Tattoo artist appears to have set record
by Darren Dunlap
of The Daily Times Staff
Verni Russell tattooed her way through the night Friday and Saturday, on her way to what appears to be a new world record for the longest tattoo session.
Russell, co-owner of Passionfish Tattoos at 744 West Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, said she tattoed 35 and a half hours, beginning 10 a.m. Friday and ending Saturday night.
If Guinness World Records verifies the attempt, she'll be the holder of a new world record.
``We did 178 tattoos,'' said Russell, who was still groggy Sunday afternoon. ``We did 107 tattoos in the first 24 hours.''
She did not work alone, though.
John Russell, her husband and an owner of the business, was there preparing and sterilizing the needles and other materials needed for the tattoo. Tattoo studios follow state regulations for sanitation.
A three-person crew filmed Verni Russell's work for the Guinness World Records, which is headquartered in England.
She was required to get a brief amount of sleep, 15 minutes for every eight hours of work.
Business came in steady bursts. She would get eight to 10 people at a time. The work slowed a bit at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, but picked up at about 5 a.m.
She also made progress toward raising money to send Jeremiah, her 12-year-old son, to Sydney, Australia as a U.S. sports ambassador. He will be wrestling in Sydney's Olympic Stadium, the only student at William Blount Middle School chosen for the honor, according to his mother.
During the session, Verni Russell did one kind of tattoo -- the wisdom fish. She said she will continue doing that tattoo for $20 each until she raises the amount of money needed to send Jeremiah to Austrailia.
She was also happy about the number of people who came through for their first tattoo.
``Of that 178, 43 were first-time tattoo-getters, which was amazing,'' she said.