A Personal Story About Significance and Triangle Bromance

Polareyez was kind enough to submit this photo of their four day old solar brand.

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Now this photo hits home for me because back in 2008 when I was but a mere 17 years old, My best pal and I were featured on ModBlog by Shannon. Here’s the link to the original post. When you get done cracking up at my baby face, you’ll notice that we’re also branding triangles on each other. Believe it or not that was one of the more significant modifications in my life. The triangle symbolized my friend and I taking in another friend on a special night. The branding was highly ritualized and we took the photos specifically to share with BME. It was a really important bonding experience with one of my best friends that we’ll always remember. I actually remember the day I saw it on ModBlog thinking that it was the most significant day of my life, and that I belonged to this community.

I’m sharing this little story with you because while this is not the most intense, extreme, eye catching, or conventionally “beautiful” piece of scarification…you can never tell the weight that something so simple can carry. My little triangle changed my entire life, and you can’t even see it today. In life you never seem to know when your turning points will be, but the thing that I love about this community is that you always have a reminder of where you’ve been.

SPC: ScarWars One (2005)

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I recently shared the story of how the ModCon events came to be with the promise to chronicle the other events in time. That’s still on my to-do list, but today we’re going to talk a little about the ScarWars events; how they started and their connection to ModCon.

ScarWars One happened in May of 2005 in Philadelphia, PA with seven of the world’s leading scarification artists working and attending, but it’s roots go back to 2004 at the ModCon4 event in Toronto, Ontario where a guest named Chris and his then wife Danielle asked about doing a collaborative cutting/branding piece with all of the attending artists using different techniques to make a wholly unique scar. Brands, cutting and flesh removal all on the same client. At the time it was unheard of, and as I watched Blair, Ryan, Danielle and I believe Brian work on it, I realized that we had reached uncharted territory.

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The Conquering Sun

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I first met Neeko at a ModCon event- my memory fails me so it could have been MC2 or MC3. He was a kid then (hell; so was I) and was full of wide eyed wonder at the goings on at the world’s only surgical modification convention.

Our paths crossed again a few years later at a suspension event in Vermont called Burning Swing and over the years we’ve said our hellos and on occasion, talked modification. Lately he’s been doing a very unique style of branding called SOLAR BRANDING; focusing the sun’s rays through a crystal ball to brand the skin. My memory is hazy, so there’s a chance that we’ve covered Neeko’s Solar Brands before, but there’s no time like the present to show new readers (and old readers who’s memory is as hazy as mine) the possibility of this technique.

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A little slash and burn…

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Have we ever considered designating May as ‘International Scarification Month”?
Going back to 2005, May was the month that I hosted the first organized gathering of Scarification professionals in the world under the banner of ‘Scarwars‘ and eight years later my old friend Ron Garza is hosting ScarCon this weekend in London. I’m sure the two things are just a coincidence, but it’s worth looking into. I mean, right now the only thing we really have to compete with is National Masturbation Month.

One of the artists who attended all three Scarwars events was NYC’s multi-talented Brian Decker of Pure Body Arts, who did this amazing cut/cautery hybrid scarification.

From Brian:

Since thighs don’t typically scar that well, I made sure to keep the main parts bold, and am hoping the burning will do more damage to the tissue than superficial removal. We’ll see…..

It’s super important to go into a cutting/branding piece knowing that the results can be unpredictable, with technique, healing method, genetics and just plain luck factored in. Some folks may want the reassurance of knowing exactly how a modification will heal, but as Mr. Decker says: “We’ll see.”
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When life gives you keloids, make eyeballs

I think that’s how the old expression goes, right?

Ighlif Rendina, owner and piercer at H.F. Body Art in Turin, Italy, had a customer who’d previously gotten a transdermal implant. The transdermal itself did alright, but in time, a large unsightly scar built up over the insertion incision. The microdermal was removed, and the scar reworked using a combination of cutting and cautery branding. The insertion scar became the pupil of the eye, and the scar that formed in the transdermal scar was covered up by the bottom line of the eye. In the picture where you can see the entire eye, it’s quite fresh, about two months after being done, and the picture where it’s partially covered by clothing is current, showing the piece at almost two years old.

Not Quite Jieba

I saw this branding in Alejandro Hernandez Salazar’s portfolio (Tattoos by Spooky, Mexico) and the first thing I thought of was the scalp brands that some Buddhist monks wear, but after looking further into the gallery I realized that these were actually very intense strike brands, done by using a propane torch to heat up a very large bar of metal that must carry an incredible amount of heat inertia. I actually spent some time wondering which method would be “worse” for the person having it done. The Buddhist brands, known as “jieba” (ordination scars), are done in rows of three (which I guess should have been my instant tip-off) making either 6, 9, or 12 scars, which take about five minutes flesh slowly sizzling from the incense… but the amount of energy in that big bar once heated? A bit scary. Click here for the photo credit on the monk by the way.

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A Wednesday Follow-up

I’ve gotten quite a few requests for a follow-up to Naoise-Ryan Isreal‘s foot branding that was featured a few weeks back.  Now normally the follow-ups come on Friday, but since these photos were taken only a few days after the branding, it’s only fair that the first follow-up come a little early as well.  For those that don’t remember, here’s the initial branding by Samppa.

Yep, it still makes my toes curl up when I see it, which makes this one of the very few things capable of doing that.  Of course, these healing photos make me cringe even more.

Now remember, these were taken only 4 days after the initial branding.  Be sure to keep an eye on Naoise-Ryan’s IAM page, as well as his BME Bonus Gallery for more updates.  I’ll also be doing a Friday Follow-up for these once they’ve had a couple of months to heal.

Branding with purpose

I’m going to start this post of with a quick advisory.  This is a unique situation that was brought about at the recommendation of a medical doctor.  However, just because it was recommended in this situation does not mean it can be applied to everyone.  Glans branding isn’t anything new, and if your goal is strictly aesthetic, then by all means do whatever it is you wish.  That said, if you’re contemplating this because of the medical reasons, please consult your doctor to make sure that it is right for you.

Well, now that the ominous warning is out of the way, lets take a look at this glans branding by Eroswastika.

What makes this branding unique is the story behind it.  This is what Ighlif had to say…

A guy contacted me, directed by a physician, to make a genital branding, exactly on the glans. suffered from premature ejaculation and after several visits and tests your doctor has concluded that at the root of the problem was an acute sensitivity to the base of the penis, below the urethra. The solution was to him or use EMLA or other anesthetic creams before intercourse, or numb the area with a possible intervention to elettrocautere …. or through a decorative branding!!

As you can see, this was a pretty interesting way to solve a medical problem.  To see the unblurred photo, you’ll have to keep reading.

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Hot foot

Over the past two years of writing for ModBlog I’ve found that I’ve become somewhat desensitized to a lot of things.  But every once in a while something comes along that makes even me wince in pain.  This foot branding by Samppa on Naoise-Ryan Israel is a perfect example of something that makes me cringe.