Knuckle tattoos having trouble healing?

From the mail bag, Matt asks:

I have what may be a stupid question. Now I have a multitude of ink most recently decided to have my knuckles done. Since I’m a mechanic i was wearing latex gloves to keep my hands clean. Question being is it normal for a large portion or good portion of the ink to not be there any longer after my knuckles have healed? The black almost looks like pepper specks. None of my other bodily parts have had such a reaction.

Dear Matt,

Not a stupid question at all. In fact I hear this problem a lot from tattoo artists too. The combination of keeping the tattoo moist and warm lets a lot of the ink seep out during the healing process. It happens a lot. Might want to get them redone next time you have a few days off coming up so that the early stages of healing can get done before you are back in the gloves.

Thanks for asking,

Nathan Black
All knuckle tattoos, all the time.


The website will be on strike against SOPA and PIPA on January 18th, 2012.

I personally feel very strongly about freedom of expression. Part of the reason that I don’t ever edit the stories on the site is that I believe strongly not only in people’s self expression, but in the free form of that expression. Knuckle tattoos are someone’s eight letter statement to the world. Their story should be expressed in the words of the person behind them.

Help us fight against internet censorship. Call your congress person and express your commitment to the free expression of ideas, as protected by the constitution. For more tools and information visit:

Thanks for your support,

Nathan Black

All knuckle tattoos, all the time.

PS – I might have to make an exception if someone sends me an actual set of knuckle tattoos that read SOPA PIPA.

Mail Box….

Hey y’all!

I get email every once in a while, and I thought I’d take a moment to share a recent exchange:

Hey Nathan.

I’m a huge supporter of the knuckle project. I check in every day to see new ones. The tats are so cool and the stories are even more legendary. Ive been wanting knuckle tats for a long time now but I’m only 16. I can’t wait to send in mine when I’m 18. I’m stuck on SDMF 1994. Can’t wait!


I responded with:

Hey Brendan,

Thanks for supporting the project. It is definitely a labor of love. I have to say, though, please don’t get your knuckles done. I’ve talked to a lot of people about their knuckles and what they mean to them. While a lot of people love and cherish their knuckles, plenty of people also regret having had them done. There is still a lot of hate dropped on people with their knuckles done, which is bullshit. But it still happens.

I’m 38 and I’ve been working on this project for 5 years now. I still don’t have my knuckles done. Your knuckles are the final frontier. You have plenty of time to get them tattooed. Hopefully you will pick something more meaningful to your life as a whole instead of the year you were born and a band you liked in high school. If I had done that, I’d have 1972 and TMBG across my knuckles.

Trust me, friend, wait as long as possible to get your hands done. You are going to go through a lot more shit soon. Something epic will happen. Commemorate that instead.

Thanks for writing in,

Nathan Black
All knuckle tattoos, all the time.

NYC Tattoo Convention Recap

I had a great time at the New York City Tattoo Convention!

I met a ton of great people and collected over 40 sets of knuckle tattoos. I’ve already started compiling the convention book. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Marissa and Brian from the exceptional Needles and Sins tattoo blog. I also ran into Bill Cohen from the Tattoosday blog. We all got together for this photo:

NYC Tattoo Convention: tattoo bloggers
Nathan (, Marissa (, and Bill (

Over the course of the convention, my legs placed 3rd in the “Old School” Tattoo category, I passed out a ton of stickers, I traded Tshirts with a random guy in a bar, a tattooed cop gave me official NYPD patches, got to spend a lot of quality time with my brother and his wife, and I brought home a carry on bag worth of bagels. Pretty good for a four day trip.

If you want to see the rest of my “behind the scenes shots” of the convention and my various wandering through NYC, visit my photography site.

Thanks to everyone in NYC for your hospitality and I hope to come back next year!

NYC Tattoo Convention!

Hey y’all!

I’m going to be visiting the NYC Tattoo Convention May 13-15th!

I will taking pictures and collecting stories for a magazine/book for publication after the convention. Catch up to me via email ( or twitter @knuckle_tattoos and make sure I get a picture of your knuckles. Even if you have submitted your knuckles to the site before, I’d like to meet you and take a picture in person. Then we can high-five and get drinks! It is going to be awesome!

See you there!

April Sponsor!

Hello loyal knuckle tattoo fans!

I am proud to announce our first ever sponsor here on has kindly offered to help support the site and as a bonus, they are offering a discount code for all our readers. When you check out, make sure you use the code KT10 to get ten percent off all your plugs and ear stretching needs!

They’ve got a great selection of high quality jewelry stuff, check it out!