by Martha Rose Woodward
All countries and all cultures throughout the ages have recorded the idea of marking the body with lines, dots, or all sorts of art work. This skill has come to be known as tattooing and that word may have come from the Samoan word tatau as recorded by Captain John Cook in his diary in the 1700s.
Once thought to be only popular among prisoners or those in the Navy, tattoos and their cousin, body piercing, are more popular now than ever and that popularity is growing. Fed by the desire to be like famous people, movie starlets or actors, millions of people have headed to the tattoo parlors for “ink” or “art” or “tats” and to have rings or other jewelry placed in a variety of spots on their bodies.
One local business that is well-known for great tats is Alchemy Tattoo & Body Piercing located at 1723 N. Central Avenue just off Woodland Avenue near Star Sales. ATBP is owned by Alex Hume, who has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, settling in Knoxville 9 years ago. Hume works in all styles of tattoos from old school/new school to realism. Nothing is too challenging for him to tackle. His summer work hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 1-8 p.m.
Jason Smith, also a professional tattoo artist for 20 years, works along side of Hume. Smith says that he enjoys tattooing intricate pieces, realism and any chance he gets to do custom work.
“It is important to our artists to make sure that every customer is happy with the work they get and that they are always treated with integrity and professionalism. Return business is the best reward. Our company really tries to put their best into every piece that we do,” said Dawn Lewis, support staff. ATBP also stresses aftercare making sure each customer leaves with instructions and an aftercare kit.
Alchemytatooandbodypiercing can be found on Facebook and their website is
www.alchemytatoo.com. Their phone number is 865 688 5546. There is a store minimum of $40 and the most that a tattoo might cost could go upward to $1,500 or $2,000 for a large custom piece. Many customers bring in photos or drawings of the kind of tattoo they want. Hume and Smith work with them to customize the tattoo. Many customers pick from store samples. Either way, ATBP says they make sure everyone leaves happy. All work is guaranteed.