At A Glance Author matt + jo Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Artist myself
I will summarise first so if you just want our advice from experience you don't need to read the whole thing. - YOU WILL FLINCH. Be prepared for it to ensure a clean strike. - If you can, do it yourself. Many people will disagree but there you go. (The exception to this may be if there is someone genuinely experienced with a good track record in your area, who you trust.) - This goes hand in hand with the second point, but it is not as easy as people might think so make sure that the person doing it really does know what its all about. If not then do the research and do it yourself. - Start small. Don't plan a large multi-strike piece at first until you know you can deal with it. - Don't press to hard as it cuts like butter. - As for duration, personally it was dictated by the flinch. I think that the reports of two seconds are exaggerated as it would burn to the bone in that time. Also if you tried to hold it on for any length of time, for instance on someone's back, they are likely to move and you get a shit strike, ruining a large area of skin. - Pick the right spot, in our experience some flesh scars easily and some almost not at all. - If quality of results rather than a token of how unusual/hard/dedicated you are, then a white tattoo or one with no ink really whacked in will give neater more consistent results The metal was a stainless steel strip, about 1mm x 20mm. This turned out to be ok as it was easy to get red hot, it held the heat well and above all it was easy to handle. If I was to use wire, I would bend it to provide a handle to grip with pliers. The design was simple for reasons of spreading, highlighted in other articles. The metal was tested against the hand prior to heating to ensure that it would lie flat and make contact on all sides. It was heated with a propane torch until glowing red-hot positioned then placed on the skin. Simple? Not as much as it sounds. The number one piece of advice I could give is that YOU WILL FLINCH. I cannot emphasis this enough, no matter how prepared or how tough you think you are, you will definitely flinch. I branded my girlfriend first and when she flinched it left an uneven burn that hit twice. As it has just been done it is hard to tell how this will effect the scar. Hopefully the second hit, which is really light compared to the first, will fade to nothing. I will update this file once it has healed. I then branded myself. If you think you can do this I recommend it. The reason being that despite seeing my girlfriend flinch and the consequences I still did, just as much. It just can't be helped. The advantage though of doing it myself, is that I flinched with both hands as it were and the strike came off cleanly. The main point anyone reading this will want to know is does it hurt, an issue never addressed properly in any BME FAQ's, the reason being that it's a hard feeling to express in words, and everyone copes with it differently. Yes, it does hurt, you don't flinch for nothing. It is a lot like any burn except that you're ready for it. It is much worse than a tattoo or piercing (and I have seen many people struggle to cope with these). I know this isn't what people want to hear but it is what my experience says. On the plus side, it does not last for too long. I expected it to keep me awake that night but it didn't and now it's the next day it is not at all painful. I can tell its there and if I knock it, it hurts but that's it.
Healing. Over the next couple of days a large scab formed, not a blister like on the superficial burns you get from an accidental burn. This is probably because after it is done it just looks like a groove of skin has been removed, right down to the flesh. Healed. You live and learn. We branded the palms of our hands and the scar has faded to literally nothing. Let me stress that it wasn't a lack of initial damage as the brand was right through the skin to the flesh, and a small burn on my forearm which is now ten years old has a lovely scar which was nothing like as bad initially. We can only assume that this was due to the kind of skin involved. This may make sense as we own a tattoo studio and it is almost impossible to get a tattoo to stay in palms and soles of feet to any degree.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 May 2000