Meet the Sunderland tattoo artist reopening at midnight to complete artwork 10 years in the making
A Sunderland tattoo artist will complete a decade’s worth of work on a client’s sleeve as the clock strikes midnight on Monday, July 13 – signalling the official reopening of the business following lockdown.
Mel Blyth, owner of Elixir Tattoos on Frederick Street, will reopen her studio at midnight for a special client following months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mel, who has had the studio for 17 years, was inspired by hairdresser cousin Debra Anne Adamson, who reopened Sunderland salon, Cloud 9, at midnight on Super Saturday (July 4) for her first appointment.
Now Mel, 52, will be following suit with her own dramatic opening, when she resumes work on a full sleeve for loyal client Kris Armstrong.
Kris was due to have his tattoo completed just before lockdown measures were put in place in March.
Under Government guidelines, Mel will be kitted out in PPE and have plastic screens in place to provide additional protection for appointments, with the midnight inking session expected to last four hours.
With plans to return home around 4am following the appointment, Mel said she will catch up on sleep before going back to work again for afternoon bookings on the same day.
Mel, mum to daughter Abigail, eight, said: “I’m looking forward to it. I really enjoy my job and it’s nice to be in a position to do something creative.
"I have been working on Kris’ sleeve for years. I started more than 10 years ago and had meant to finish it just before lockdown.
"I had rescheduled work for clients but with Kris, we couldn’t find a suitable time for both parties, so for a laugh I said let’s do what Debra did and have a midnight opening.”
Beauty salons and tanning shops are also set to reopen in England from July 13, as part of the Government's further easing of lockdown restrictions.
Gyms, indoor swimming pools, dance studios and sports like badminton and volleyball will now be allowed to reopen and restart later this month from July 25.