Six people came to the Onondaga Historical Association museum Wednesday to receive tattoo's of Syracuse China patterns that can be found worldwide. Joel Weissman, a Masters of Fine Arts candidate concentrating in Ceramics at Syracuse University put together Vitreous Identity: The Syracuse China Tattoo Archive, as a way memorialize the loss of the company and its place within the Central New York community.
Syracuse China, which opened its doors in 1871 under the name Onondaga Pottery, was the first American firm to offer a non-porous ceramic product on an industrial scale. The company would later close in 2009.
While exploring old lithograph stones that the company used to print their designs on the china, Weismann decided he wanted to "breathe new life into them by taking them out of the context they were in, and stitch in a new narrative." "Having the tattooing event in public is really important because it's this idea of bearing witness to an act, I think the act of getting the tattoo is the most important part of the project," he said.
Alongside the tattooing tables a small crowd of people walked through some of the displays showing different time periods of the china manufactured locally.
"It's also a celebration of the company and what it really meant to Syracuse," Weismann said of the event. "It's not just a memorial."