Hand-Poked Cremation Ashes Tattoo

Former BME columnist Marisa Kakoulas at Needles and Sins just posted a fascinating article on a hand-poked cremation ashes tattoo done in a hand-poked dotwork style by Colin Dale of Skin & Bone in Copenhagen. Colin recently tattooed his friend Eric with Eric’s father’s ashes, mixed with soot to darken the ink, milled together in strong Vodka — apparently human ashes are very light and it helps to add an agent to make the tattoo more visible. Click the picture to visit Needles and Sins for the whole story.


Taking flight for a good cause

According to MrHardKor, around 300,000 geese are killed every year at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for safety reasons.  When MrHardKor, an artist and taxidermist by trade, discovered that the geese were being killed and then destroyed, he knew he needed to step in.  Together with a group of like-minded individuals, he created “De Keuken van het Ongewenste Dier” (Kitchen of the Unwanted Animals).  The organization receives the geese from the licensed hunters, cleans them, and then serves them at events in and around Holland.

The following pictures come from one event that the group catered.  It was the opening of an art fair entitled “Bacchus and Soul”, and they served smoked goose.  It was there that MrHardKor hooked himself up to a pair of goose wings and some balloons to serve the geese with style.

Check out the Other Ritual Fun gallery for more photos from the event.

BME is up for a small business grant and we need your support!!
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The Rituals We Have

Right off the bat I’m putting the warning out there.  This post features SI cutting, so if that is triggering for you, don’t read it.  The images will be behind a clickthrough, so they can be easily skipped.

Alright, with that all said, let’s get on with this post.  I wanted to post these two pictures as they have an interesting dichotomy.  While both are recognizable as SI photos, the two are very different.  Keep on reading to see what I mean.

The first image is one a lot of people will instantly recognize.  A hand holding a blood covered razor blade, with drops of blood going down the drain in the background.  While we don’t see the cut, we know there must be one there.  The image is raw and simplistic.  The bare bones of SI laid out in a single frame.  It calls to mind all the other images we associate with ritual cutting.  The shallow cuts across the arm, leg or stomach; The faint scars of cuts from the past.

And then we have the second photo.  In stark contrast the the brightly lit first photo, this one is in the dark, with only a sliver of light shining through.  Smoke hangs in the air with an ephemeral presence, while the woman below lies looking up.  On her arm are the marks from the razor, those tiny cuts repeated over and over again.  Why she cuts is unknown, but it is something deeply personal.  The photo is almost a violation, like the light, exposing her cutting and her secrets to the world.

The photos, in a simple way, define the two sides of ritual cutting.  The raw action of the blade, coupled with the emotional release.

Special thanks to ChaChuck for sending in these photos.

If you’re looking for more information regarding self harm, this website can help.

Oh Brad

I’ll admit it, Lucass is one of my favorite image submitters.  The reason:  he’s always up for doing something fun with his mods.  I asked him a while back to send in pictures from his trip to Europe, and got this photo of the Eiffel tower in response.  Recently his friend Brad had a birthday, and this is what Lucass did for him that day.

Now that’s a dedicated friend.

A study in blood

IAM:Meriken_Metals recently sent in a photo series entitled “Vitality”.  While there wasn’t a lot of description given, it appears that it combined play piercing with blood play to create a blood print of the results of the piercings.  Instead of using the traditional play piercing needles, he used long pieces of flexible metal to weave the piercings together.

Head over to the ritual and play piercing gallery to see the rest of the photos.  Just a quick note, given the length of the wire, setting up a completely sterile environment would be difficult, so please don’t attempt to recreate this without first taking the proper safety precautions.

No one was harmed in the making of this post

You’ve got to hand it to the #Leeds Suspension Team.  Not only do they come up with remarkable photos for their suspensions, but also for projects that don’t involve suspension at all.

Now, before you continue on with the post, be aware that these photos do contain some violent and possibly triggering content.  Also there are boobs.

Now these two photos are part of a series of photos put together by Boris Ligovsky, all of which tell a story.

To get the full story, be sure to check out the ritual and play piercing gallery.  The team members often check the comments sections, so if you have an questions I’m sure Arseniy or someone else would be happy to answer them.

The rings of a tree

I first saw this photo on Brian‘s page a few days ago, so when I saw he had submitted it to his portfolio gallery I made sure to get it up as soon as possible.  Now there is a fantastic story behind this piece, and since Brian explained it so nicely, I’ll let his words explain the bands.

