And Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

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My bad...

This site may have been down a moment–a long moment–but we've been here all summer, and we're not going anywhere anytime soon!
You have my sincere apologies for allowing the site to lapse. My Mennonite ways conflicted with the hosting provider's payment systems...not that I'm making excuses. 
Please check out the updated pages and galleries, and check back as I'll be adding words and pictures all over the damn place.  
Stop on in anytime I'm in the shop, usually 12-8, Tuesday-Friday and Saturday by appointment. 
Hit me up at 802-557-2633 [my cell] or at 518-326-0466 [the shop] & jesseleefowler@gmail.com 
~Jesse

 

Jesse Has Left the Building

I've flown south for the summer... 

Not the entire summer. Not even the entire month of June. I'm in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the next two weeks, (in Vermont that is the average length of summer) doing a guest spot at Aces High Tattoo. If you happen to find yourself in the area, look me up here: Aces High Tattoo, 704 Seaboard Street, Myrtle Beach, SC. [843]839-1262  

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 Guest-artist-ing at Aces High, June 1-15 

Guest-artist-ing at Aces High, June 1-15 

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Lizard

There is a lizard on this post for no reason.

I'll be working both weeks from Tuesday to Sunday, 12-9:00 (6:00 Sun.) Drop in, call ahead, email, whatever. Hope to see some familiar faces!

I'll be back in Albany after the 15th, although I do not have a definite return date. I'll keep this site posted with updates. 

Way Back When...AKA, "How Long Have You Done Tats"?

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Pencil & Paper – 1992

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1992

In the Beginning...

Starting in the Nineties...

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Body Art Tattoo

Burlington, VT 1994

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Sitting in the waiting room...

We were blessed with space to spare. 


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In my office at Body Art circa 1994-5

 1994

1994


Moving on and out...

I spent awhile on the left coast and stops in between. Seattle 1999-2001 – the records got lost in the melee. Little or none exist for CT and much time in VT as well. Some perhaps for the better...


Inside Bozeman's Tattoos in the Alley, RJ Rosini's original MT shop. Old friends: Adam, Lunchbox, and Joker.

 RJ Rosini's "Tattoos in the Alley". Absolutely the smallest shop I've ever worked in, and still loads of fun. 

RJ Rosini's "Tattoos in the Alley". Absolutely the smallest shop I've ever worked in, and still loads of fun. 

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BTV

1994-5

 Big Sky friends – Bozeman, Montana–1998ish 

Big Sky friends – Bozeman, Montana–1998ish 

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1993

First time using color on a "client", my girlfriend at the time, Anna.


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Color #1

My own left calf/practice skin. An awkward piece, with many breaks due to cramped legs and hips. Somewhat faded today, but still there 26 years on.

Burlington Vermont, 1992

Tattoos #1-21ish were made in the kitchen of our punk-reject flophouse at 27 Green St, Burlington Vermont. We had the second floor and attic, with up to nine kids living there at any given time. Through friends, I met my original mentors about 1992. I was 15 going on 25. "Vampire" Marc Degeralamo, Mel May, Toni Patnode, Jeff Lambert, and Vicky Lucier were the first teachers I had, before shops could open legally in Vermont.

That wouldn't come until 1994-96, which led to the first legal VT shop: The Dream Zone, on St Paul Street. There I met Pearl Merrow and James "Shamus" Parker, and took over a room there when an artist–and dear friend–had to leave abruptly. 

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Black & Grey Number One  

On Rob Dix: OG Body Piercer circa 1992

Only Shamus and I stuck it out after Dream Zone burned in 1994, and we opened Body Art Tattoo on Main Street later that year. 

 Little sis hard at work. 

Little sis hard at work. 


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1998

Bozeman MT

RJ Rosini's Tattoos in the Alley


Josh Cause, many moons back, with one of my originals. 


To be Continued...

Joined Forces like Voltron

I've been absent from this page for a moment, distracted a bit by happenings, but I'll rectify that now. 

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RIP

Iron Bridge Tattoo

December 28 2017 | January 31 2018

Sadly the Iron Bridge Tattoo is on ice. Closed for business, and everything that could be uninstalled, has been. I was fond of the little place, and I invested even more time than I did dollars, but couldn't waste more time moving on. Maybe I'll resurrect the name one day. 

As you may have noticed around the site, I've joined up with Josh Riley at his space in Watervliet, and we've been busy fixing up the place. We've overhauled the interior, reorganized, moved my gear in, and done it all without shutting down for a day. Reopening as Seventh Sense Studio for this spring, we're both happy with the way this all settled out. 

We're both on the same page with our views of what a tattoo studio should be, and what one should offer its clientele. Josh and I will be working together to deliver the best tattoos in the most clean, comfortable and inspiring environment we can create. Please do not hesitate to offer criticisms and suggestions, we know there is always room to grow. 

For now we are just stoked to be making cool tattoos for great people. 

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Give us a ring sometime at 518-326-0466, drop a note through the contact page or just drop by: 628 3rd Ave., Watervliet NY. 

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First Blood

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Tattoo #1!

