This collection of tools from Holly Mititquq Nordlum’s tattoo practice include both hand-poking and hand-stitching tools. Hand-stitching is reserved for Inuit tattoo only, whereas the poking tools can be used for any type of tattoo.
Skin-stitching is a process that involves sewing into skin using a needle and thread dipped in ink. Each stitch creates a single point of ink on the skin. This technique has been practiced by Indigenous communities throughout the North for millennia.
Hand-poking is a process that involves poking ink into skin using a needle. The hand-poke needle contains three or more needle spikes (or “pins”) which can poke a single point. Tattoo machines (or guns) mimic this process but use a motor to increase speed and frequency of the needle poke.