VICTORIA

Can I have a tattoo too?
Mary Bolling
08may06
Decorated: Steven Hilster, 24, of Brisbane gets a tattoo on his neck.

TATTOO enthusiasts were baring their skin and getting inked this weekend, as Melbourne hosted the 21st National Tattoo Convention.

Thousands of tattoo artists and their willing subjects attended the convention, and tattoo needles were whirring all weekend.

More than 30 local, interstate and international tattoo businesses were exhibiting at the event, held at the Carlton Crest Hotel from Friday until yesterday.

While tribal tattoos, Japanese dragons and traditional skulls were all popular, other body modifications were also getting plenty of interest.

“Dnash”, from Connecticut, US, has been touring Australia for the past week, and has sold plenty of sets of his fitted vampire and wolf fangs.

Dnash said he makes the eye-catching accessories from dental acrylic, and colours them to match the customer’s teeth colour.

Frankston tattoo fan Ian Ralston, 41, decided to get fitted with his own set yesterday.

“I just thought it looked cool — and when you hang out with this crowd, you’re a lot more likely to take on new fads!” he said.

“I’ll probably only wear them to the one or two parties, but they’ll be good to have.”

While you can take the vampire teeth in and out, there were no commitment-phobes at the convention.

Organiser Patsy Farrow estimated more than 300 people had permanently added to their tattoo collections over the weekend.

Ms Farrow, of Werribee, has been a tattoo artist for 36 years, and said the convention was a good way to get new ideas.