I don’t remember if i posted about this last year, but here is some scar work i did on a young, Native American girl. In her Blackfoot tribe it is customary to have a line scarred around their arm for each year they’re alive. It is known as Ponn Miistis, which literally translates to “the rings of a tree”. When they run out of room on one arm they move to the other, then the legs, but apparently their average life expectancy is only 43.

Anyhow, her parents are more modernized now and didn’t want her having this done while she was growing up. She was intrigued by her grandfather’s rings, which covered his arms and legs, so decided to come to me from Montana to catch up. Last year i worked on her upper arm and finished it up this time. She’s 24 now.

She promises to be back every year for another line, too!

I love the fact that not only is this scarification so deeply personal for the girl, it is also a way to remind the rest of us where our modifications come from.  When I read news stories talking about a “new trend” of people getting scars, it saddens me to think that we live in a world where the vast majority has no concept of just how significant cultural rituals involving modification are.  Of course I’m speaking from a North American perspective.  There are many places the world over where not only are these rituals remembered, they are still practiced.  Thanks to this brave young woman, and Brian’s talents as an artist, the people she encounters in her life will be able to learn of a tradition that has faded away.

Self-injury Awareness Day

For those that may not know, today is Self-injury Awareness Day.

Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is a grassroots annual global awareness event / campaign on March 1, where on this day, and in the weeks leading up to it, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organizations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.

You’ll note at the end that today isn’t about passing judgment on others, but to just encourage awareness about the truths behind self-harm.  As such, I’ve selected a photo from the ritual cutting gallery to share with you.  As we do with all ritual cutting photos, it will be behind a clickthrough so those who choose not to view it have that choice.

Of the many photos in the cutting gallery, this one seems well suited for today.

A slice of life

ModBlog is the part of BME that is meant to showcase all aspects of the community, by highlighting exceptional modifications, significant moments, or sometimes just a little fun.  Sometimes this also means ModBlog will cover topics that can be controversial, but most of the time, things are pretty mundane as most of the community has been around long enough not to get shocked by certain things.  The reason I’m mentioning all this is because when I found the image for this post, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that images of ritual cutting can evoke some strong emotions from people.

One of the main points that is brought up is that an image of a cutting can trigger the behavior in others.  Let me assure that is not the purpose of this post at all.  I want to take a quick moment to look back on something Shannon said a number of years ago.

Now, I understand that I tend to take a somewhat no-compromises or radical stance on these matters rather than seeking out the safe or mainstream stance that most people feel is “reasonable” (and I appreciate how one could come to the opposite conclusion), but I really do think it’s important to be honest about this being much more about politics and cultural bias than anything else. Ignoring the fact that it’s very difficult to make a compelling objective case that differentiates cutting from play piercing, suspension, pulling, and other ritual that’s rarely decried, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to triggering, the whole site is a giant trigger for those who are prone to being influenced by peer pressure.

One of the reasons I know this is that if I post a particularly nice serious of photos of a modification, I’ll almost always receive an influx of that particular modification over the next little while, as people see the pictures and decide that it’s something they want to do as well. How many times have I seen comments along the lines of “this makes me really want to suspend” or “this makes me really want to get another tattoo” and so on? Even in a culture that’s steeped in the concept of individualism, the truth is that a significant percentage of people are deeply influenced and “triggered” by the actions of others.

Again, I’d strongly urge people who are not able to take responsibility for their own actions (let alone control their own actions) not read BME (or at least the sections of BME that they’re not comfortable around) or other “triggering” media and get the help they need so they can be happy and self-empowered individuals. I’m sorry if some people feel that makes light of their mental illness, but I’d like to keep BME focused on people for whom body modification and ritual is a positive force, not those who see it as a mental illness.

Now, with all that said, let’s take a look at the image.

This particular shot was sent in by Sarah_B. who you may remember from her knee suspension a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I selected this image is because it shows a side of her that you didn’t see in her previous photos.  When someone is featured on ModBlog we normally only get to see a small slice of their life, a moment in time that was significant to them at that time.  Which brings us back to my opening remarks.  ModBlog is here to open the window into this wonderful community.  We’re open and sharing about moments that can be extremely personal and revealing.  This community, as wide ranging as it is, covers so many aspects of modification, even those that to some may be controversial.  ModBlog isn’t here to pass judgement, it is here to share with you, the readers, the stories and images from all corners of the community.

Now obviously this isn’t the most graphic cutting image that’s been shown on ModBlog, but sometimes simplicity can be just as important as shocking.