to get chest plates (and a shoulder piece) to chronicle their lives and loved ones.

I’m very happy with the results and am now so exhausted that all I can do is stare off into space as I contemplate going back to work next week, lol.

Here are the breakdowns of each piece.

Mahalo for looking!

Modern Maori, Marquesan and Hawaiian chest plate and shoulder piece

a) etua hena = hand of ancestor: holding the tattoo fast to the body

b) na ihe = spear(s): a weapon used by warriors, showing his warrior spirit and willingness to overcome

c) ka’ake = upraised arm: the entirety of ‘c’ encloses other elements of the tattoo and gives strength to the motifs that it surrounds. The entire paka represents, po’o kohe, or a section of bamboo. This symbolizes resiliency and tenacity and adds this quality to the symbols contained inside ‘c’

c.1) hala = past: this is the life that he has lived so far

c.2) ano = present: this is the life that he is currently leading

c.3) mua = future: this is his future life

d) mata = eye: this looks out and protects him from impending danger

e) niho = teeth: each tooth symbolizes each one of his children that happen to also be twins

f) koru = unfurling fern head: symbolizes life, breath, growth

f.1) koru = unfurling fern head: along with the above, this also represents his marriage and is in the shape of a heart (over his heart) to show love

g) lau niu = coconut fronds: each frond represents one year of being married (15 total)

h) hope vehine = twin goddesses (of tattoo): protection, union and beauty also acting to hold up this paka

 

 

Modern Marquesan and Maori chest plate done in Samoan taulima style

a) pepehipu = hammered section: this represents a hammered piece of tapa cloth it is inset with niho for protection

b) ihe o nalu = spear of waves: warrior, love of the sea

c) hoku = (shooting) star: illuminates his way forward

d) niho peata = teeth, fence: protective barrier against potential harm

e) koru = unfurling fern head: symbolizes life, breath, growth

f) lau niu = coconut frond: royalty

g) niho = teeth: two teeth joined together to symbolize his marriage, inset into a ka’ake (upraised arm) to give strength to their union

h) lei niho = garland of teeth: to protect from danger

i) mata = eye: this looks out and protects him from impending danger

j) mata tomoe = Death’s head: this is the unicorn of Polynesian tattoo as it was initially seen on the Langsdorff voyage to the Marquesas in the early 1800’s. It was chronicled by an illustration drawn on that voyage but the image was never seen again in future expeditions and any forthcoming information regarding it was ever given. I have re-imagined it, and designed it to be skull-like in appearance. It is said to represent death but also protection from death and acceptance of death, as well.

This piece centers on the honu (turtle) and balance. The symmetry of this piece speaks of the client’s desire to have a tattoo that represents his admiration of the honu as well as elements that relate to his love for his family and the sea. Because he is an airline pilot I included elements of flight and freedom and a paka that relates to both his love for his wife and protection when he is aloft, so that he will always (find) land safely.

The manu (bird) follows the turtle towards land, as it flies (the bird flies, not the turtle!). The upper most paka represents the land surrounded by the sea. The two waves represent he and his wife and the matau (hook) that is barely visible at the front of the tattoo represents both his love of fishing as well as an anchor that ensures that he will land safely when in the air.

Here is a breakdown of the symbols:

a) Manu = bird: freedom, flight, voyage
b) Koru = unfurling fern head: breath, life, balance
c) Ipu = container, gourd: creation, container of mana (spiritual energy)
d) Etua i’ima = hands of his ancestors: hands that hold the tattoo to his body
e) Potiki = child: these represent each of his children (3)
f) Mata = eyes: protection, look out for danger, there are 2 sets (4 eyes)
g) Nalu = wave: two waves, one representing himself and his wife, respectively
h) Matau = hook: this hook represents his love of fishing as well as an anchor that brings him back to land.

Aloha and thank you for your time!

My bad!

Posted: April 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

Aloha!

I will be the first to admit that I have been neglecting my blog and for that I apologize. It seems that work and life have gotten the better of me lately and somethings have slipped by the wayside, mainly, this blog.

I hate excuses and avoid using them whenever possible, so please don’t think for a moment that this is some sort of excuse, it’s just fact, lol.

The main reason that I have been silent on my blog as of late is because I am working on a project that has been consuming pretty much all of my time. Between work and this project (and also planning for my upcoming trip to London and Belgium in May) I have literally had little time to relax. But this is the game I have chosen to play 🙂

I can’t divulge too many details about this project yet, as it is still in development and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but what I can tell you is that it involves entertainment programming (television and internet) that I am producing myself. I hope to generate some interest in it (admittedly, it already has some…) and am going to be moving forward with it, in terms of my own personal branding, whether or not it gets picked up by a major network or if I publish it to my YouTube channel.

