About us

 

ZELE Tattoo & Piercing is located in Zagreb, in Tresnjevka, in Savska street, number 10. You can reach us by taking tram number 12, 9 and 3 going towards the Tresnjevka market, or number 13, 14 and 17 going to Cibona tower, and then walking towards Tresnjevka market.
Salons working hours are Monday-Friday from 12 - 20 PM.

The reception area of the salon consists of the entrance stairway with storefronts with jewelry and photographs of our works; of a waiting area with about 20 seats, with information counter containing some 60 catalogues and over 300 specialized books with tattoo motives. Behind the info counter there is a drawing space, with the archive of magazines specialized in tattooing and piercing, equipped with photocopier, fax and computer.

We have four separate rooms for tattooing and piercing of the total capacity of 5 clients minimum at the same time. Two of the working rooms are currently air-conditioned.
All working areas are equipped with two component monolithic floors or tiles that are disinfected daily; also with non-porous furniture which is disinfected before and after each client, and special anti-microbe UV lamps. We also have toilet and washroom facilities as well as the separate room for sterilization equipped with ultrasound cleaner with disinfectant bath, separate washroom facilities for rinsing the instruments before sterilization, the equipment for welding the sterilization packs and Autoklav sterilizer which is frequently tested.

 

Employees

Our salon’s team is dedicated to constant improvement of its expert and artistic capabilities. All employees are trained for correct usage of disinfectants, preparation of materials and instruments for sterilization, sterilization control and appropriate handling of sterile utensils. Aiming to protect the health of our clients, our employees and also to protect the respectability of our salon, we continuously purchase materials, equipment and professional literature, and we use them all knowingly. We are also participating in the world’s network of exchanging information between our colleagues and health workers, whether it is through personal contacts or through organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality and safety in the working methods and equipment.

Supporting the soundness of our methods is the fact that they were approved by the team of doctors with whom we have consulted regarding the safety procedures, and also numerous doctors, nurses and other health department associates who were our clients or were accompanying our clients. We are also regularly being controlled by the Croatian National Institute for Public Health and the Sanitary Inspection. Each of our clients can see the entire preparation of the working area and working table, the unpacking of the sterile utensils, the complete work process, the dismantling and disposal of the used equipment and the disinfection of the furniture and work surfaces.

So much about safety, and as regards the quality and the artistic value of our work, the picture speaks more then words. In the photo gallery of designs or in catalogues in our salon you can browse for something that you like, or you can come to us with an idea of your own. All tattoo masters who are working with us are also quality drawers, skillful with all tattoo styles, and they would be happy to help you with a drawing or an advice. The proof of our successful work is in the respect of our colleagues from all around the world and many awards we have won on the competitions that were part of international conventions of tattoo masters.

ANA JUKIĆ ZELENOVIĆ

Upon completion of Musical High School and Chemical-Tehnical School, Ana undergoes the training in blood transmitted diseases, the sterilization training and the training for administrative work, in Tattoo Studio ZAGREB under the supervision of Ninoslav Zelenović as a mentor. At the same time she graduates from the Commercial School at the Open University, and starts managing the administrative work, purchasing work and internal sanitary inspector work in Tattoo Studio ZAGREB, and she still does all of those activities even today. After we took over the exclusive distribution of The Wildcat collection for Croatia, and for ex-Yu Countries (former Yugoslavia countries), Ana takes over the supervision of all activities connected with the Croatian branch of that firm.

