YRB Interview: Kate Moseley

One of the main attractions at the Wooster Street Social Club “Mobilis in Mobili” exhibition opening party was the live steampunk tattoo being done on steampunk enthusiast Kate Moseley. Having grown up with astrolabes, Kate always wanted something to represent the navigation tool that meant so much to her family, who are self-proclaimed history buffs.

After moving to N.Y.C., Kate found sodality with the steampunk community and wanted a tattoo representing how life goes through a series of changes and how we must adapt to these transformations without letting what is going on around us change us, so she decided that an astrolabe was the perfect representation of that.

“I looked back at all these historical astrolabes from the Greek times all the way up until the 19th century. This is like old school GPS,” said Kate. “You can find the time, location, where you want to go, and it’s like a trigonometry tool. Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a treatise, like 300 uses. It’s a very multidimensional – multifaceted kind of tool.”

The original drawing that her tattoo design was based on came from a 17th century astrolabe. The original piece had about 20 stars and elaborate details, so Kate was nervous that she wouldn’t be able to find an artist willing to take on the project. Luckily for Kate, Guy Waisman was more then willing to make a simplified version of the piece after she explained how an astrolabe worked.

If you aren’t familiar with the Wooster Street Social Club lineup Guy a.k.a. “Nice Guy” is one of the many talented tattoo artists featured on NY Ink.

After some slight tweaking by Kate, the tattoo design was made so that even anyone familiar with an astrolabe wouldn’t be able to nitpick at the piece.

On the night of the event, Kate got her tattoo while using Bruce Rosenbaum’s steampunk tattoo station that allowed the person being tattooed to view the work being done on their back using a webcam connected to a computer, which allows any client receiving a tattoo to keep busy during a long tattoo session.


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  1. Hi there! excellent picture and work. My next tattoo design is similar in detail and form and i am yet to find an artist who can do such work. Do you happen to know anyone in the South? specifically in New Orleans or Miami? thank you very much!