My interest in building tattoo machines started before I ever tattooed, I had done one tattoo on myself and decided to rebuild my first machines that were given to me by Lyle Tuttle. After looking at Ed Hardy's machines that were built by Sailor Jerry and Paul Rogers, I got a very vague, novices idea of what a tattoo machine should be. As soon as I could get money together I started buying machines from Paul. A lot of what I have learned about machine theory came from looking at Paul Rogers machines and how they ran, a few years later I was lucky enough to visit and learn from Paul. Paul Rogers learned from Cap Coleman who learned from Charlie Barrs who Paul refered to as the greatest machine mechanic he ever met. I build my tattoo machines based on the same merchanical principals and theory as they did. I basically build my machines for the way I tattoo; unless you specify how you would like them to run. I build them low tension so that they will tattoo soft and delicate or you can turn it up and move fast and really put in color quickly. All my machines are pre broken in after they are built, and run for one or two days real hard to insure that the springs won’t break. I tattoo with each machine for at least 3-6 tattoos on various body parts. After decades of trial and error and learning from all the tattoo machines I have ever come into contact with, I build my machines with what I feel are the finest quality parts that I can find. I’ve been fortunate to learn from Lyle Tuttle, Paul Rogers, Wrath, Henry Goldfield, Mike Malone, Mike Wilson and Shane Enholm. What I have learned from these people was not only about machines but also about people and the humorous aspects of life and friendship. The style of the frames I use are probably the most reproduced in tattooing, I chose these because they are sturdy and functional and through my experience, will make a tattooers job easier. I learned a few little tricks over the years and try to be very methodical to create a tattoo machine that will run daily for you for decades to come.
Thank you for you interest
Scott Sterling's tattoo machines are legendary. He has been building them for 32 years. Long before the building craze we see in our midst. He learned this craft from the top builders of our past. Paul Rogers and Mike Malone to name just two. For years Scott was well known for being Malone's building partner. If you wanted a shader from China Sea (the legendary Sailor Jerry/Mike Malone shop in Hawaii) you were getting one that Scott made. Those machines today (if not being used) are highly sought after by collectors. Now fast forward 32 plus years, Scott has taken this expertise and designed both a liner and a shader that will quickly be your #1 machines. A no-nonsense tool that will make a professional tattooers jobs easier. Just like years ago Scott makes these one at a time and tattoos with every unit before it leaves his hand. Scott has never been about quantity, only about quality.
Scott has been working with machines forever. He used to visit Paul Rogers in Jacksonville and he learned a lot about machines from him. In the 80s when Scott moved over to work with Malone at China Sea, Scott started building shaders. Rollo had the liners figured out (Rollomatic) and Scott was making the KolorKing. Scott took all the machines at China Sea and restored them, putting his hands on all the old Jerry machines lying around. I think that being there and getting his hands on that old shit taught him a lot. During this time there wasn’t anyone building a better shader than Scott. He would go to a convention with 50 machines and sell every fucking one. The KolorKing was a really good product, for a really good price, and you know, people are still using those same KolorKings from back then, everyday. All that knowledge kinda percolates into what he is building now. What Scott knows is invaluable to tattooing, but what’s better is that he is willing to share it with anyone that is willing to listen. Out of Jerry’s shop, there was Jerry, then Malone and there was Scott. Those were the three people that sat in that shop and built machines. Scott is the last one alive that was in that shop, that’s the lineage.
Gordon "Wrath" Mccloud