Moth's branding at Altwit's
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Disclaimer: do not try procedures described within
My branding took place on the last weekend of spring break, after many months of planning, deliberation, and looking for an artist. After meeting Lorie and Michelle in Cleveland IRL a few months ago, I started considering going to Toledo to get it done. Michelle had used another technique for the brandings she had performed, so I asked if I could form the irons for a multi-strike iron branding. She agreed and I started looking for sheet metal.
The only non-galv I could find was aluminum, so I bought it. I tried a single-strike raindrop design on my right leg and it came out well, so I began forming the other irons. The design is a 12 strike crescent moon on my left upper, outer thigh.
I have a sun tattoo of my own design that I got about 3 yrs ago. Since then I have learned more about mods and how they make me feel. I have also started to overcome some of my insecurities and instabilities. This branding is for nurturing and balance.
Just over a week before the branding, I started seeing my s.o. Bill. He was fascinated by the idea and wanted to come with me. He offered to drive, so Saturday he and I had a late breakfast and packed everything we would need.
We got to Lories house and had amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. Michelle came over midday for a nap. She wasn't feeling good. We went with her to Steel Addictions and her s.o. made a tattoo stencil of the design. We went back to Lorie's and started burning incense and watched a movie.
By the time Michelle got off work she definitely wasn't feeling up to performing the branding, but had brought the torch with her. We played the music i picked quietly in the background. Lories friend Kat came over to watch. Michelle said we could try it in the morning, but by that time I was very nervous and couldn't have slept. Lorie looked at me with a shy grin and said that she would love to do it. Michelle and I agreed and the irons and vice grips were soaked in antibacterial soap and betadine.
Our procedure was no where near close to shop-sterile. I would not recommend anyone trying this
I wore a shirt but wrapped my right leg in my blanket and laid against a couch on a nest of freshly washed quilts. Bill got a few procedural photos and Kat settled in behind me with the torch. The stencil was transferred, Lorie practiced holding and striking with the irons, the torch was lit, and I thought my heart might burst. I started breathing deeply so I could stay calm. Bill sat next to me and took my hand. Michelle pulled up a chair across and somewhat above us and before I knew it Lorie was heating an iron.
She asked if I was ready and I started breathing more deeply. "next exhale," "onetwothree" and the first strike was over. I shuddered a bit, but kept in my breathing rhythm. The second went like the first, and I decided I needed more orange juice. Bill went to get me some, and we went ahead with the third strike. That one sizzled a bit. There was never an overwhelming smell. After the fourth my leg started twitching a bit after the strikes. We paused for a few pics, then after the seventh strike, took a few more pics. About this time I started needing to count with Lorie. Over half done. Each strike stung, and a few popped and sizzled, but since I knew it was coming it wasn't that bad. I really quit having a solid sense of time. Everyone encouraged me and said I was doing a great job. I twitched backwards from a few of the strikes, but Lorie kept them all really even. The last iron was a bit long, and it warped. Since the design was nearly a mirror image on both sides, we used the opposite side's iron a second time.
I couldn't believe we were done. The first were already getting red and a bit puffy, since it was the very top of my thigh and very sensitive, we decided to not retouch the first strike. Everyone was so supportive and great for the entirety. Im very glad I was able to share this with friends.
It was given a thin coat of ointment and bandaged that night. I scrubbed most of the stencil blue out the next morning. Ointment and bandage again. Day 3-5 it was especially sore and red. I cleaned it with Dial in the shower, and a few times a week with peroxide and a soft tooth brush. After about 10 days i let it scab up, and quit bandaging it. I have picked the scabs off the whole thing a few times. I usually clean it with Dial and apricot scrub in the shower. It has been almost three weeks, and it has almost completely ceased scabbing.
It was sunken in maybe 1/8 of an inch on the last day I kept it bandaged, and it is currently barely raised. I am going to keep scrubbing the area in the hopes of it raising more.
Thanks again to Kat, Lorie, Michelle, her s.o., Bill, and Brandiy and her s.o. for making this a great event.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 May 1999