About Sean Philips

Sean Philips is not a doctor, but he plays one on BME.

Happy birthday Jim Ward, Happy International Body Piercing Day to the world!

I am sure most of you are quite familiar with the “birthday spankings” tradition. For those that are not, it generally works like this; on someone’s birthday they receive one spanking for each year they have lived and occasionally “one to grow on”. However, in some instances, someone reach such levels of greatness and respect that they are able to turn the birthday tradition around. Rather than be spanked themselves, they get to spank someone else, such as this buff young man (Aaron) dressed in a Spiderman get up.


In the piercing world, one of the few people deserving of this sort of respect is obviously Jim Ward. His contributions to my industry gave me a career that I have loved for the last 14 years and I, like most others hold him with the utmost of respect. To learn more about the man, the myth, the legend himself, why don’t you pick up the book he wrote that I previously reviewed?

Also, be damn sure to take a moment to wish, Jim Ward a happy birthday today!

To forever honor Jim, Barry a long time friend of his and founder of Anatometal has taken the initiative to make his birthday into a world wide holiday , International Body Piercing Day. This holiday may never get a special card section at Hallmark, but if it’s facebook page is any indicator it is certainly catching on in our little world!

Happy Birthday Brian Skellie!

Brian Skellie, for those not familiar with the name, is a piercers piercer. He was a huge contributor to the freehand piercing movement ( a term he would like to see done away with and replaced with “piercing with less tools”). He brought the statim autoclave to the attention of our industry and is our resident expert on the subject. I could go on and on, but I will leave it at this Brian Skellie is not only one of the most informed piercers in the biz, but by far one of the most willing to share his information with his colleagues. Even if you, or your piercer has never dealt with him directly, if they use modern freehand and/or disposable techniques their information that got them to that point most likely originated from Mr. Skellie.

So please, take a moment and wish this man a happy birthday!

Plus, keep your eyes here peeled, because one day when his and my busy schedules (on different time zones) line up, I will be doing an in depth interview with him for Modblog. I am thinking this will likely be the most insightful piercing interview on BME since the Tom Brazda interviews from the late nineties.

One of our own wants wants to interview….. you, perhaps?

We frequently, get request from students asking for us to help them contact modified people to interview for their thesis or whatever. Sometimes, we post them, sometimes we don’t. However, when one of our own ask for our help, we will always happily oblige.

Tigricula, sent us this request, not only is she an IAM member and part of the modded community, but she emphasizes her respect for the individuals being interview and is even offering a small monetary compensation for their time. That speaks volumes, compared to the usual request sent in by psych majors trying to prove anyone with stretched ears MUST have been touched inappropriately by their family members, or whatever foolish hypothesis they want to put forth.

I am a PhD student in library and information science, and I’m currently researching how people get information about body modification procedures. I’m particularly interested in how people research some of the more intense procedures, like tongue splitting, ear pointing and genital modifications. I’m looking for people to interview about the role of technology, the internet and social media in terms of finding out about body modification practices. Interviews could be done in person (if you’re on the East Coast of the US) or virtually (Skype or chat), and I’m able to offer people $30 as an honorarium for their time and help. If this sounds like something that would interest you, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or on IAM, username tigricula.

One last thing – I’ve participated in the body modification scene for nearly a decade, and I’m grateful to both the online and offline facets of this community for being a place where I’ve made some really important friendships. I also happen to be a PhD student who studies information and subcultures. I point this out to say that respect for this community is really important to me, as is confidentiality of participants. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about or suggestions for how I’m conducting research on this project.

Comes A Time Tattoo (DC metro area) is looking for 1 talented tattooist.

I figured, since I have often times posted wanted ads on here for others, it is only fair  I do so once for myself.

My shop, Comes A Time Tattoo, in Fairfax, VA (20 minutes outside of DC) is looking for one talented tattoo artist to join our crew.  While, I myself do not own the shop, I will be handling the hiring process.

First off, what we are looking for. We want an experienced talented artist with a portfolio to back it up. If you are not already licensed to tattoo in the state of VA, we would expect you to meet the requirements, and be willing to take the steps necessary to become licensed. We are an easy going, laid back shop and expect someone of the same mindset. Ego’s and drama are two things that will absolutely not be tolerated. Even though we are laid back, we expect any employee to take their job seriously. We need someone willing to work a set schedule and to be here from open to close  on those days.

