Scarification Progression

This is going to go down as one of my top-picks I think when people ask me about my favorite scarification work of all 2012. One of the biggest signs that this really worked out right is that it looks dramatically better healed than it did fresh — although that’s not uncommon with scars over blackwork. But for example, the central logo in the fresh photo is a sort of Obama logo or something, but healed it’s obvious that it’s a beautifully executed captive bead ring (since it’s on a piercer). The small nuances in the shapes of the diamonds seem perfectly executed, and the tiny detailed horizontal linework around the ring healed without a single apparent flaw.

This superb scarification was performed by a man you know well, Brian Decker of Pure Body Arts (, and is on Jose Tallon of Adornment Piercing in Palm Springs, California, with the original blackwork tattoo being done by James Haun (of Private Tattoo, the other half of Jose’s shop). Again, great work, and thanks to Jose for putting together this set of progression photos.


Posted with apologies to Rob for not leaving this for him to post for his “Friday Followup”, but it’s so superb I couldn’t stop myself from starting the day with it.

Life is PAIN

Here’s a giant PAIN-ful text skin removal by Gato Piercer out of Bogota, done in an hour and a half of peeling. I should note that I rotated this photo to make the text easier to read and see — it’s on a leg and was photo’d standing up. The only concern I have is that the text is not quite in a straight line, but I’m going to assume that’s just from the swelling from the procedure rather than the artist making the mistake of putting the stencil on while the person was sitting down rather than standing. Because scarification artists are typically piercers not tattoo artists, this mistake can happen — although I would assume that’s not the case here because Gato is plenty experienced. As always often, click to zoom.


Freshly Cut and Then Healing

Here are a pair of scars that are healing quite differently. The scary face is by Martin Kraus of Gelocht&ScharfGestochen (great name) in Neuss, Germany, and the second is by Baz Black in Dundalk, Ireland. Of course Baz’s is at a later state of healing, and Martin’s is just under a month old here, but as you can see, so far the skin removal face is getting an “inset” appearance, whereas the cut web has raised up with a nice even scar. You can zoom them both for a closer look.



Scroll of Power

I can’t count the number of times I’ve called John Joyce a master when it comes to scarification, but it’s painfully obvious anytime you see one of his scars.  Clearly the client here is modifying himself not only through tattoos and scarification, but also through physical training.  Given the size of his arms, it’ll be interesting to see how this one heals up.  Normally arms are pretty easy to predict, but with someone who works out his arms on a regular basis, the movement will affect how the scar tissue forms.  Not to mention it’s done over black ink, so no matter how much the scar raises, it’ll still be noticeable against the blackwork.

The Dakar

This scar by Gábor Zagyvai must have been on someone who is a big fan of rally races.  This is more Rachel’s realm of expertise, but from what I gather the Dakar is a pretty intense car/bike rally that crosses continents, oftentimes passing through some of the most remote locales.

Help out the youngest member of the BME family. Get a limited edition 2012 BME Classic Logo t-shirt. Read all the details here.

Do No Harm

This is about the point where people who know their symbols speak up at how the Caduceus is commonly used as a symbol of medicine, even though it’s actually the symbol for Hermes, the god of messengers, travelers, thieves and liars.  Now the Rod of Asclepius is the staff held by Asclepius who was a Greek god of medicine.  Of course, all of this is moot as regardless of the meaning of the symbol, this person liked the Caduceus enough to have xRonix create a massive scar on his back.

When looking at the second photo, keep in mind his elbows are bent, which is causing the distortion, as you can see in the top photo, the wings are even.

Honour and Pride

This is what happens when you let Brian Decker take a scalpel to skin with heavy blackwork.

Here’s what Brian has to say about the pieces.

To clarify, these pieces were a bit of an experiment with scarification over tattooing in two sessions. The “MY” on both sides was lined and filled with the ESU. The “PRIDE” and “HONOR” were lined with a scalpel and filled with a hyfrecator. You can see the hyfrecator work will need a touch-up session, and yielded no raised effect. The ESU removed the tattoo fully in one shot and keloided upward.

Heptagonally Scarring

Hexagons, octagons, these are the shapes that we see quite a bit, now heptagons, that’s an entirely different category.  Technically this is a heptagram, but you get the idea.  Given the positioning of this scar, as well as the contrast between the big removal, and small pieces, it’ll be interesting to see how this heals up.

Scarification by Iestyn Flye.