Some times you need to compliment the aggressive components of a tattoo with something elegant or sometimes you just want an ornate tattoo as beautiful as a museum piece of jewellery around your neck. The best way to achieve this is by using filigree.
Filigree originated as form of metalwork found on jewellery. It grew in popularity in Portuguese, French and Italian metalwork from the 16th to the 19th Century and appeared in everything from cast iron railings to paintings.
Ryan Smith, Ryan Ashley DiCristina (Malarkey) and Jenna Kerr would be notable tattooers that would use filigree in their work as a way to adorn the body with art which compliments the shape of the body much like Jewellery.
Ryan Ashley started her career as a fashion designer specialising in beadwork, lace and embroidery and it clearly shows in the intricate designs of her tattoo body pieces. She later went on to win Inkmaster in 2016 and has hosted spin off series.
Ryan ‘The Scientist’ Smith is based out of No Regrets Studio Exeter but is a regular on the International Tattoo scene. He won many accolades over the years such as ‘Best of Show’ at the first ever Tattoo Collective convention in London as well as taking the top prize at the 2017 Milano Tattoo Convention .
Jenna Kerr specialises in ornamental tattoos. She uses techniques such a filigree and gems to make her tattoos appear as a piece of jewellery. Kerr is a World Famous Tattoo artist who works out of the Devil in the Detail tattoo studio in Staffordshire, UK.
The second way to use Filigree in tattoos would be as background to compliment tattoo components such as a woman’s face, intricate building architecture or animals such as birds. It can also be used as a way to soften dark or aggressive subjects such as skulls, demons or lions. Artists such as Pascal Maloroni Reniere (needle juice) or Mumia regularly use this technique in their work.
Pascal Malorni Reniere is a tattoo artist based in Montreal, Canada who focuses on surrealism and black & grey. He has also collaborated with Sullen Clothing with his own line of tshirts as part of their signature artist series.
Mumia is originally from Portugal but has built his career in Denmark. He specialises in darksurrealistic Black and Grey tattoos and currently works out of Zoi Tattoo in the capital city of Copenhagen.
Filigree is mostly seen in black and grey tattoos but is becoming increasingly popular in colour tattoos lately. The ability of the smooth curvature of filigree to accentuate a body’s toned physique has made this a desirable tattoo in the modern world of keep fit and body positivity.
Below enjoy this stunning lineup of some of best filigree tattoos out there to give you a deeper perspective on what is possible when you choose to get a filigree tattoo.