ABOUT fifty years ago, when the subject of English furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood. It is not really quite as simple as that, for each of the so-called Ages overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lagt down strict dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if ever, went out of favour.
Some people collect tattoos the way others collect antiques or works of art. Others are interested in the super sleek designs that are a product of the thinking of the 21st century such as biomechanical designs (which look like muscles beneath the flesh) and designs that resemble the interior workings of cyborgs. During the last fifteen years, two distinct classes of tattoo business have emerged. The first is the tattoo parlor that glories in a sense of urban outlaw culture, advertises itself with garish exterior signage and offers less than sanitary surroundings. The second is the tattoo art studio that most frequently features custom and fine art designs, all of the features of a high end beauty and by-appointment services only. Today's fine art tattoo studio draws the same kind of clients as a jewelry store, fashion boutique, or highend antique shop.