Tower Classic Tattooing

Tower Classic Tattooing (4146 Manchester), a new tattoo shop in the Grove, is projected to open mid to late August. The shop opening is another example of the growth and diverse and daytime businesses opening up in the business district, as well as its development into a hub for artists in the area. Whether looking for art in art galleries, brick wall murals, or skin (either here or at Outlaw’s Inks & Styles, 4254 Manchester), the Grove’s got it.

The decor of the tattoo shop is indicative of what owner Sean Baltzell hopes to do with his business. Everything is hand-designed and reflects the detailed and thought-out craftsmanship of tattoo art. Much of the art and furnishings were chosen from local St. Louis artists and craftsmen. The environment is indicative of an early 1900s library to reflect the timeless art of tattooing, which has a rich history.

Baltzell’s interest in art started a young age. His mother is a designer, and he became inspired by graffiti and album art. Baltzell received his first tattoo when he was 17 years old. “I fell in love with the craftsmanship,” he explained. “It can’t be replaced by a machine, in a world where everything else can be.” He began exploring the world of tattoo art, which can often be difficult to learn. “It was a treasure hunt in the beginning” he stated. Sean first began working as a tattoo artist ten years ago in Centralia. Over the years, Baltzell traveled through the United States and Europe, learning from various tattoo artists.

What makes Tower Classic Tattooing unique? Though Baltzell documents his more unique tattoo art pieces, when you walk into the shop you’ll notice the absence of books with tattoo selections. “I try to push the thought process so the tattoo has more impact,” he explained. By discussing with clients what tattoo they envision, he can work to make each tattoo truly unique and personal. He generally uses several references for each tattoo, using various books and images for inspiration.

In addition, Baltzell has built tattoo machines from scratch and Tower Classic Tattooing uses vegan ink.

Why the Grove? “I love the Grove,” Sean Baltzell explained.”It’s its own thing and on its own path in St. Louis. It’s a bit like the Loop in its early years – not too commercial.” As for other businesses he’d like to see in the Grove, Baltzell immediately answered, “Coffee shop, serving breakfast fare.”

The cost varies per tattoo based on detail and technical difficulty. Generally the hourly rate is $80 to $120/hour for larger projects. Hours will be Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The shop will be closed on Sundays.

Stay tuned for news of their soft opening (projected to be August 20) and grand opening party on September 2. The event will begin at Tower Classic Tattooing and post-party will take place at neighboring Atomic Cowboy.

For more information, be sure to find them on Facebook here.

Posted on August 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

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As a resident of St. Louis City, I am excited to be part of the momentum in the Grove. And of course I love the fact that I can bike to work! — Tatyana Telnikova, HandleBar

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