Stoney St. Clair should be a household name, but he isn’t. If he was around now, I guarantee he would be.
I’m not sure if Stoney St. Claire was more a tattoo master or cultural oddity, but he certainly carved out his fair piece of the game. Disabled by arthritis since the age of four his growth was stunted resulting in him being confined to a wheelchair. Stoney left home to join the circus and became a professional tattooer at the tender age of 16. He moved on to be mentored by both August “Cap” Coleman and Charlie Wagner, and the rest is history.
Lucky for you, there is some great documentation on this cult classic. That means you don’t have to listen to my weak ass description of this tattoo legend, you can hear it from the man himself.
Here is a trailer for a documentary on Mr. St. Clair:
Customer: “This is my first tattoo… but I think I might get more a little later on.”
Stoney: “You will. I’m putting come-back in it. Just a little dew drop…”
Here is the full documentary:
There is a also a detailed account of his life on this blog.