Mike Heath, left, laughs  as Blue Collar Tattoo owner Sean Ewan cleans his arm before tattooing a tribute to Metallica, on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, in Bremerton, Washington. Tap or click on this image for the slideshow. 
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Mike Heath, left, laughs as Blue Collar Tattoo owner Sean Ewan cleans his arm before tattooing a tribute to Metallica, on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, in Bremerton, Washington. Tap or click on this image for the slideshow.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

PHOTOS: Bremerton men (and one woman) bare their tattoos

Tattoo parlors tend to cluster near the Navy base in Bremerton. And indeed, a good chunk of the work done there is nautical in nature.

But it’s not all octopuses and anchors.

Tattoo artist Paul Weaver says he sees variety in his clients’ requests, as well as some patterns.

“Women in the Navy tend to get larger pieces,” he said. “Women that aren’t in the Navy tend to get the more smaller, delicate pieces.”

“Guys, whether they are in the Navy, I think it’s a macho thing. They tend to go balls out.” Which is a reference to running an engine at full speed, as in: more tattoos, faster, and even bigger.

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But all that tattooing means hours under the needle – and pain.

Weaver says it is NOT okay to wiggle and writhe. “If they’re moving around like that, I say, 'Dude, you’re getting charged for this time. The more you move, the longer it’s going to take.'"

KUOW Photographer Megan Farmer found people in mid-tattoo who were obviously able to zone the pain out.

Carolyn Adolph can be reached at cadolph@kuow.org. Have a story idea? Use our story pitch form.