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A major professional body art by Lucas Zpira

    A professional body art by Lucas Zpira

Note; this is long essay, but its informative, and i believe it will help people inform about the art of skarification.

To choose skin sculpture

   I discovered about the art of scarification by reading on the subject in a magazine five years ago. The article was on a San Francisco artist and the few fotos they depicted was of a fresh cut of two sets of four parrallel lines. Scarification was very appealing to me. I admire body-art very much but i'm a body purist; I have no tattoos, no piercings, no other body mods. However, scarification was relatively undevelloped then and not generally practice like body piercing. Therefore i forgot about it. 
Then (march 2001) in a free local newspaper (about stuffs happening in Montreal, my hometown), there was an ad by Black Sun Studio foretokening that Lucas Zpira was passing here on his North American Bod Mod tour. It announces that skar, tongue spliting, implant, subincision, etc... were his tricks of the trade. I choose skin sculpting because to me it is more natural than any other body mods. There are no foreign objects, it is purely my skin, color and shape.

A trip to Black Sun studio (www.blacksunstudio.com)

    Although i decided to procure a scarification, i needed more information on it. I made an appointment with Pierre of Black Sun for a free consultation. Now, you must know that Black Sun is the most renowned body piercing studio in Montreal. I knew of their existence a while back from different people. Their level of professionalism and their commitment to body art awareness is incredible. 
As i walked up the stairs ouside, i noticed a vase filled with sand for clubs (french slang for cigarettes), so no smoking inside. At the lobby, i have to take off my shoes and i met the receptionist, Jessica. This place is cleaner and more sterilize than a  hospital surgery room. The consultation with Pierre was great, he answer all my questions about scarification. In fact, they even let me use their internet access to surf the web to research some pics of healed scars (longer 1 year ) which are quite rare. Of course, we went to BMEzine.

Meeting with Lucas Zpira

     On march 14th (Thursday), i had an appointment with Lucas. The skar was going to be on my left calf but i didn't have any design in mind, so i espied his portfolio.We chatted for a bit.I also met Lza. I talked mostly about philosophy, about the potential of humankind. I wanted something that would link the past, from our ancestor to the very far future. I showed Lucas my sketchbook. He took down some notes/patterns from my drawings. He seems excited, inspired. Thereafter, we went to the operating room, and Lucas started sketching on my calf with a felt pen, i told him which designs i like and which ones to modify. I was the inspiration, Lucas the artist, scaring the medium, and my skin the canvas.

(note to readers; i didn't described my scarification appereance cuz i thought i would included pics, but i can't find a scanner or afford one+ i wanted to be high quality. Ugh! Its basically 10 circle of peeled skin, jagged line from my knee to my foot, 3 fine tiger's claw's lines above my angle, a half-moon crazy curvature line back of my calf, 3 'spirit' lines, and in the middle, a sort of upside down 2 with a peeled peacock design in the middle all in one super design. I will post pict asap, you actually going to see pics of fresh and healed skars (10months).

A fresh, fleshy new feeling

    The next day, on march 15th, two hours before the operation, i applied 10 grams of EMLA on my left calf. I then wrapped it in seran. I got to BlackSun Studios early. I was astonished that i was pretty calm, like i was shopping for groceries. Lucas assistant, Lza, prepped me for the cut. I didn't have to shave my leg. As Lza clean up my left calf, i felt a numb sensation, it felt cold. I scoped out the room as i lie on the doctor's bed thing. Whites walls, white cabinets, surgicals scalpels and tools of all sizes and shape which i don't the names, and also bottles of antiseptic, a metal sink, a large mirror. Lucas came in. He and his assistant started to get ready; they put on those doctor's masks and those hospital's gloves. Because i was lying down on my right side, i couldn't get a good look of art in the making.

Conversation in french; ' so when are you going to start cutting? ' ' we already did ' (surprised) 'really?' and i snuck a peek over and behold, i was bleeding. Lucas started the cut on the back of my calf. I initially didn't feel a thing, the sensation was like softly running your nails over your body. After each certain lenght, Eve was cleaning up the 'wound' with paper towel soaked in antiseptic. Lucas was scarifying about 1mm (1/16th of a inch) deep into my flesh. He found it easy to work on my calf. My legs are muscular, therefore the scar stay in place and the flesh won't wobble as oppose a scaring on fat skin. I won't try to describe (actually, i don't remember) how he went through the design, you will have to look at the pics i (will)posted.

   During the process, my mind just wondered around, listening to the soft techno music which was playing from the lobby. Then, i felt something, not pain but pretty close to it. I was conscious of the cleaving, the flesh of my calf divided, touching air for the first time. A new sensation near pain, closer to discomfort not pleasurable but mesmerising. It seems that i didn't evenly amply Emla over my skin and it was losing its effects (Emla last about 1 hour, takes 1 ½ hour to take effect, and can be purchase in Canada at any pharmacy/drugstore, over the counter. It makes the blood on the surface of your skin go 'lower', thus the cold awareness). At one point, Lucas' scarifying reached the area above my angle. It was three lines which i like to refer them as tiger's claws mark. Lucas' control was amazing from normal to really thin lines near my ankle. That area was really sensitive, i clinched my teeth, there's a thick vein runing through. Obviously i was bleeding profu sely.

