Macabre service offers to cut off dead people's tattooed skin and frame it
A tattoo artist has launched a new macabre service, removing inked skin from a dead person and preserving it in a frame for their loved ones.
According to Save My Ink, also known as the National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art, the process is intended to allowing tattoo enthusiasts to bequeath an actual part of themselves to an individual.
“Just like a house, wedding ring or any other cherished possession,” says the group’s founder Charles Hamm.
“You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for. Your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I already have a number of tattoos registered for preservation. A lot of my tattoos have deep meaning to me."
He adds: “My tattoos define who I am and share my love for both family and art. The gorilla on my chest represents me guarding my wife, so that is obviously going to her.”
The 60-year-old said the inked skin was put through a chemical and enzymatic process to permanently alter the chemical structure of the tissue and stop it from decaying.
Mr Hamm perfected the process of preserving tattoos by practicing on bits of inked skin that he had removed when he had weight loss surgery.
In order to have a tattoo preserved after your death you have to be a member and pay €101 ($115) registration fee as well as annual fees of €52 ($60).
Once a client dies relatives must contact Save My Ink within 18 hours, who then supplies the funeral home with a removal kit and instructions along with prepaid return packaging.
The tattoo has to be removed with 60 hours and sent back to Save My Ink. Families will receive the final product back within three to six months.
Mr Hamm stresses that only a living person can request to have their tattoos removed after they die, and the association refuses to remove inked skin from the face or genitalia.