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hot stuff...

Branding was always something I found kind of ick, well actually I thought it was disgusting... until BME fest.

BME fest 2004, I saw a girl with these gorgeous swirly brands on her arms, I wish I could remember her name. I asked her what method they used to make the marks and she said they used a cautery pen. As I ran my fingers over her raised scars I thought to myself; "I have to get branded".

For the longest time I couldn't figure out what I wanted to get done, or who I would go see. There was no one in Ottawa for as long as I can remember that I knew was branding in a shop. I finally came to the conclusion that I would have to travel to Toronto to get the work done.

Late October I was at Ink Spot getting my leg tattooed and Greg (my artist) was telling me how this guy was coming up from the states and was going to be working in their shop. I am working on a large tattoo that is going to cover my whole leg, so Greg and I had quite some time to talk about my mods. He had mentioned that Ben could do my branding, and as soon as I heard that, I couldn't sit still because I was so excited.

A couple weeks later I was at the shop for another tattoo appointment with Greg, and as I entered the shop coming up the stairs was Ben. I introduced myself as I passed him going down the stairs. My mom following close behind me pointed to Bens horn implants and shrieked "EWWWW". This was hilarious, coming from a woman who is fully sleeved. I felt my heart sink. Oh no, what if he doesn't want to brand me now?

Thankfully he wasn't offended by my moms reaction and said he would brand me. He asked me what I wanted, I wasn't too sure. I told him I would figure something out for the next time I see him. At this time I was getting tattooed every week, and Ben was always at the shop during my appointments. We talked about designs and placement while I was getting my tattoo worked on.

Finally after about two months of putting it off, I finally got branded. I was waiting for Greg to finish a tattoo before I could get some work done and figured why not go for it. I chose a star on each shoulder to start with, and after those healed I would get something larger.

Ben got his things together and we headed downstairs after the stencil was marked on each shoulder. I sat in the chair and tried to relax while he got set up. Greg came down for a minute incase I needed to be held down since people seem to jump when a giant hot poker is coming towards them. Ben turned on his little torch and heated up the piece of metal, until it was almost white. He held my arm and told me to take a deep breath and slowly exhale. As I breathed out he touched the hot metal to my skin. I wanted to move as I felt the metal bit come closer and closer to my skin, but as soon as the hot piece hit my skin everything went numb and I was fine.

This is great a mod that doesn't hurt. It was a little sensitive towards the back of my arm, but everything was fine. We did both sides with no problem. They looked amazing. I wore my sleeves rolled up so I could show off my new brands in the shop. People kept pointing and gasping when they realized what the marks were. I love the shock effect it has on people.

After about a week it started to widen and the scab was ready to come off for the first time. I took a long hot shower to try and goo the scab up a bit. After my shower I got my torture tools out. I have a small pocket knife from work which was awesome for lifting the corner of the scab. Once I had a small bit raised I used a pair of tweezers to pull the scab off. It made a horrible sound, like pulling apart Velcro. It only had that sound the first couple times I peeled off the scab.

Every night for three weeks I would take a long hot shower, sit on the carpet in my room and peel off the scab. Sometimes it got a little bloody, but blood never freaked me out.
After I had the scab completely off I used alcohol to clean the area off and then pissed it off even more using red wine vinegar. Both of these chemicals burned and I found myself digging my nails into my carpet because of the sting. It's somewhat similar to stubbing your toe, it hurts like a bitch and there's nothing you can do to make the pain go away other than wait.

After three weeks of peeling, and stinging I finally had no more scabs, and all that was left is a gorgeous deep pink bubbly scar. I know it still isn't completely healed; I still scrub it like a mad man in the shower.

I can honestly say the all the pain was worth the turn out. I wouldn't have done anything differently if I had the chance. I can't wait to get branded again!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 Jan. 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Ben
Studio: Ink+Spot
Location: Ottawa%2C+Ontario

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