Frequently Asked Questions
From time to time we get asked questions about how the studio works or about the process of tattooing. We’ve tried to answer a few of them below. If there’s something you would like to know about the studio or the tattooing process please contact us, we’ll try and help anyway we can.
I’m considering getting tattooed and would like to know a little bit more about the process, what can I expect?
If you’ve already been tattooed by any of us you’ll probably know how we work.
It all starts with an idea. Once you give us an idea of what you want we’re able to work with you in designing your tattoo. This is best done with a consultation, an appointment set aside to go over ideas, sizes and clarify any questions, either side. There is no charge for consultations, they are purely fact finding . It is up to you at the end of the consultation to decide whether or not you’d like us to work on a design for you. If so, we almost always require a deposit and book an appointment, having an appointment gives us a timescale to work towards with your design.
Sometimes we meet again or send emails to confirm designs and other times not, it all depends on what was discussed at the time of the booking, you have as much say in that as we do.
What is the consultation about?
Usually we’ll want to talk to you in person about a tattoo, sometimes it may be possible to work over email to get ideas across. We want to know your ideas about the tattoo, whether it’s specific subject matter, a concept or a type of script. If you have reference, that can also help. It’s also a time to consider the area to be tattooed, size and flow on the body. It’s an open dialogue, we only ask that you take our suggestions into consideration. There are examples of our work on the website and links to external social media accounts with our work on. Take some time to look through to make sure you like the technical and design/art work of the person you book a consultation with, if you’re unsure as to who suits your idea better we’ll happily advise you.
Are deposits refundable?
Unfortunately not. We talked long and hard about this between ourselves and feel that if you commit to an appointment and change your mind before that date, the deposit will be the penalty. It’s not that we want to screw you out of your money, it’s purely to cover us as professionals.
Alot of the time we start investing our time in the tattoo before it’s even drawn, there are concepts to think about, reference to find and consider. Once it’s drawn or sketched we may have already spent more time on the design than it will actually take to physically tattoo.
We are happy to reschedule appointments within 3 days of the due date. Cancelling will result in your loss of the deposit. In essence we take each case on an individual basis and we are open to talk about it if unforeseen circumstances arise, we just want you to know where we’re coming from.
Do you do piercings?
No, we only specialise in tattoos at Seven Swords. If you are interested in piercing we recommend you speak to Ash Don Butcher at No Regrets Tattoos, they are just around the corner from us.
How clean is the process?
We work in an extremely clean environment. The studio has a strict cleaning schedule that we adhere to and all sterilising of instruments is documented. The autoclave we operate is an 8Ltr Enigma type B vacuum autoclave. The studio is registered with the Environmental Health department of Cheltenham Borough Council and we operate under the byelaws relating to tattooing. A online version can be found here
Our process of working revolves around having barriers on everything reusable and disposing of everything that is not such as needles, ink caps and the barriers themselves. Gloves are worn at all times in the procedure and are changed frequently. We have dedicated hand washing sinks in each of the 2 work areas and adopt the preferred hand washing procedures. If you’d like to discuss the hygiene of the studio and the instruments we’re more than happy to go further into it, contact us. We value your safety as much as we do our own.
How old do you have to be to get tattooed?
In the United Kingdom the legal age is 18.
All tattooers are bound by the Tattooing of Minors Act of 1969. Parental consent holds no power in this instance and you must be 18 or above to be tattooed anywhere in the United Kingdom. Experience has shown us that underage tattoos pretty much always end up as larger costly coverups.
The truth is only an unlicensed or unethical tattoooer would probably agree to tattoo you under age, this usually means they’re putting their financial considerations in front of your well being.
How do I look after my tattoo?
We’ll tell you about the aftercare procedures after the tattoo both verbally and in written form. Aftercare advice is given on an individual basis and we feel we are only equipped to give advice to people we’ve tattooed.
How much does a tattoo cost?
The price of tattoos vary. For our studio we start at £40. This is the minimum we’ll charge as it covers our setup costs.
For some designs we can quote an actual definite price, for others we may look to work to an hourly rate. It can be difficult to say exactly how long something will take, at most we can give a good guess. Sometimes the idea or design will evolve over a number of sessions, this is where an hourly rate makes more sense for both us and our clients.
Other times we will have a good idea of the price, quote it and stick to it regardless of time or small design changes. I think what we’re really trying to say is it’s best to come in and discuss the design and your ideas with us, once we’ve got a clear idea of what you’re after we’ll be in a better position to talk about the cost.
If you still have something you’d like to ask us about feel free to contact us.