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My self done strike brand

I've always thought of branding as the step beyond tattooing. Few people I know have actually attempted this procedure, but I'm not really like anybody I know. For about a year and a half I have been considering getting branded, but have wrestled with the choice of what design to use. I wanted to design and construct the brand myself, so choosing an easy construction was important. After a long time I decided that I would mark myself eternally with a symbol of my love for music. The design I finally chose was an infinity symbol from mathematics, with a line extending up from the center. This made the infinity sign become two half notes also.

After I had settled on a design I had to figure out how to make it into an actual strike brand. There was something about the way the old brands of the Wild West were made that fascinated me, so I decided to go with a one piece strike brand. The material I decided to use was 10 gauge copper wire similar to a heavy duty copper coat hanger. I used two pair of needle nose pliers with electrical tape wrapping the jaws, to protect the wire, to bend the proper shape. Many tries later I had created a design that I was happy with. All set to be branded, I put the brand away until the right time.

Less than a week later I caught my wife in the process of throwing the brand in the garbage. She never did want me to do something so extreme to myself, but I am a person that believes that the process of doing something you want, no matter how painful, is worth the end results. So, I hid the brand only to return weeks later to an empty hiding place. Starting from scratch I constructed the tool again, and this time gave her no time to get rid of it. Later that day would be the day.

I gathered the tools I would need to perform the procedure: the brand, bandanas for restraint, alcohol to clean the area, gauze and tape to bandage with afterwards, and my MP3 player to listen to, to get in the mood. The only person I could find who would actually help me get branded was a co-worker who we'll call Sid. (I won't name any names of people involved or my place of business, because I'm pretty sure my boss wouldn't like brandings going on in the kitchen.) I arrived at work and was disappointed to find out that the person who was supposed to bring a propane torch couldn't find one. But, I wasn't about to let this deter me, I had waited to long. So I made the decision to use the gas burners in the kitchen as the source of heat. Later that evening after the lobby had closed, we readied the tools. The brand was laid in the fire, and a bandana was wrapped around my left wrist. Another co-worker held my right shoulder back, and Sid threw the brand into the side of my bicep. A puff of smoke, a smell that resembled burning hair and that was it. No pain, nothing. The area around the brand was very red and my arm was kind of numb, but there was no initial pain.

The next two or three days were about the same, red and numb. I scrubbed the wound with a loufa sponge daily, and picked the scab whenever it formed to irritate the wound and promote scarring. Over the next couple of weeks the wound went from a deep, brown trench in my flesh, to a pink fleshy line on the skin. I would liken the healing process to a scrape. The older the brand got the more raised and scar-like it became. The whole time I never heard the end of it from my wife, she was not happy with it at all. But, I couldn't have been happier. The left side of the brand didn't take as deep as the right side did but a touch up would fix that.

It's now about two and a half months later and I still love my brand. I receive quite varied responses to my brand, from disbelief, awe, disgust, or laughter. But usually people just tell me it looks like a penis. I definitely enjoyed and learned from the experience of my first brand. This will not be my last one. I will be getting another one soon and will use the information gathered from the first to create an even better mod. I am going to make this brand in segments to achieve more detail, and will probably irritate the wound a little better with a chemical irritant of some kind. I'll be sure to submit that story to.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 08 April 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: myself+and+a+coworker
Studio: the+kitchen+of+my+work
Location: Eastern+KY%2C+USA

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