scarification to date
I forget how I first discovered scarification. possibly though the knife play and medical areas of BDSM, possibly the time I saw a girl with a fall arm scar, or possibly though interest in tattooing and looking at links for 'weird tattoos'. At first I thought the idea weird, but gradually grew to like it, much like anything good.
in my young teenage years I had self harmed, I also collected (and still do) bladed instruments, from straight razors, to knifes, swords and scalpels, and felt very comfortable with a sharp tool in my hand. I’ve also conducted some minor dermatological surgery on myself from removing moles, bumps and stains (I have a weird obsession with perfectly smooth and unblemished skin). I felt fairly comfortable with the idea, and along with an obsession for human anatomy (that primary grew though art, but became a standalone interest) I figured I’d give it a go.
My first scarification was a cross on my arm, as a Christian I thought that would be nice, and it could be a very simple design, so I was fairly confident about it. It was done in two parts both about a month apart. The first, longer, line was done one night after having a bit to drink. a stupid idea if I ever had one. I picked up a razor and cut a deep line in my arm, however being drunk the cut was very deep, it bleed for a long time, and it really put me off finishing it, the next morning my arm was coated in dried blood, as was my bed sheets. When the wound healed and formed a scar it was indented with a nice texture. I really like it and decided to finish it off, using a razor again (they were both straight from the packet, I knew I wanted it to be clean, but didn’t consider sterilization) I cut the shorter horizontal line, it wasn’t as deep, and I had to dig in a bit at the edges in an attempt to get it even (though later discovered it wasn’t deep enough, and barely scarred). The design is on my left deltoid, and despite looking rather rudimentary I still like it.
After that, I decided to look for a forum about scarification, however stumbled across BME instead, while not a forum it was a great start point and I found blogs such as Scarwars, the BME Wiki and various artists portfolios, these inspired me to do some more pieces and get some practice in. I ordered some Swann Morton surgical handles (the no.7 and no.9) as well as some sterile no. 6, 11 and 15 blades. Using these I started to doodle on my arm as I put it, trying out different ways of scaring and trying to create detailed pieces. I didn’t have any sterile forceps or a free hand so I wasn’t able to try out any skin removal, and instead opted for a hatching/shading technique (as seen from Wayde Dunn's work) which worked out fine. The wound had scarred, however it hasn’t gone white yet, like most of my scars do, which makes it a little hard to work out, I've also noticed I probably didn’t cut deep enough. as said this was more experimental work, just getting used to using some of the different cutting tools available.
as for the actual process it wasn’t too bad, unfortunately I can get a little squeamish at times which didn’t help much (though for me it seems totally illogical) the pain wasn’t too bad after the first could of cuts as the skin numbed and/or got used to the feeling, especially since my body was doing this to itself. it bled quite a bit, which is one of things I forgot to prepare for and had to quickly leave my sterile area to grab some tissue; I did find a little bit of bleeding was useful since you could see the lines a lot better. So I would also need to get better/brighter lighting for any future work, not that it was particularly dark, just not as bright as I would have liked.
For the future I plan to try flesh removal and a more purposeful design(s), I'm planning to experiment further on different handles/blades. I was using a no.11 blade on a no.9 handle, however also had no.6 and no.15 blades/ a no.7 handle and an ACM handle. After doing more scalpel work (though admittedly not on skin) I’ve moved over to the 15/9 combination, since it allows better control on tighter cuttings, while also being a sturdy tip (the 11 blade flexes too much because of the thin tip). I’ve also discovered a professional scarification artist near me and plan to get in contact with him soon, since scarification is an area I’d like to develop and potentially work in.
submitted by: PJB21
on: 15 Feb. 2011
in Misc. Scarifications