Kings of Chaos, where beauty is skin-deep


Dana Morse works on JSC student Haleigh Simmons.

As you enter through the glass doors to Johnson’s new tattoo parlor ‘Kings of Chaos’ a whiff of sanitizer hits your nose as you gaze upon the two red cubicles that decide your fate.

While you wait for your name to be called, announcing your turn, or wait for your friend or family member to finish up, you can gaze upon the many paintings that hang around the parlor, most of them depicting nude women. Surprisingly, none are inked.

Enter under the left curtain and you’ll meet Thomas Blackfeather, who is happy to add a new decorative piece of jewelry to your body. You’ll have no trouble facing that needle with Blackfeather by your side.

However, if you decide to enter the curtain to your right, you’ll meet Dana Morse, who is willing to add some artwork to your body. After all, he’s got plenty of it himself, which initially might be intimidating. But what you wouldn’t know without talking to him is that the lips tattooed on his neck are actually his fiancé’s and underneath the black latex gloves is the ultrasound of his baby tattooed on his hand.

Blackfeather and Morse both come from experienced backgrounds, and both have a love and passion for what they do. Blackfeather has been experimenting with piercing since he was a teenager. “[I did it] mostly with close friends, and the majority still have theirs to this day, which is pretty cool,” he said.

Blackfeather received his piercing license in 2006, working as an apprentice in Montpelier, Vt. He then traveled around various tattoo parlors in Vermont, including Randolph, St Johnsbury and even owned his own shop in East Grandville. He also traveled south to work in a parlor in New Orleans before settling in the town of Johnson.Morse recently claimed his tattoo license working as an apprentice in St Johnsbury, racking up over a 1,000 hours of free work.

“I love my tattoo,” said Haleigh Simmons, a young college student after getting her first tattoo. “It is exactly what I wanted, and if I ever get another I will definitely be going back to Dana.”

For those seeking more risqué bodywork, Blackfeather and Morse are no strangers to off-beat requests. “The most interesting tattoo I have done was probably tattooing ‘your name’ on a 70 year old woman’s butt” says Morse. “Other than that I haven’t done anything too extreme… yet!”

Blackfeather notes that he has done many piercings in regions often hidden. “I’ve always loved piercing,” says Blackfeather, “and I’m never embarrassed to pierce below the belt, in fact I have done many.”

Morse and Blackfeather got off to a somewhat rocky start with the grand opening of their business on Aug. 30. “We laid out an array of fruit and cakes hoping to entice people in, but business was slow for a couple days,” Morse said. “But recently there has been a higher demand in both tattoos and piercings.”

Over the last month the owners say business has picked up, especially with the many Johnson State students who have taken a walk downtown and come back to campus with less money in their pockets and something new to show off to their friends.

When asked why Dana and Blackfeather decided to locate in this small college town, Morse smiled and shrugged. “We set up a parlor in Johnson, simply because it needed one”, he said.

So far, they seem to be right.