Massive Facial Scarification

This has to be one of the largest examples of [voluntary] skin removal on a face to date, at least in a single session. It was done by Iestyn Flye –who is normally based at London’s Divine Canvas, but tours extensively so visit him on Facebook for more information no matter where you might be — on Marc at Copenhage Body Extremes ( The design is based on a Japanese holy hemp leaf pattern. I can’t wait to see this healed, and will definitely post a follow-up when I can (although if you look at the previous scar that runs across the nose, you can get a good idea of what to expect) — I expect the sort of visage that looks like Freddy Krueger from a distance, and then transforms from horrific to beautiful as you get closer. Click for a larger look.

mega facial scar

Bad Taste Piercing, Redeemed

I am in the uncomfortable position of telling you that this piercing, done by Baz Black (fb/BazBlackPiercing) in Dundalk, Ireland, has been named “The Hitler Piercing“… Yikes. Baz isn’t sure how long the lifespan will be, as it was just freehanded in place using a curved barbell, rather than using traditional surface piercing techniques or even piercing right through the lip, but the piercing went well even though that skin is quite solid, and was relatively painless.


Let me be fair though and redeem Baz’s good name by also showing you a “tiger scratch” skin peel scarification that he did. I think sometimes when people see these “faux wounds” they write them off as somewhat trite, but before you make that mistake let me share the story behind it,

I loved tigers from no age but when I was a little kid I used to draw on tiger claw scratches on myself and tell the other kids in Spain I had been attacked by a tiger. After the laughter subsided, I would head to class and just dream about how they wouldn’t laugh if it was for real.

Then my weight started to balloon. I yo-yo’d for years until finally I got to where I am now — I got it under control and I decided to have this done.

As we where leaving and walking down the street I got all kinda emotional! This is a lifelong dream to have those marks and they mean so much because I could never have them, being so overweight before, with the rolls of fat in that area. It was a case of having gotten over one hurdle with my weight, then another one of letting someone see my body, and finally the hurdle of the pain getting it done.

Such a beautiful story!


Healed Shoulder Scars by John Joyce

Scarab Body Arts‘s John Joyce ( has oft been featured on ModBlog (including a long interview back in 2008), but given that I’m posting scar follow-ups today, it’s a good time to feature more of his top-of-the-line work, fresh and healed. The first piece shows the scar at four months (the wearer has been previously featured here and here), and the second at seven months.



PS. Do take the time to browse his earlier ModBlog mentions for mountains of similarly brilliant work. You won’t regret it!

Suspension Scar + Tattoo Job Offer

I got a message from Mike Hill at Broad Street Studio ( in Bath, Somerset, UK telling me that they’re looking for a new tattoo artist at their studio and asking me whether I’d be willing to post a job ad for him… I told him I couldn’t really do that, but if he could find something interesting for me to post, well, as they say, “one hand washes the other”… So he got me some pictures of a recent scar he did on Tam Smith. Unlike most skin removal scars over tattoos, this is over a Japanese sleeve, rather than over blackwork, and the negative-space it creates interacts with the tattoo rather than standing solo. At first I’d assumed this was a tattoo on a fishing enthusiast, but it’s actually a flesh hook as Tam is part of the suspension community.


If you’re a tattoo artist looking for work (or perhaps even a long-term working vacation in beautiful Bath), get in touch with Mike on Faceobook, or via their shop website. To give you an idea of the sort of shop you’d be stepping into, here’s some work done by Fil, another one of the tattooists that call Broad Street Studio home — that’s Mike’s head top-right (you may recognize it, because Rob featured it back in 2010). Click for a giant look.


A Scar That Lives For Motion

I’ve posted lots and lots of tattoos that move with the body, be it simple fluidity, tattoos that change their form or meaning with the body’s position, or even “animated” tattoos like the pussy finger gag tattoo from earlier today. This example though is done in skin removal scarification, by Natalia Carrascosa or Blue Tattoo Gava in Barcelona. The client, an exotic animal enthusiast, designed the piece (with a little fine-tuning by Natalia) to echo the eyes of a puma. The first photo is fresh (as if you can’t tell), and the second photo shows it on the left at just over a month into the healing, and on the right at just under a year.