NINOSLAV ZELENOVIĆ aka ZELE

After demobilization from the active non-commissioned servise in the Croatian Army during the Croatian War of Independence, Ninoslav undergoes the training in the protection from blood transmitted diseases, the sterilization training and the training for administrative work, in Tattoo Studio ZAGREB under the supervision of Ivana Švalj, the owner of the salon at the time. Late 1993 Ninoslav starts working as a tattooist and also on the sterilization. In 1995, during a tattoo convention in Amsterdam, he undergoes the training for the jewelry application, under the mentor Denis Dikke, in Amsterdam, in the Tattoo Studio SKIN DEEP and also the additional training for tattooing under the mentor Jana Huis in Tattoo Studio ALMERE (ex-mentor of Ivana Švalj). . After that he participates on numerous international conventions, seminars and congresses on tattooing and body piercing as a drawer, lecturer and a member of the jury. This results in numerous awards, recognitions, published works and interviews in foreign tattoo magazines and books, and also in fast advancement among the elite of the international tattoo scene.
Together with tattooing and jewelry application, Ninoslav is the author of numerous design kits for tattooing, several models of carved frames of tattooing machines, the Ethic and Hygiene Manual of the Croatian Association of Tattooists (this Association is unfortunately not active) and the jewelry applicants, as well as the complete texts of this and previous web pages. Through direct crafts training of his apprentices, through lectures and internal debates on the local and international scene, Ninoslav forms a line of recognized master tattooists and jewelry applicants, and influences the course of the development of many other colleagues from younger generation, both in practice and theory.

 

Equipment

The tattooing equipment and jewelry application can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Spare materials and supplies for single use only
  2. Instruments that are sterilized
  3. Equipment that is isolated by non-porous PVC foil

Spare materials and supplies for single use are colors and color dosers, gloves, protective cover for the working plate, needles, razors and other materials for skin preparation and skin disinfection, and materials for isolating the furniture and equipment that are impossible to sterilize. These materials are used only once, and then discarded immediately, with the exception of the needles that are disposed in special containers for dangerous waste, and then destroyed according to the regulations, by the company authorized for such activities.

Instruments that are sterilized are tubes of the tattoo needle slides, different grippers and clamps and tools for applying the jewelry. They are decontaminated between two usages in the ultrasound cleaner with disinfectant bath, and then they are mechanically cleaned and rinsed, packed and sealed in the sterilizing bags. After this procedure they are properly sterilized in the Autoklav sterilisator.

The equipment that cannot be sterilized as they contain plastics and isolation materials, and they have to be touched during the tattooing are cover up, or wrapped in PVC bags or PVC foil. This method serves for preventing contamination and transmittal of diseases through the operating part of the tattooing machine, contact wire and parts of the furniture that come into the contact with the client during tattooing or during jewelry application.

 

Materials

Colors that we use for tattooing are always controlled, the most quality ones and the safest on the market. These colors do not cause allergies, and are strong and permanent. They are based mostly on stabile oxides of non-poisonous metals, or on pure carbon. The black is pure carbon derived from the grime (by burning the clammy wood, bones etc). The blue and the green are copper based (copper pthalocyanine dye), the violet and the purple are based on the dioxazine carbazole purple. The yellow is based on arylid. The red is naphtol red. The brown is from the iron oxide, and the white is derived from zink or titan.

The above mentioned colors have been authorized for usage in any type of cosmetics, including permanent make up, and most them have been authorized by FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) for coloring food, contact lenses, surgical implants and children’s furniture, as they are finished products of the chemical reaction – oxidation, and as such are stabile and non-active. Once they are inserted under skin they stop changing. The powdery part of the color stays, during tattooing, in the upper layers of the unchangeable part of the skin under epidermis, becoming thus the indelible integral part of your pigmentation, while the fluid in which the color was diluted extracts itself from the body in a normal way. Both components are proven to be harmless, which has been confirmed by their usage throughout many decades, and also by their testing done by may different world health organizations and institutions, among others by our Institute for medicine of work.

Some irresponsible companies, in order to make the production less expensive, use cheaper, unsafe, toxic, or allergen color parts, and the solution as well, like cobalt, mercury, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde end similar. Such colors cause allergic reactions in some people (redness usually) which are the treated by surgical removal of the color from the skin.

As any other responsible masters, we avoid such unsafe colors and companies that produce them. We stick with proven companies that have strong quality control teams, and that will not risk their reputation and tradition for some profit. Fortunately, in the EU and USA, in collaboration with respectable color producers and tattoo masters, a Commission was formed that started preliminary research aiming to set production standards and better supervision over products, that would disable a public sale of dangerous colors and substances in European and American market.