I’ve already said too much!

So, please watch this space. I will keep it updated, I promise.

In the meantime, here is some of the work that I have been up to lately.

Aloha and thanks for looking!

This piece was created to symbolize this person’s marriage, family, freedom, his late mother and love of riding motorcycles. All sections, or paka, are connected with niho (teeth) the number of which correspond to the Fibonacci sequence 1,1,2,3,5.

Here is a breakdown of the tattoo:

a) hulu= feather: symbolizing freedom, flight, and direction that pertains to his occupation as a long haul truck driver

b) lei niho= garland of teeth: this forms the foundation for his family. There are 2 niho that are filled with lauhala (pandanus weave) that represent himself and his wife.

c) iti’iti’i= binding: this paka represents marriage.

d) ka makani= wind: this symbolizes his love of riding motorcycles and the freedom that brings.

e) etua manu= deified bird: this symbol represents his late mother. It is placed on his shoulder so that she can help guide him as well as look over him.

f) na mata= eyes: this symbol represents eyes that look out for any harm, as a protective device.

Thanks for looking!

Aloha!brkdown

Aloha!

I am finally off across the pond. I was invited by Skin Deep magazine to attend the 2016 Tattoo Jam at Doncaster Racecourse in Doncaster, England. I am very excited about this and have been planning the trip for several months now. I will also be giving a seminar on Polynesian tattoo on Friday, August 5 at 2:00pm at the venue, which is free to attend.

I still have some open spaces if anyone is interested in having work done. Please let me know via email, supersonik@earthlink.net or social media, IG/twitter: rolandtattoo.

I leave tomorrow and will spend a few days in Ireland before heading out to Doncaster, so this will be somewhat of a much needed vacation, as well.

Here is a discount code for tickets to the show, for those interested.

Here is also a link to the show. http://www.tattoojam.com/artists

 

Aloha!

 

This client wanted a piece that reflected his faith and spirituality, his desire to become a pilot in the military and his love of family and of the sea, with the overall intention of balance. I chose to convey it all in symmetry (for balance) and again, utilized the nesting of a tattoo within the body of a tattoo.

The focal point is the large manu (bird) symbol that splits the piece in half but also acts as the crown of the head of the mata hoata that comprises a majority of the upper portion of the piece. On each wing I placed a row of ani ata which symbolize his ancestors protecting him as he moves forward. The circular mata shapes upper part feature four eyes; one set looking up, the other down. There are eyes on each cheek as well. This is a highly aware, protective piece.

This entire upper part is nested into a lower half that is itself another mata, albeit only the eyes are present. This is because the upper part is a tattoo on the head of the lower entity, speaking of divine connection and spirituality as it is, being born of mindfulness.

The lower portion shows family and protection, with the niho that form its upper mouth and growth and strength in its lower jaw, with the koru and ka’ake. There are also twin fish hooks on either side of the tiki that show his love of the sea and visually, act as ears.

I had a ton of fun constructing this piece and I hope that you enjoyed the read!

Breakdown below:

a) koru- unfurling fern head: growth, breath, life.
b) ka’ake- upraised arm: strength, also supports the growth of the koru.
c) niho- tooth: this line of niho represents family and is protective to keep danger at bay.
d) mata- eye: these are the eyes of the entire entity, looking out for danger.
e) mata- eye: these are the eye of the upper portion, which is a tattoo worn by the entity to protect the entire tattoo.
f) manu- bird: this speaks of this faith, his desire to be a pilot and acts a symbol of guidance as he moves forward in life.
g) ani ata- the horizon: these symbols represent his ancestors as the help to guide him in life.
h) matau- fish hook: this speaks of his love of the sea.

This modern Marquesan and Maori piece is an overall protective piece, but like the shoulder piece that I did a few tattoos back, is contained in the profile of a mata hoata. It speaks about the bond that he has with his daughter and the imagery used shows is meant to protect and preserve their relationship as they move forward. This piece also has a tattoo to protect the overall intent, which is a warriors head/helmet that sits above the brow of the eyes.

a) siamutu – binding, using niho at the opposite ends of this paka and connecting them with a line, symbolizes his connection with his daughter.

b) niho – tooth, the three niho near the ankle protects the intention of the tattoo, while the row of niho running diagonally upwards forms the mouth of the mata hoata and is meant to protect from sin and also represent family.

c) ihu – nose, this is the nose of the mata hoata and symbolizes breath and life.

d)  mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

e) tiki koa – warrior image, this image is set atop the head of the mata hoata and is a tattoo for the overall tattoo, meant to protect.

f) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as she moves forward.

g) ama kopeka – dancing flame, this is meant to illuminate the path forward and adds to the efficacy of the tattoo by protecting it from breaking down.

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