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Chest Branding by Blair

started one night when I picked up a piece of metal and heated it up and stuck it down to my flesh..... Not really. One night, while thinking about future plans for modifying my body (though I'm not sure if that's the word I want to use), I came up with the brilliant idea of having a cutting done right under each collarbone - straight across. Seemed like a fairly decent idea, since I wanted to accentuate those natural collar-bone curves, and I liked the idea of a cutting better than the heat of a branding (I've learned to deal with blood over the years, thankfully). So naturally, I started my research here on BME (where I spend countless hours on the Bulletin Boards and learning all sorts of neat stuff that people do with/to themselves). And immediately I decided that a cutting wasn't the thing for me: the scars didn't seem to raise enough for my liking. Reading through the interview section here on BME as I have done countless times before, I decided to give Keith Alexander an email. I was planning a trip to New York anyway, and I thought that that time would be as good as any. There wasn't any particular reason for the letter, but I did want to get a grasp of what he was all about before I let him burn the skin off my chest. He responded almost immediately, and seemed like a great guy who obviously knew what he was doing. I told him that Blair was here in Toronto and I asked him about his opinion of Blair. His email response was "Blair Rocks!" And I read Blair's interview again, the 3rd or 4th time, and checked out all of his work on various websites (www.byblair.com). In the meantime, I had also emailed Blair, but I got no response for at least a week. So I called his shop, and was told that he was in Mexico for another two weeks. I'd just missed him. And all I wanted to do was ask him a few questions. So I waited, and did some more research (I really like to research the shit out of everything I can get my hands on). And I thought more about what I wanted to have done: what shape, how big, where, etc. I drew on my chest with a crayola marker (easy to erase) until i found the right 'look.' I was becoming more excited by the minute. When Blair finally decided to come back and visit us here in Canada (he's away again in Mexico at the time of this writing for two more weeks!) I called him and let him know of my intentions. He invited me to come in for a 'consultation,' which for me consisted of us talking about the procedure, other procedures he'd done, what to expect, etc. This wasn't all that helpful, since I knew what to expect already. However, he firmly planted himself in my mind as one of the nicest people I've ever met - that kind of genuine 'nice' that only piercers/modifiers can be. And I think that he realized that I was very serious about this, and became happier himself. Its not like someone comes to him every day wanting to be branded. I dropped by for another chat on another day, and set an appointment time of New Year's Eve afternoon. I can't remember the hour. After chatting a bit that final day, we went back to his room (note: tiny, little room). I should point out that I brought along a friend/photographer to document the entire procedure. Fortunately, she has a few piecings of her own. Unfortunately, this wasn't going to be a piercing! After cleaning me up and donning gloves (not really necessary, but we both like to take precautions) Blair spent the next hour and a half drawing on my chest with his marker. Even after I told him that his placement was fine, he insisted on making it absolutely perfect, even if it took hours. And since I didn't come with a stencil and was looking to have two symmetrical brands on either side of my chest, it almost did take hours. I was sweating for some reason. Kind of a mix of nervousness and needing a new layer of anti-perspirant. So on with the show! Blair had me lay down on his black doctor-type table (but as comfortable as a bed) and took out his respirator mask, torch, small vise-grips, and implements of destruction: a tiny, less than 1/4" stainless steel bit. I knew the bit would be small, but not THAT small! He started the torch. He would start on one side of my chest. He told me that usually the first strike or two are the most painful, and that he would do one or two to begin with, so I could get used to the pain, and give my body a moment to send out some endorphins. So he heats up the bit, brings it close to my chest. I can feel the heat. My heart rate is going faster than I thought was possible. I grip my belt buckle as tightly as I can, and here it comes.....ssssss! My chest sizzles. I can see and smell the smoke. I DIDN'T FEEL A DAMNED THING!!! Nothing. I apologize to him for being so nervous beforehand, and he tells me again that it really isn't as painful as you'd think. And this time, I believe him. But I shouldn't have. Ever strike thereafter hurt more and more, but at the same time hurt better and better. My body was either on the point of giving out or having the hugest orgasm in the history of full-body orgasms! I decided that I needed a break after about 20 strikes. Halfway through. No turning back. And I didn't really want to stop anyway. My body was shaking violently. Either this was my endorphin rush, or I wasn't releasing enough, and this was my body telling me to stop. So I drank a bottle of orange juice, my body shaking ever-so violently. The first strike on the second side calmed my nerves for some reason. I wasn't shaking anymore. Ahhh! Finally, my endorphins kick in after about 8 minutes of terror/extasy. Wait, not so fast. Here come the shakes again..... And they continued until the entire procedure was over. But once it was over, they stopped right away, and completely. I remember feeling remarkably clear-headed, but feeling no endorphin rush. Blair took some photos for his own portfolio, and I put my shirt on. I told him the story about Keith Alexander. Oddly enough, Keith and Blair have known eachother for quite awhile. Blair tried to find a photo of them together to show me, but came up empty-handed. We chatted a little bit more...neither of us were rushing to get out the door (or at least he seemed that way). We said our good-byes and I promised him that I'd be back with full after-care documentation as well as the shots that were done during the branding (beautiful photos that will be submitted soon, don't worry!). Its now been 2 months, and everything's been great. I've been back to visit Blair a bunch of times, and even now he's still not all that happy about the work he did on me. He can't please himself, and he's a perfectionist to a fault. He was also gracious enough to ask me to be in an interview with him for Global Television (a la City-TV). Unfortunately, the people at Global decided not to go through with the series at the last minute. That would have been fun. In any case, that's my story. To answer your questions: Yes, its painful, but not so painful that I wouldn't do it again in a second. Yes, healing takes a bit of time, but not as long as you'd think, and as long as you keep it semi-clean, you have nothing to worry about. It gets itchy at times as well, but not badly. And no, you don't have to scrub it with laundry detergent. Anti-bacterial soap and a sterile toothbrush will do just fine. Now I just have to decide how to continue the linear branding to cover the rest of my body. I think that's my plan now. I'm already getting excited about it. Happy burning. email me if you'd like. aesthete

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 March 2000
in Scarification

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Artist: Blair+McLean
Studio: Tat-a-Rama
Location: Toronto

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