A needle and chopstick: New tattoo shop opens in Revelstoke

It’s the second business in the city to offer tattoos

There’s a new place to get a tattoo in Revelstoke.

Kata Polano has started a new business from her home called Acoustic Ink. She provides hand-poked tattoos, as opposed to many other tattoo shops that use machines.

With hand-poked tattoos, also known as stick n’poke, artists push the needle and ink into the skin manually, without the aid of a machine.

Polano said they are becoming more popular.

“Because it’s old school.”

Using a single needle and ink technique dates back as far as ancient Egypt, with mummies being found with tattoos on their fingers. Some cultures use natural objects, such as bamboo sticks in Thailand.

Polano said these tattoos also tend to hurt less

“About 95 per cent of people would say so.”

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She got into the art several years ago, learning from a friend. Her first tattoos were on herself, such as a full moon on her chest for her dad who passed away.

“My dad loved full moons,” Polano said.

However, the tattoo proved difficult as she kept hitting the bathroom mirror with her inking tool, a needle tapped to a chopstick.

“As a tattoo artist, our body is our practice skin,” she said.

Polano has many tattoos on her body, most of which are ocean themed. She’s spent many years beside the ocean, such as in the Caribbean, Florida, and Vancouver Island.

“It’s a way of bringing the ocean with me.”

Her shop is decorated with her paintings that have vibrant splashes of paint. There’s a comfy chair in the corner, artfully patched with squares of blues, purples, and reds to cover cat scratches.

On a shelf, there’s jewelry Polano made from the time she lived in Mexico and owned a restaurant.

Asking Polano about her past is like starting the Lord of the Rings trilogy – it’s full of surprises.

She’s also a massage therapist at the ski resort and has worked as a yoga teacher, snorkel/scuba diver instructor and built homes in Nelson. All of which, has influenced her art.

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Polano has decided to open a tattoo shop because she said it’s one of the most satisfying art forms.

“People trust you. You trust yourself.”

She continued that it’s cool to bump into people in town with her tats.

“It’s way more fun than putting dots on paper.”

Polano can be reached through Instagram: @acousticinkbc or at 250-814-7829.

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