The Sugar Project 2011

Like a slumbering (but wholly excellent and wonderful) beast, The Sugar Project is once again stirring from its sleep and slowly coming to life in preparation for March 1st 2011. For you see, it is the first day of March that signals the start of the auction for 70 beautifully decorated model skulls that have been painstakingly adorned by tattoo artists the world over.

The brainchild of Lisa Bolton, The Sugar Project came about last year as a tribute to her father and a means of both enabling tattooists to tackle an alternative medium and donating the subsequent profits to a charity of Lisa’s choosing: last year The Sugar Project raised almost £6,000 for Woking Hospice, who cared for Lisa’s father in the twilight time of his life. This amazing feat again demonstrates the generosity of the tattoo community in the time dedicated to creating the skulls and the bids put forth in the auctions. This year’s chosen charity is Brighton’s women’s refuge, Rise, an excellent choice of destination for the funds.

The skulls will once again be on display at the Brighton Tattoo Convention (29th – 30th January 2011) so as if you needed another reason to head down to the south coast for one of the best shows in the UK, you can view the magnificent skulls in all their glory too!

…but wait: there’s an even juicier twist to this tale. The life-size skeleton that was painted to promote last year’s event is the subject of a raffle at the convention! Decorated by Phil Kyle, Gerry Carnelly, Leah Moule, Paul “Myth” Naylor, Tommy Higgins and Lisa Bolton, you can be in with a shot of taking “Ol’ Bonesy” (it’s not his name, but I like it) home with you. Come on, kids: get involved! Tickets for this go on sale January 1st and the raffle is scheduled to be drawn on Sunday 30th January at the show.

Phew! Nearly done, but there’s a sliver left to add yet. Many of the skulls have already been allocated to their temporary homes for a good splash of paint but there are a few remaining for any tattooists who may be interested in taking part. Please have a read of Lisa’s brief for submissions below:

A portion of skulls are allocated by invite to bring new artists into the event but there are still a few available to any artist who wishes to take part. The skulls are VERY popular and there is a limited number available, so if you have a strong portfolio and feel you can really do a skull justice please email Lisa Bolton for consideration on The skulls are free to all artists, and The Sugar Project will refund the cost of return postage from anywhere in the world. You may do ANYTHING you like with your skull, cut it, add to it, craft it…these are the only rules:


  2. Your submission must remain recognisable as a skull

  3. You must not affect the bottom of the skull as it will be mounted on a wooden base before being sold.

  4. If you do not return your skull you will be asked to make a donation of £10 to cover costs.

ALL SKULLS MUST BE RETURNED BY DECEMBER 1st. Please do not take part if you do not think you can honour your commitment.

Plenty more details are available on the page dedicated to The Sugar Project, and there’s a blog from Mel at Tattoosday UK waxing lyrical as I have about this mammoth event.

Published in: on 10/01/2010 at 7:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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