On February 1st, 2008, Gabriele of Maxart Bodypiercing in Rome, Italy did a scalpelled nape procedure, and a year later it had healed nicely (as you can see in the left image below). A little redness and scarring around the edges (zoom in for a closer look), but almost none of the rejection or migration as is common with surface piercings done without surface-specific jewelry. By using a scalpel rather than a needle to create a large, non-destructive hole, big enough to form a “flap” that could sit comfortably over the jewelry without the jewelry putting pressure on the tissue above it, Gabriele avoided using something like a surface bar specifically designed to mitigate the pressures that lead to tissue dying off. Surface bars are great of course, but many people prefer the look of a ring to a pair of beads, especially in this age of microdermals. As you can see in the right two pictures, taken at five years after the piercing was done, it’s remained very solid long-term — and as the late Erl proved, piercings like this (his nape was almost identical) can last for decades.
Gabriele of Maxart Body Piercing in Rome, Italy (ModBlog superstar) just did this wild play piercing scene using a just massive collection of captive bead rings, which appear to form a tube through which is drawn the soul of a flower — I particularly like the touch of the threading being pulled through a cheek piercing!
There are about 120 rings in all in this scene, and they took about three hours total to do, including some short breaks. The rings were taken out immediately afterwards at Gabriele’s insistence, I assume to keep scarring to a minimum (although it would make a cool scar to let these all reject!). I suspect that Gabriele must have been practically as sore as the client, after taking all those balls on and off.
As I’ve mentioned before, Gabriele of MaxArt Body Piercing in Italy has been creating innovative shaped transdermals (to say nothing of his invention of the Skin Tunnel invention), starting with a cross-shaped one, and most recently a teardrop shaped one. Let me update you on the cross-shaped one first. I have to admit that I expected the skin to retract — I didn’t think this would be successful. But much to my surprise, even at three weeks in (which is when the two larger shots were taken), the skin rather than retracting, seems to be pulling in toward the implant. This is most likely due to Gabriele’s design decision of cross-drilling the transdermal (which you can see in the shots of the jewelry).
Most recently Gabriele has done a tear-shaped one as well, another piece of great design. Obviously some of these aesthetics can also be accomplished by putting shaped beads on normal transdermals, but these are much more powerful on closer inspection. Now all we have to wait for is the cheap knockoffs of his design — I’m already seeing horrendous clones of his skin tunnel that have none of the beautiful high-quality titanium machining that is typical of Gabriele’s transdermals and Skin Tunnels (manufactured by Veleno Web).
Speaking of that famous Italian inventor (no, not Leonardo) Gabriele from MaxArt, after the SkinTunnel he’s got another innovation that he’s beginning experiments with, a design for a shaped-post transdermal. These get installed like a normal transdermal would be, but the hole is cut to shape with a scalpel rather than being dermal punched as you’d do with a typical round post. I will admit that I’m not quite so certain that this will heal as beautifully, because it’s asking a lot of the body to pull into some of those little detailed indents in my opinion. Whether I’m wrong or not time will tell, and I am eagerly awaiting pictures of how the healing is going — it’s a ton of fun seeing people continuing to innovate in body modification.
I’m happy to see that Gabriele‘s SKINTUNNEL design is entering the palette of body modification options beyond Italy. For example, Brian Decker of Pure (purebodyarts.com) just did a set of them on Ashan’s arm, using a single incision to insert both of them (push the incisions for the posts to push through — see our earlier posts on SKINTUNNELs to see the jewelry if you’re unfamiliar with it).
Iestyn Flye (the-absolute.co.uk) has also been doing them, the one on the back a collaboration with Gabriele that’s a month old, as well as another one on Yann Brënyàk. You gotta love the hex-head transdermal next to it by the way!
I’ll also mention that the first ones that Gabriele did are still looking good and beginning to stand the test of time. Here’s the neck at four months old, with a fancy new cap on it as well, which you can also see on the original wrist SKINTUNNEL which I think is about six months old now.
PS. Until Gabriele and Rachel have a chat about adding SkinTunnels to BMEshop (which I think would be a great way to introduce them to even more people), if you are a body modification practitioner interested in these, contact Gabriele directly if you’d like to talk about ordering a set.
Iestyn Flye, normally of London’s Divine Canvas (divine-canvas.com), has recently been in Italy doing a guest spot at MaxArt in Rome. While there he did this amazing scalp cutting and skin peel, originally designed by Paul Kennerley as a full star (ie. this is only half of the original design), with the small cuts that radiate out from the centre aiming to give it the illusion of 3D form. Over the years Iestyn has built up an incredible portfolio (oft-featured here), so I have no doubt that this piece will look amazing healed. Click to see it even bigger.
Any time I post Gabriele’s (MaxArt Body Piercing in Rome, Italy) extremely clever SkinTunnel jewelry (which I’ve finally given its own tag here on ModBlog making it easy to see all the entries on it), it always generates a lot of confusion because people aren’t used to seeing something like it, and often make the erroneous assumption that the central circle is open flesh. It’s not. The design is like a transdermal implant, but instead of a single central post, it has two separate U-shaped posts. These U’s have threading on them so that a large top can be attached. In theory, this design should be able to carry more weight than a standard transdermal, in addition to having a unique aesthetic.
Gabriele’s very first customer for this — he’s slowly and responsibly been doing a few of these, monitoring them carefully, and making subtle improvements in each generation — has come back to get a matching one on their other wrist, so that’s what you’re seeing here in these pictures. For those still having trouble picturing how the jewelry is implanted, I draw your attention to the picture where the two U-shaped slots are being cut.
Zoom into this second photo for a closer view of the finished product.
I wanted to post a quick update showing you how the SkinTunnel that Gabriele at MaxArt in Italy installed recently is doing. So far, so good! As you can see there is almost no irritation around the posts (which are made out of G23 titanium with an unpolished base design), and the skin is holding tight to the inside curve as well, so it seems like the design improvements may be successful. Now, this photo is five days, so it’s still early, but at the same time, that means it’s great how quickly things are healing.
If you didn’t see my original post:
I’m very excited that Gabriele from MaxArt Body Piercing in Rome, Italy has been refining his SKIN TUNNEL project, with the second one being installed in a nape. I think it also speaks very well for him that he didn’t install a whole bunch of them right away, but that instead he installed one, carefully watched it healing, made improvements to the design, and then installed a single second one. Not all practitioners are so responsible — many rush ahead and start offering new procedures to the public before they’re even close to verified as functional. Here’s a picture of the new piece in a nape:
There are actually two variations that he’s made to this iteration of the skin tunnel, so perhaps we’ll see one more soon as well. As you can see there are second-generation two prototypes, one slightly taller than the other, and one with four posts and the other with two. They’ve also both been given horizontal holes through the threaded posts, which hopefully will decrease the possibility of the skin pulling away from the posts, and anchoring it more solidly. It’s a very clever and quite visually fascinating improvement on the transdermal, and may offer a significant improvement in mounting technology because of the sheer size of the threading possible.
If I was giving advice on iteration three, I think the biggest thing I’d change would be drilling more holes around the base — not spacing them so broadly. Finally, since I don’t think it has yet been featured on ModBlog, here are some pictures of the first one that Gabriele did, on a wrist.