More fun with hot metal
Well, if you've already read the story "Do You Smell Something Burning Or Is It Just Me?" then you've heard about the first brand I received. It has been three weeks now since that one and it is absolutely gorgeous. Due to my high healing factor (which is useful for piercings, but alas not brandings), it hasn't keloided, and won't. The result is thirteen pink circles, even in level with the surrounding flesh, but very distinctive.
A few days after getting the brand on my arm, I wanted to get another one. I knew it was rather soon afterwards, and wouldn't be great for the healing giving my body two third degree burn wounds to worry about, but my additude at the time was "fuck the immune system!" I had already decided on a design; I wanted the Japanese kanji for "eternity" on the right side of my chest. The characters were relatively simple, and lended well to a brand. Little did i know how much trouble thy would cause me.
Chris, my roommate, and I had talked to our local piercer, Joel, about the brand on my arm. He thought we did quite a good job. We told him of the plans to do the kanji on my chest, and he suggested using a hot piece of metal sort of like a pen and drawing on the flesh as one would with a cauterizing scalpel. We thought it couldn't hurt to try it. Boy were we wrong.
We followed more or less the same preparation procedure as on my arm: cleaning and disinfecting the area of the kitchen where we were going to be doing it, burning green champa incense, meditating. Only this time we laid blankets on the floor instead of operating on a chair as this would obviously be easier due to the placement of the brand. We marked the kanji with a violet marker and began to heat up a straight piece of metal to do the "drawing." I braced myself, breathed in, and as I breathed out Chris did the strike, or attempted to. It hurt. Alot. We decided to try it again. Again it didn't work. We realized at this point that it wasn't going to work. So we took a quick break and made up some pieces to do the brand with. We were still trying various ways of doing the strikes and such, hoping to achieve a nice curved line by doing multiple small strikes. This worked somewhat, but the chest is a very sensitive area and it was hurting quite a bit. By the time we finished doing the first character, we had done about fifteen strikes. We really could have done it in four well designed pieces. But we were doing this also to learn, so for the second character, we fashioned pieces that would do the brand in four strikes.
This one worked much better to say the least. By the time we were finshed, the first kanji was rather messy looking, and the second looked very crisp, but when they healed it didn't seem to affect it any. It's now been two and a half weeks, and the scabs are almost completely off. It has keloided only slightly, and I don't expect it to stay raised very much, but like the one on my arm, it looks great and I am really pleased with the results. A word about the healing though: after a few days it began to become very sore, both on the surface and beneath the skin into the muscle. This lasted for over a week and it was only a couple of days ago that I was able to sleep on my right side again. It also became quite full of pus, and would sometimes stick to my undershirt. I was very happy once the scabs fell completely off since they were a great source of the discomfort, pulling the skin very tight on my chest.
Overall it turned out well, though I recommend to anyone stupid enough to try it at home like we did that they do it in as few strikes as possible, and not try to "draw" with the hot metal like we did. Unless you have a cauterizer, it doesn't work!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 March 1999