An amputee tattoo artist may be the first person to wield a prosthetic arm that doubles as a tattoo gun.
JC Tenet lost his lower right arm when he was 10. He started his career as a designer but left that world eight years ago when he realized that tattooing was his passion.
That passion translated into innovation when the 32-year-old French tattoo artist came up with the idea of building a prosthetic arm with a tattoo gun in place of a hand. He teamed up with JL Gonzal, an artist known for creating kinetic sculptures, and gave him an old prosthetic to work with.
“When [Tenet] saw my creations, he imagined he could bring back his right arm and tattoo with it! It was a crazy but [such a] beautiful idea!” Gonzal told Global News. “I loved the challenge!”
Using parts from an old mechanical typewriter and gramophone to complete the steam punk aesthetic, Gonzal built the hybrid prosthetic.
The pair debuted it at a tattoo convention in Davezieux, France on June 4.
In an interview with Mashable, Tenet said, “I had to relearn to use my right hand 22 years after the loss; it’s terrifying and amazing at the same time.”
The prosthetic is powered by a generator that is attached through the elbow, ensuring cables don’t get in the way while Tenet is working.
Tenet told Global News that in its current state, the tattooing prosthetic isn’t accurate enough to do anything more than shading and that it is only used during exhibitions due to the long and meticulous cleaning process.
But a second prototype is already in the works.
Gonzal said the next challenge is to improve the prosthetic’s wrist mobility while Tenet learns tattooing again, but this time, with his right arm.
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.