At Henry’s Tattoo Shop, She Turns Back Time: ‘Painting has always been my lifeline’

Where it is difficult to look inside in most tattoo parlors, in “De Halve Maen” by Henry Greeve (38), you feel more welcome than just entering. The tattoo artist started his work in the middle of the Corona time. “It was a logical step for me.”

Antique cash register, gramophone and framed newspaper clipping from 1942. It’s part of what you see when you take just one step into Henry’s tattoo shop. Collecting antiques is a passion for him and his wife Elrieke (34). They combine it with that other love: tattoos.

Drawing as a common thread

Drawing is the common thread in Henry’s life. “It has always suited me. I have been interested in drawing since childhood. Even in high school I made money selling “nice women” drawings, and we would buy a pack of cigarettes with friends,” he laughs.

He didn’t even finish high school. “I started working in interior construction, but after I had an industrial accident I couldn’t continue. That’s why I pursued MBO training in security.”

Ghost Casper

He sparked interest in tattoos at an early age. “When I was a kid I got pricked by a pencil, the tip of which can still be seen in my fingertips. I think it’s really exciting to reach your skin that way,” says Henry. “I saw my first tattoo when I was seven, three points on someone’s hand. When I saw the ghost Casper on someone’s arm in the following years, my interest was completely disturbed. The tattoo world back then was much more protected than it is now, and there was no Internet to read more about it.

Life buoy during exhaustion

But drawing on paper continued to occupy a special place in his life. “Certainly when I ended up getting exhausted at 23, being on the street at the lowest point with no money and no passport. Drawing was really a lifeline for me until then.”

This other keeper is currently sitting next to Henry on the couch. “It was also the time I started dating Elrieke. After a few years I decided to leave Tilburg and we moved together in Apeldoorn.”

Read more below the pictures.

Learn the craft

With his sketchbook he went to tattoo parlors to get an apprenticeship somewhere. “Tattoo is a craft, you really learn that by gaining experience under the supervision of someone who has been in this profession for years. At the same time, it is a small world where you really have to have such a place.”

After a period of apprenticeship with several tattoo artists, Henry has had enough experience of about four years to start his own. “Two years ago I felt it was time to start my own business. Initially with a friend inside, until this building became available.”

Half Moon

And so Henry opened his own tattoo shop, Halve Maen, on the Kleine Overstraat. “The name refers first of all to an eponymous inn in Wijhe of Elrieke ancestors. Henry Hudson’s ship was also called Half Mine. Coincidentally, our old moneybook also comes from a Volendam store called ‘De Halve Maen.’”

There is no ink factory

There on the Kleine Overstraat, Henry wants his clients to be in another world for a while. “With us you can just look inside and feel free to go in. There is so much to see. My style is old school, but there are regularly guest artists who come here to put their own works. Although I would like to see more tattoo artists working here in the future, Except that it should remain on a small scale. There will be no ink factory here.”

creativity focus

“Right now, there are a number of Halve Maen hopefuls, like myself, most of whom have to travel a certain way to get here.” If it’s up to Henry, it’s not just a tattoo. “I would also like to give a play to the artists who come to play their music here.”

The questions Henry always asks as a tattoo artist?

What was your first tattoo?

  • “A starfish on my wheel. I set it myself when the usual tattoo artist in Amsterdam couldn’t do it himself because of the flu. It was a common tattoo at the time, especially in the punk world. It was kind of unconscious to start yourself with a needle.”

How many tattoos do you have?

  • “Because I’ve lost count now, I always say I have big tattoos.”

What tattoo did you refuse to get?

  • “I once protected an Asian tourist from herself when she asked to have her genitals tattooed.”

Which tattoo is dear to you?

  • “The trembling heart that Elric brought me. Beautiful? Not necessarily. Precious memory? Believe!”

Read also:

  • Enjoy eating? Then you can call Laura: “There are two new locations in Deventer.”

    Laura Abrahams lives in Overijssels Kanaal, near Deventer. She was bored on a summer’s day on a Saturday. “I thought: why buy …

  • Family Expansion on Farms Stephen: ‘Now we are looking for a bigger site with shelter’

  • Yolanda (54 years old) is a modern pilgrim: ‘There is no suffering and people snore in a hostel’

Leave a Comment