Brittnei draws first blood...

And with that, the seal is broken. Iron Bridge Tattoo is no longer a dream. I'm glad it was a regular who came in to get the first tattoo with me in my new home–not that I expected anything less. Spent a little Sharpie time making a rough sketch, and then we got to the real permanent ink.  

Less than an hour later and Brittnei was set with this little illustrated skull and dagger. I do have fun working with this little lady, it is always great to have her.

Til the next time.

Open!!

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Open!

Iron Bridge Tattoo started up on the first kick, with the passing grade from Albany County on December 28th. So stoked!! My daughter helped out with preparations by testing the AV equipment out. 

My first day back in the chair followed on the 30th, and it felt damn good. Britnei, who has come to me for ink many times these last two years, was the first tattoo created at Iron Bridge, and the second to last of 2017. Thank you again, Britnei!I look forward to many more to come. 

I am doing my best to fill in the schedule, first by taking care of the clients who were left hanging by my abrupt departure. Please be in touch if you have work to complete and haven't been in contact with me. 

Beginning to See the Light

I finally have one station completely assembled! From a mechanical standpoint, everything is in place and operable. The water lines and drain are in and all but running. Further upstream the hot and cold water lines were cut off, possibly after the lines became frozen and blew open under a prior tenant. After fixing the split copper line, I rebuilt the rest of it, and soldered in adapters to connect PEX the rest of the way back to the source

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One Down.

One to go.

I'll be building concrete countertops in the coming weeks, but there are fully functional stand-ins for the moment. These came as a free 14' section of laminate counter just resting on top of the counter. 

Now that I've put the finishing touches on the wall paint, and the cabinets are being done as I build parts for them, I began work on the back two rooms. The utility room which will house cleaning/sterilizing gear is coming along, although it was a disaster to begin with. I've had to replace the plumbing, from the water meter to the faucets, as almost all of it was poorly installed and leaking or burst. 

Electrical has been almost as much fun, and definitely more confusing. The knucklehead before me even wired two completely different circuits into one another, creating an extremely dangerous situation for an unsuspecting user. After untangling that, and deciphering the decades worth of different wiring setups, I've begun cleaning up and overhauling the power system to make it as safe and reliable as possible. 

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The two old 48" fluorescent fixtures and their dim, eye-killing green glow were gleefully torn down, and in their place are two high-efficiency LED units–a huge improvement. 

I think it's time to start moving some furniture in...

Progress...

The space is coming together!

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There's a point in every tattoo, but especially the larger pieces, where I finally make the turn to see that it's going to work. Until then there's a lingering doubt sitting on my shoulder and chiding me that I won't pull it off. Always the doubt that it will pull together as I have it envisioned. 

I love what I do with a passion–enough that it keeps me single–but there's some labor to it. There's the concept, which can also be some work, then there's the sometimes tedious work of hammering it in. Somewhere in the middle of all the blood, sweat and tears–those I inflict too–the hill is finally crested, and I can see the finished piece becoming real.

That has been the reality of building another tattoo shop. I've had a little experience, so that does breed some confidence, but I've always worked with others, and some things, especially dealing with the bureaucracy of governments, and the organization of paperwork, I am not terribly skilled at. 

Now I can finally see the shop coming together into a place where I can create my very best work, and give my awesome clients the experience they deserve when they come to be tattooed.

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Looking Home-y

The little place cleaned up pretty nicely. 

There remains a lot to be done, but now I can see this all paying off. All of those skipped takeout meals at work, skipped movies, scrimping and saving, and advanced planning are paying out handily. That, and doing 100% of the work myself has made this possible on a budget I thought was half of what I needed to put away. 

Most importantly, even before I was confident in this all coming together, I had the full support of my clients, friends, and fellow tattooers. Community support is priceless. 

If nothing unexpected bars it, I hope to be able to open in the first weeks of December. I'll be busting ass 16+ hours a day until then. I thank my clients for their continued patience, and promise to reward that in spades. 

I'm stoked. See you all very soon.

Busy Day...

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It's Alive!

We have power!

Today was full of surprises. After only getting the paperwork done yesterday, the power co. rolled up and gave us electricity and gas. Knowing I could have heat, I called Bethlehem DPW, and they were there within 20 minutes to turn on the water. 

Despite an ice-damaged water meter, I am ecstatic. Hopefully the owner will have the meter replaced soon, but in the meantime, I can now work over here at any hour, and painting indoors is no longer weather-dependent. 

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The floor was started, replacing the poorly installed and worn laminate with something a bit different. I'm sprucing up the woodwork while I'm at it, because I can. 

Moving right along...

 I think the trim is going to look better in white than gold, but I do like the red. Seems the ladies at the insurance office across the street do as well!

I think the trim is going to look better in white than gold, but I do like the red. Seems the ladies at the insurance office across the street do as well!

It's Coming Together!

It has been roughly a month since my abrupt and unceremonious departure from Lark Tattoo. I would have appreciated a more professional handling of the situation by my former employers, but I had long been accustomed to less than satisfactory performance in most every area with them so it came as little surprise. 

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