The sound of one' skin being peel

   Originally we planned on to have only the 'peacock' spot being peeled, but during the operation we concluded that the ten spots would look better if they also would be peeled. I am not going to trace the outline of skin peeling, because i don't want any (emotionally unstable teen) attempt this at home or a friend's basement. Let's just says that it involves a very small scalpel, two very small nippers and a ton of patience and high dexterity. All these tools that they were using are made for surgeries. It is not a scalpel you used for school ! Pierre came in to scope the peeling process. He encouraged me to regulate my breathing as i was losing color from my face. He also asked Lucas what he wanted for supper. Haha, funny guy. I didn't watch as i had to lie still on my side but i could experience the small circle of skin tissue being strip off. Then as Lucas work on the ten spots,  i reminiscent to the time when i just was a little chubby boy, a friend of my father to ld me that we should cut my fat, deep fried it and eat it. And i'm associating with my fleshy cut rind. Self-cannibalism...eewwww...Good thing it was almost over. Oh, what is the sound of one' skin being peel? Well...you have to suffer to know.

The clean up

     When Lucas was done, Lza cleaned fully the vivid scarification with antiseptic. They were very proud. We let the fresh scar dry up in air a bit. As Lucas made a print of his artwork with a paper towel, i survey the room. The sanitized towel beneath my leg was soaked in blood (which was changed halfway), they went through boxes of plastic gloves and used a whole roll of paper towels. My legs arched from being in still position. In all, it took about 45 minutes or 25, i can't recall cuz i'm writting this 13-15 weeks after. Lucas film the final result skin sculpting with his digitized camera, he also film afore the cut.

Thereafter, he covered my the scaring with cling wrap. We went outside for a smoke with this other guy also got a scarification on his ribs and implants i believe the day before.

   I took a cab home or else i fear i would bleed all over the metro (subway). I took a nice long shower. As soon the water wash away the blood, a new dark red liquid gush out feverishly.  I clean myself and wrapped up my scar in seran. I passed out on the sofa with my left leg dangling over the newspaper covered floor.

    I return to Black Sun studio the next day (Friday). Lucas check out my the scarification. I was still bleeding hardcore. You couldn't not see my leg under the cling wrap. It was all red. You should feel the blood when it coagulates. Its mass is between liquid and matter. Strawberry jam will never be the same again. He gave me this mixture which he concocted. I will called it the 'magic potion'. Gave me specific instructions to mix it with other household ingredients like concentrated lemon juice, salt, etc...and to apply it as soon i stop bleeding. I bid him farewell, Lucas bod mod tour is heading to the states.

Chapter of pain

    I definitely added to much concentrated lemon juice to the magic potion. It was supposed to be pasty not liquid. Not much i can do about it, i combine the potion with the remaining ingredients. This stuff really stink. So on Saturday night, my calf stop bleeding. I exposed it to the air for a ½ hour.

     I'm in my bathtub, wearing cheap plastic gloves. I take a spoon, dipped in the magic potion and dripped the contents over my scar. Bloody, bloody, fucking cunt ! ! ! ! I silently, madly curse as i try to ascertain, absorb the pain. My neural transmitters fire up, this harmful stimuli coursing through my body. You know how there is two kind of touch sensation ? Thermal for feeling cold or hot and tactile pressure like receiving a punch. Well, i fancy there should be a third one for rubbing your open wounds with shanmanistic lotion.

      This was my routine for one week, stay home in isolation, don't move, clean the scarification daily, apply the magic potion daily, wrap my skar with cling wrap. I felt depleted, my left leg was throbbing and sore. I couldn't walk, i had to drag my leg. On the second day of application, my left foot started to swelled up. It dilated so excessively that i couln't see my ankle. I can't even fit into my shoe. Four days later, i started to itch all over the my skin, in the areas between the scars. At this time, i was very worry. Nevertheless, i austerely fallow Lucas instructions and i got through the week.


       In the fallowing days, my foot returned to its normal size and it cure quite nicely. I got nice size scabs. It was really hard to resist picking them before they healed. I did. And i would bleed again although just a bit. I cultivated crusted lesions for a few days. The scarification resulted with little keloids. Scope out the pics i posted. The only problem i had was that my skin was dry from being emprisoned in cling wrap for two weeks. I obtained some natural Jajoba oil. My skin regain some moisture so it's all good. To sum up, it took me a month to completely recupurate.

       These days, i attend Muay Thai kickboxing classes at least 3 time a week, thus my scarification takes much abuse. Still, it is the same shape, color and size. The skins peelings are awesome.

    Additionally, i never thought i would explain what a scarification is to so many people. They generally think is some sort of weird tatoo because of the coloration or a branding. The weak hearted ones (minor few) can barely look at it. They can not fathom why would one hurt oneself for a body design. The majority 95% are fascinated/like the scarification. They asked me tons of questions. All are enlightened that scars can be aesthetic and a medium of art.

    Whether scarification will become mainstream or not, whether trendwatchers will conjure it up as the « next urban social-cultural phenomenon » , i know i got mine for me and i'm insanely happy about it.

     So thank you for reading about my scarifying experience as i best recall it. I hope it illuminates you. If you decide to go under the scalpel, please, please, inform yourself, look for a artist who is experienced and who you are confortable with. Do it in a safe, sterilized place. And if you don't have the means, wait. Patience is a virtue, i waited five years and the scar i got is beyond my expectations. Most importantly, be healthy in your mind, in your heart, in your body&soül and in your life.

skar bod mod march'01 written late summer'01 submitted november'01 (i'm so lazy!)


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 29 Nov. 2001
in Scarification

Use this link to share:

Artist: Lucas+Zpira
Studio: www.blacksunstudio.com
Location: Montreal%2C+Quebec%2C+Canada

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