The Handpoker by Death at Sea

The Brooklyn studio's 3D-printed design adds a modern touch to the ancient art of tattooing


Brooklyn studio Death at Sea turns to a time-honored craft for its latest 3D-printed offering, with the Handpoker—a tool for stick-and-poke tattoos. Death at Sea designer Matt Cavanaugh created the one-piece construction in stainless steel so it can be fully functional. Sporting tattoos himself, Cavanaugh tells CH, “I was trying to find a place where I can contribute to tattoo culture, not being a tattoo artist myself. There’s been a resurgence of hand-poked tattoos in shops, with few artists traveling around the world, doing it by hand. I thought I would try out the idea of making a tool for this. And that’s where I come into tattoo culture: being a maker. The tool is my entry into this activity.”


The palm-sized Handpoker is fueled by Cavanaugh’s background in architecture and industrial design, and his apparent interest in applying new technologies to historic artistry. The upshot is a useful tool with a new beauty and modernity of its own—a tool worthy of the best artists.

Expertly printed, the Handpoker comes in matte, polished gold or polished nickel, and is now available online from American Design Club for $120.

Images courtesy of Death at Sea