The jewelry we apply and sell is exclusively of the British production, and as such is the subject of the thorough control as well as subject to finishing standards and material quality, in accordance with the EU regulation on materials that are to be permanently built in the human body. It is highly polished jewelry with no scratches, sharp edges or locks that could irritate or collect bacteria. Forms and dimensions, as well as fixing systems of this jewelry are ergonomically adapted to body parts for which they are provided. The jewelry is designed primarily in a way to cause as little discomfort, troubling and irritation as possible, which results in relatively small range of basic shapes. There is a lot of jewelry on the market with silver accessories in different shapes, like spider, dolphin, stars and similar, but that jewelry, mostly of Asian origin of suspicious material quality and finishing, as well as with its uneven shapes, does not allow uniform cleansing and disinfection, causes discomfort, and itching, gets in a way with the clothes, causing thus many complications and injuries during the healing period, hence we do not have it for sale, and we refuse to put it on our clients.

Materials that can be inserted into human body are surgical steel of implant gradation, titanium of implant gradation, tempered led free glass, polished bonze, and some types of silicon, plastic and acrylic, which are suitable and chosen for medical implantation.

For inserting in widened holes we use numerous and specially treated natural materials like certain types of stones, amber, bones, horns and no porous non toxic wood. Gold and silver are seldom used due to their sensitivity on damaging and due to the fact that

If you’d like to know more about materials:

  1. Implant steels
    The 300 series is the most resistant to corrosion, and is therefore popular for usage for medical implants as well as for piercing jewelry. For implanting in the human body only three types are suitable: implant steel of the composition D, surgical steel 316L and surgical steel 316LVM. Although all of these gradations contain nickel they do not release nickel salts into the body nor do they cause contact dermatitis. The release of the nickel from the jewelry made of this material was measured under 0,01ug/cm2 per week and by criteria from the annex of the EU Directive on nickel emission it can be worn for unlimited amount of time. These steels are also used for screws, plates, parts and fixes for bones, mandibular wire nets and many wrist braces. The jewelry is electroplated. As a result of this plating we have the jewelry with no scratches and pores that can collect bacteria.
    On the market, there is a whole lot of bad and dangerous jewelry of Asian origin. It is mostly 303 steel, full of sulphur (brimstone) that was added for easier and cheaper final finishing that, according to some research studies, causes allergic reactions with around 14% of people, and is therefore banned in the European Union. Unfortunately, there is no such a regulation and legal protection in Croatia, therefore, the safest way is to buy the jewelry in the professional piercing studio, as true professionals with experience won’t poison you with Korean discarded steel for marginal savings.
    You could not expect such a concern for your health from the street vendors or from jewelry stores, as they tend to, as a result of their lack of knowledge, import cheap Asian jewelry that looks the same as the high quality jewelry. As we cannot know for sure the origin and the characteristics of the jewelry bought somewhere else, we shall not take any risks and implant it in your body.
  2. Implant titanium
    Jewelry made from implant titanium has half the weight of normal steel and can come in colors. That color is not an ordinary color, but is obtained with electrolytic oxidation of metal surface. We use exclusively surgical titanium of gradation 23 (Ti6AL4VELI), gradation acknowledged by all worldly recognized institutions for medical usage, including the international organization for standards in Switzerland and ASTM in the USA. The quality proof of this material is the fact that from it they produce bone braces, hearth braces and pacemakers. ASTM awarded this metal a prefix F (F136) with the approval of FDA (Food and drugs administration) for implantation into human body.
    Jewelry from this type of titanium is highly polished and anodized in different colors for its better biocompatibility. The passive oxide of the surface is nearly three times thicker than on the other types of titanium, so it does not cause any discoloration of surrounding tissues and it has been approved by the EU directive on nickel emission for usage in fresh piercing for an unlimited amount of time. That decision was verified by APP (Association of professional piercers).
    We must stress again that many people sell inappropriate jewelry from “commercially pure titanium” of gradation 1 that has been proven to cause discoloration of the surrounding tissues. It means that for the rest of your life you shall have gray mark around the hole, even when you take out the jewelry. The cause of such an effect is low abrasive resistance of this non-alloy material.
    Do not buy matte titanium jewelry that is badly polished and has rough texture surface as it can cause serious health problems. Do not buy jewelry on your own, as there is a high chance that no quality piercers shall put it on you afterwards, because of its dimensions, material or design unsuited for the area you would like it to be in. Street vendors and jewelry stores seldom give you your money back.
    We and our colleagues provide you with the jewelry that is “your size” , and suited for your own anatomy.
  3. Black and golden-yellow titanium
    Titanium finishing by PVD system (physical vapor deposition) is used for applying a thin layer of plasma nitride or zircon nitride in order to achieve a uniform sleek surface of black or golden-yellow color. In medicine we use it for finishing touches of pace makers, surgical instruments and orthopedic implants. All respectable scientific experts from various independent laboratories and technical institutes (Technische Universitat Braunschweig, Bundesanstalt fur Materialforschung Berlin, Fraunhofer Institut fur Schicht und Oberflachentechnik Braunschweig etc) have, with no exception, confirmed that this finishing is suitable for the usage in medical implants and piercing jewelry.
    Jewelry finished in this way passes rigorous micro-control of the surface and biocompatibility micro-control in the most advanced European laboratories, which increases its price. If you have stumbled upon a cheap black jewelry, it is just a copy of the steel, plated with carbon or just paint. In both cases it is dangerous jewelry that can cause poisoning and corrosion. For your personal safety buy the jewelry from your piercer. We take care what do we buy and from whom, and we take care what do we put under your skin.
  4. Plastic masses
    The new generation of polymers (acrylics) developed for medical usage found its usage also in the jewelry production. The jewelry we use is made from polymethylmetacrilate (PMMA) that is also used in production of contact lenses, reconstructive cosmetic surgery and tools for spine fixations, as it is biologically inert. It is produced discolored, in sheer and non-sheer colors, or fluorescent. Special polyesters, casein, PTFE and biocompatible silicon are also used for certain types of jewelry, and the satisfy the following criteria: European pharmacopoeia, Deutsches arzneibuch, US Pharmacopoeia plastics class V1. Beware of cheap and usually toxic imitations and pirate copies from the Far East that are swamping the market. High fines, and even prison sentences have forced the EU importers to ban such products from their market, and most of that garbage ended up on the streets and in suspicious piercing shops in the East European countries that still do not have clear legislation on this matter.
  5. High carat gold
    14-carat gold marked 584 is suitable for the jewelry with windings, due to its higher material solidity, and from the 18 carat gold marked 750 rings are made. This jewelry is suitable for usage in healed piercing, under the condition that they are adjusted to the form and standards for piercing jewelry, meaning that no nickel has been added to the alloy. Often, a 9 carat gold marked 375, is sold as falsely declared 14 or even 18 carat gold.
    Other precious material such as silver and platinum are not used, unless they are pendants on the jewelry.
  6. Brass and bronze
    These metals can be used in healed piercing, as well as some natural materials, like glass, white, green and black jade, precious and semi-precious stones, non-porous non-poisonous wood, bone, buffalo’s horn, mammoth ivory, amber and many others. These materials are used by very rare experts in widened holes, so there is really no point in describing their separate characteristics. It is understood that the jewelry must be produced in a particular way and that is must satisfy all criteria needed so that we can wear it in our healed holes.
Equipment sterilization room - Autoclav
Sanitary conditions in our studio are set at the highest level. Monolithic floors or tiles that are disinfected daily, non-porous furniture disinfected before and after each client, and also disinfected with special anti-microbe ultra-violet lamps. For the sterilization of equipment we use regularly attested Autoklav sterilizer.