What we have to offer. Whoever we hire will get to work in an extremely nice shop, in a busy (and very affluent) area. Our first time clients almost always compliment our shops decor and lay out. They will have a nice private locked room, with their own sink.


For pictures of the shop, please check out our website. If interested in the position, please email me via the link below this article with my picture that says “email this author” (you have to click through for the link).

..and this is why I pretty much don’t ever do scarification anymore.

People often ask me why I don’t tattoo. I have been around it enough, I know the technical stuff but I just lack the talent to really excel at tattooing. I explain that while I could likely make a few bucks doing it, I would forever be disheartened by my inability to put out pieces with the artistic quality I would expect of myself.

Go back a few years, to the “early days” of scarifications modern resurgence, a time when very few piercers/mod artist offered this service and it seemed like a bandwagon I could jump on. Bold simple designs, cut burned and peeled from the flesh…….that I could handle. Then along comes people like Ryan Oullette who did this piece. People like him, Ron Garza, Brian Decker, Efix Roy and several others  have pushed this art form from it’s primitive roots into the fine art you see here.

To think that just 10 years ago scarification was so rare and “extreme” it could earn it’s wearers an invite to Modcon events, it is astonishing the quantity of amazing scarification we see each and every week here on Modblog.  So while I occasionally will continue to take on a simple piece,  I have to throw my hat in to these guys when it comes to this sort of amazingness.

So thanks, you overly talented  a-holes, now I am “just a piercer” again :)

Anyhow, back to the photo at hand ……this recent piece, which I was just blown away by. It was actually drawn up for one client who never showed up for it, so he posted the drawing to facebook and a girl named Samantha, jumped on the chance and spent 7 hours under the blade to get it.


For proof that Ryan actually wears the title of “Lord of the Blade” with pride keep on keeping on.

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You know who’s not worried about the rapture?

Tibetan Monks, and most of the rest of the world for that matter. I mention the monks because they tie into my religious theme and this piece was merely described as “Tibetan”.


This extremely clean scar (especially for it’s location)  was a collaboration between Christiano Aielli and Lewis Dodd.

PS: My apologies for the brief repost of the pistol scarification piece. Some how I missed that on modblog previously and when I searched to check that it hadn’t been posted, none of my key words triggered it. Thanks, Jon P for pointing it out.

Heeeeeerrrre’s Phuture Primitive!

Like I said earlier today I am not a Christian and even if I were I certainly wouldn’t be amongst the ones that are actually convinced tomorrow is the rapture. That being said, if I wake up tomorrow and this dude’s hovering over me, I will pray harder than a guilt ravaged priest who just fondled his own son.


No offense to Phuture Primitive here, I think its just the John Lennon meets Lady Gaga glasses that scare the hell out of me.

Happy birthday Steve!

I know, I know, I said today was going to have a religious theme, but bare with me. Steve was the founder of the Church Of Body Modification, so it ties in.


Here he is with a client immediately after pointing her ears, a procedure he pioneered. As more and more artist enter into the realm of “extreme modifications” it’s becoming more and more common for people to know about mods he invented without knowing about him, and thats a damn shame. Well, except for the people who know him as “that guy from the wierd documentary on netflix”, which I have heard several times recently.

Aside from being the single biggest innovator in the body mod world, he is also a super nice guy with an amazing bedside manner, so take a second to wish him a happy birthday.

Happy Rapture Eve!

Well, with all the hoopla surrounding a small group of Christians who think the Big J is coming back tomorrow to take away the good ones and leave the rest of us scoundrels here to face the apocalypse, I felt it only fitting to go with a religious theme today.


Even though I am by no means a Christian, I have a long standing affinity for angels, I think watching The Prophecy a few dozen times too often may have led to this. This particular angel backpiece was done by Matt Kramer of Mind’s Eye Tattoo in Emmaus, Pa.

Where fine art and body art collide

La Negra is pretty much modblog royalty at this point, and  as such deserves to be immortalized as a work of art. As a community defined by taking artistic expression to the extreme by permanently wearing the art, it should come as no surprise many in this community are also involved in other forms of art as well. When one person can bring fine arts and body arts together, it is particularly appealing.


This particular work of art is a watercolor & pencil piece by Jennie Philpott.