Space & Innovation

Tattoo Artist's Prosthetic Arm Is an Inking Machine

JC Sheitan Tenet's artificial limb has steampunk flair with ink-gun precision.

JC Sheitan Tenet, who lives in Lyons, France, lost his right arm below the elbow 22 years ago. As a right-handed person, he had to learn how to tattoo people using his left hand.

But now, thanks to visual artist JL Gonzal, Sheitan Tenet has a custom-designed prosthetic arm with a built-in inker, reports Gizmag.

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Sheitan Tenet and Gonzal met at a convention, where they began talking about a way for Tenet to use his right arm for tattooing.

Gonzal mounted a customized Nicks rotary tattoo machine -- the kind Sheitan Tenet typically uses -- to a prosthetic arm. A power cord connection at the elbow gives the inker its juice and it's positioned to keep the cord out of the artist's way.

The needles, griptube, nipple and rubber are disposable.

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Gonzal gave the prosthetic arm a steampunk look by adding parts from a mechanical typewriter and gramophone and painting it with a rusty finish.

Although the device allows Sheitan Tenet to use his right hand, the first iteration of this prosthetic device is not yet practical for daily use, reports Gizmag. Its function is limited and it takes a long time to clean.

"That is why it is an exhibition kinetic sculpture and not my daily use tool," Sheitan Tenet writes on his Facebook page.

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But it does show a creative avenue into augmenting humans who have lost a limb and as Sheitan Tenet writes on his Facebook page, prototype number 2 is on its way.

In a Youtube video below, Sheitan demonstrates his new arm for the first time.

click to play video