Healing Facial Scars

I think most people know of the Maori tradition of facial tattooing or Moko, but I suspect most people see this tradition as being about tattooing (as in using needles to poke a design using ink into the skin). At its roots though it’s more likely an extension of their tradition of wood carving — similar patterns are chiseled into their homes, furniture, and boats. Mokos appear to have began by applying this wood art to the human body, literally chiseling or carving designs into the face, using similar tools for similar results. Some time after this practice began, ink was the added to the scars, making them more visible, and in time the tradition slowly moved away from scarification-based methods to tattooing-based ones. Some early photos show the three dimensional nature of Mokos created using the ink-rubbing scarification technique, although by the time Western anthropologists began documenting the practice it was already falling out of fashion.

Anyway, I was reminded of that history when I saw this skin peel done by John Durante (of Seattle-based jewelry company Evolve), which you can see here both fresh and well into healing. I really like the way he has used a sort of “reverse negative space” by cutting out a simple shape, but leaving a circle of skin in the middle untouched. As to why these facial scars inset rather than raising (as most scars do), it’s possible that it’s some evolution that makes facial injuries less likely to disfigure, it could be due to there being less subcutaneous fat, or it could be due to the vascular nature, but I don’t really have a good explanation as to why the majority of facial scars are “innies” rather than “outies”. If there are any medically aware readers that want to save me some googling, I’m like a Ferengi… all ears.


You don’t have to move far off the face for the scarred skin to start being more likely to raise than stay inset. Here’s another good example of a scar showing fresh versus healing, a throat piece done by Brendan Russell of Tribal Urge in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The sharp-eyed will notice that this isn’t just a skin removal scar by the way — it’s also an ink rubbing done with white ink, which has the interesting side-effect of making the age of the scar difficult to eyeball.


UV Ink Rubbing

Dundalk, Ireland’s Baz Black ( did this UV ink rubbing over a skin removal scarification of an exclamation mark. The top row shows the scar as it was fresh, back in December, and the bottom row shows it as it is now, seven weeks into healing. In an attempt to get the ink to stay more solidly, he had the customer come back every day for the first three days of healing, so he could change the dressing for him and reapply the UV glow ink each time. There’s a little bit of patchiness, but overall the effect is very solid.


Textural Work In Scarification

About two months ago Wayne Fredrickson of Zodiac Tattoo Studio in Moreno Valley, CA did this scar of an ammonite fossil. I like the way the design leaves out the edges of the shell, but instead focuses on the texture of the shell. The resultant effect reminds me of a textural rubbing of a fossil, and seems especially well suited to the scarification artform.


In terms of building up a tactile texture landscape, I’m also reminded of this scar that Iestyn of London’s Divine Canvas ( It’s about four years old in this photo.


Anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope

My father mentioned to me that I’m putting a real posting bias on scarification photos these days — I wasn’t sure whether that was a reflection on my personal interests, or on the fact that there are so many people doing great work in the field. I want to say I’ll try and be more balanced, but I’ve never been keeping my fingers still when I see something that I want to share with the world.

In any case, Christopher Lee Shelafoe, who permanently alters folks who walk into the doors of Rendezvous Tattoo & Body Piercing (Marquette, MI), sent me an update on Wesley Larson’s big classic-punk anarchy sign chest scar. Since doing it via standard skin peel technique, a red tattooed outline was added by Ken Jago of Dragon’s Eye Tattoo (Sault Ste. Marie, MI). Because of how light scars get when they heal (and this one is still a bit pink, with a wonderful Freddy Krueger-esque texture, and will get lighter in time), tattooing is an easy way to give them extra definition — for example, while red ink alone is perfectly cromulent, I’ve always liked (and was immediately reminded of) the scarred lettering by Azl that got two-tone tattooing added to pump up not just the edges, but the three-dimensionality.

Here’s the anarchy scar both fresh and in its current state — click to embiggen.

PS. I am also reminded of the nape anarchy scar posted last year.

I Yam What I Yam

I’m one tough Gazookus
Which hates all Palookas
Wot ain’t on the up and square.
I biffs ‘em and buffs ‘em
And always out roughs ‘em
But none of ‘em gets nowhere.

If anyone dares to risk my “Fisk”,
It’s “Boff” an’ it’s “Wham” un’erstan’?
So keep “Good Be-hav-or”
That’s your one life saver
With Popeye the Sailor Man.

Morbid from Street Tattoo & Piercing in Warsaw did this cutting of everybody’s favourite spinach eating sailor.