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At Red Beard Ink, Tattoos are Art You Wear on Your Skin

By S. Mathur

Studio owner RedBeard, Bob "Trixter" Treat, sees tattoos as art that you can wear on your skin. His own involvement with tattoos goes back a long time. It began with him getting tattoos despite his parents' disapproval. He went on to watch master artists at work and served as their apprentice. Formal training, studio work and finally opening his own studio mark the stages of his career. Through this long journey he has acquired a deep knowledge of the art.

"I got into the tattoo industry in 1991 in Leesville, LA after serving my time in the US Army,' Treat said "At that time I was doing tattooing part time, and in 2001 began working for a studio in Harrisburg, PA. In 2002 that studio ran into money issues, and it was also at that time my wife was diagnosed with an illness and she was unable to work any longer."

He decided to take over the lease of the failed tattoo studio and it became Red Beard Ink, Tattoo and Body Piercing of Harrisburg.

All told, Treat has been tattooing for 26 years and body piercing for 17. Red Beard Ink offers tattooing, piercing, and tattoo removal.

"I can do all types of styles of tattooing, but my main style is Neo Traditional," he said. "I also do all the standard and exotic piercings. I also have the knowledge of art, studying at the Art Institute of York."

He is certified in bloodborne pathogens, CPR, and first aid. Treat also has a certification in Medical Aesthetic/IPL for tattoo removal. These certifications are not required by the state of Pennsylvania for tattoo artists but ensure a safe environment and peace of mind for clients.

Red Beard Ink also offers body jewelry and tattoo and piercing aftercare products for sale. Tattoo designs can be chosen from the tens of thousands of designs on file. The studio specializes in portraits, black and grey, black light, and freehand artwork.

"I really enjoy doing custom tattoos, taking that idea that is within my client's minds-eye, and designing it into a tattoo for them," RedBeard said, "A couple of tattoos that come to mind are a Celtic back-piece that took me 104 hours to complete. There was also a patriotic rattlesnake design that I designed for a clients leg."

Over the years, Treat has built up his clientele. As well as the art, he enjoys working with people.

"The thing I enjoy the most about tattooing, and I know most people would say the tattooing, but really that is second to me, the first thing is THE CLIENTS!" he said. "I'm a real people person, as a boy I was really shy, and through tattooing, I was able to over come my shyness. Working on and with the clients has been a very rewarding to my life."

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