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New tattoo shop opens in Glace Bay


GLACE BAY— Anyone who has ever thought about adding a little artwork to their life might want to circle Friday on their calendar

Although the doors to Captain Squid's Tattoo Social Club in Glace Bay officially opened Tuesday, owner Alex Ste-Marie said the grand opening will be celebrated Friday with "mini tattoos" for $50 from 10 a.m.-11 p.m., with all proceeds going to the Undercurrent Youth Centre in Glace  Bay.

Ste-Marie said at one time he was employed as a social worker in Edmonton, Alberta, and was the studio manager of the youth centre.

"I thought when I first opened here giving to the youth centre in the community would be a good start," he said. "The youth centre is still something I take seriously."

Ste-Marie said all the staff are on board to assist with the fundraiser Friday.

"All of the staff are donating their time, no one is getting paid."

Ste-Marie, originally of Montreal, moved to Cape Breton about a year and a half ago. He was employed as a tattoo artist in Sydney.

"I figured after doing this for 20 years it was time to open my own tattoo shop once and for all," he said.

"There's none here in Glace Bay, I thought it would be a good idea."

The only tattoo shop previously in Glace Bay  — located at the People's Mall — closed about a year ago. The previous owner, Steve Andrews, now works for Ste-Marie along with artist Tony Steylen.

Ste-Marie said one of the most popular tattoos is an infinity symbol. One of the longest sessions he has had with a customer was 34 hours —  and that's only so far.

"He's having both arms and both legs done — mostly skulls — and he's not done yet."

He said there is no main place people get tattoos on their body anymore, although many chose wrists.

Ste-Marie said he puts an emphasis on making every tattoo as unique as possible. He prefers to do people age 18 and over.

"If anyone younger comes in with their parents I encourage them to wait."

He also discourages names of partners and spouses on tattoos.

Ste-Marie said his most common "cover up" requests are for names and also for what is referred to as, "kitchen scratch" tattoos — poor quality work by someone unqualified.

Ste-Marie's first customer Tuesday was Kevin Rowe of Glace Bay, found getting a lumberjack tattoo on his foot. For Rowe, who works in the forestry industry, it was his ninth or 10th piece of artwork.

"I'm not finished yet," Rowe said, while having his tattoo worked on. "I'm always thinking about the next one."

Ste-Marie — originally a painter before getting into tattooing — said the artists at the business will eventually be doing artwork for the walls, which will be available for sale.

"We will also be exposing artwork through the shop," he said.

"I will also be bringing in a couple friends as guest artists once in a while."

Ste-Marie has also already made one of the sacrifices of a business owner. The 42-inch, big screen television originally in his living room, now hangs in the lobby of his business.

He said the shop will be a comfortable place for people to visit.

"There is a lounge with a couch there where people can come discuss and talk about their tattoos."

smontgomery@cbpost.com

Although the doors to Captain Squid's Tattoo Social Club in Glace Bay officially opened Tuesday, owner Alex Ste-Marie said the grand opening will be celebrated Friday with "mini tattoos" for $50 from 10 a.m.-11 p.m., with all proceeds going to the Undercurrent Youth Centre in Glace  Bay.

Ste-Marie said at one time he was employed as a social worker in Edmonton, Alberta, and was the studio manager of the youth centre.

"I thought when I first opened here giving to the youth centre in the community would be a good start," he said. "The youth centre is still something I take seriously."

Ste-Marie said all the staff are on board to assist with the fundraiser Friday.

"All of the staff are donating their time, no one is getting paid."

Ste-Marie, originally of Montreal, moved to Cape Breton about a year and a half ago. He was employed as a tattoo artist in Sydney.

"I figured after doing this for 20 years it was time to open my own tattoo shop once and for all," he said.

"There's none here in Glace Bay, I thought it would be a good idea."

The only tattoo shop previously in Glace Bay  — located at the People's Mall — closed about a year ago. The previous owner, Steve Andrews, now works for Ste-Marie along with artist Tony Steylen.

Ste-Marie said one of the most popular tattoos is an infinity symbol. One of the longest sessions he has had with a customer was 34 hours —  and that's only so far.

"He's having both arms and both legs done — mostly skulls — and he's not done yet."

He said there is no main place people get tattoos on their body anymore, although many chose wrists.

Ste-Marie said he puts an emphasis on making every tattoo as unique as possible. He prefers to do people age 18 and over.

"If anyone younger comes in with their parents I encourage them to wait."

He also discourages names of partners and spouses on tattoos.

Ste-Marie said his most common "cover up" requests are for names and also for what is referred to as, "kitchen scratch" tattoos — poor quality work by someone unqualified.

Ste-Marie's first customer Tuesday was Kevin Rowe of Glace Bay, found getting a lumberjack tattoo on his foot. For Rowe, who works in the forestry industry, it was his ninth or 10th piece of artwork.

"I'm not finished yet," Rowe said, while having his tattoo worked on. "I'm always thinking about the next one."

Ste-Marie — originally a painter before getting into tattooing — said the artists at the business will eventually be doing artwork for the walls, which will be available for sale.

"We will also be exposing artwork through the shop," he said.

"I will also be bringing in a couple friends as guest artists once in a while."

Ste-Marie has also already made one of the sacrifices of a business owner. The 42-inch, big screen television originally in his living room, now hangs in the lobby of his business.

He said the shop will be a comfortable place for people to visit.

"There is a lounge with a couch there where people can come discuss and talk about their tattoos."

smontgomery@cbpost.com

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