For this edition of Under the Gun, we caught up with German skateboarder Juergen Horrwarth to have him explain the cool story behind the crests tattooed on his biceps.
These are family crests my grandfather made up because he was a sign writer back in the day. Before there was graphic design and printing, they made all the graphics and posters by hand. So he sat with a dude that does crests and they came up with the design. It doesn’t have anything to do with royalty or something like that, but it means a lot to me because he made them.
The crest has all the symbols of my heritage. The first Horrwarth’s that came to Germany were from Hungary, and they were in the wine business, so that’s what the grapes represent.
Then the other side of the family was bakers, so that’s why the pretzel is in there. Then there are the typical standard things like the knight’s helmet and the shield.
My grandfather, he originally painted this on tiles that were a foot tall. The tiles were put into the wall at my mom’s house. So when you walk up to the door of the house, in my grandfather’s writing it says the year the house was built, and then he put the tiles.
This is in a small town in the country where I’m from. It’s in the southwest of Germany. So I took photographs and had it transferred into black and white. It’s originally yellow and blue, but I didn’t want color in this tattoo.
I knew that I was going to get these two tattoos, but I didn’t really know where to get them and how and by whom. So I went to a concert one year and I met up with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in 15 years.
I was like, “Wow, what are you doing in Hamburg?” He said he was a tattoo artist these days. I thought that was amazing, because at the time I was pursuing skating, he was learning about tattoos.
So when we met up again, I knew he was the guy. And he thought it was an amazing opportunity for him because he’d never tattooed this type of thing. It was just really cool, so he actually gave me a really good deal and invited me over to his house to do it on his days off, because he was so booked up.
Check out the last Under The Gun with Josh Stafford.