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My Hand Cutting and Skin Removal

This all really started two years ago when a vacuum cleaner fell on my right hand leaving two triangular scars. For the last 6 months the fact that the triangles weren't even, and there were only two of them (not balanced) has really been pissing me off. When I joined IAM I started thinking about ways to balance it out and fix the old triangles. Then I had an idea. What about a skin removal/scarification. I looked at some galleries and checked out a few experiences and decided to speak to Wayde Dunn (Quaid on iam) and ask him a few questions. Wayde assured me that getting a skin removal on my hand wouldn't be very difficult and he travelled to Sydney on a semi-regular basis so could do it for me on one of his trips. Now I just had to come up with some kind of design. Finally I settled on something simple and easy, 4 triangles, two to replace the old ones and make the edges sharper and two more to balance it all out. Like a compass, my moral compass.

A few weeks ago Wayde let me know he would be back in Sydney soon so I made a booking and on Thursday it was finally time to get my hand cutting. I left work early and caught the train to Penrith (Wayde was working out of Wicked Ink in Penrith). Not wanting to get into my motivation behind having someone remove bits of skin from my hand with my family, friends and colleagues I simply told anyone that asked that I had a dentist appointment.
I was quite nervous the whole day, not really knowing what to expect but I tried to stay calm and hype myself up for the cutting. I guess not having told anyone what I was doing may have made the nerves a bit worse as I wasn't only stressing about the procedure itself but also about peoples reactions to it.
But I digress, once I finally got to Penrith I nearly got lost trying to find the studio (first time that far west). Got there around 6pm and talked to Wayde about what I wanted to do with my design and the scars I already had on my hand. I had a smoke while he drew up the stencils and got everything ready. Then it was time to do the cutting. Wayde was great and managed to put me at ease. My hands had been shaking quite badly up until that point, wether from the nerves or excitement I'm not really sure. We talked about how we could make the design work within the constraints place upon us by the placement of the existing scars. Then Wayde started placing the stencils. He did them separately one triangle at a time so that we could make any changes if it didn't look symmetrical. Getting the design right took us a little while but once we got my hand all marked up he told me what was going to happen with the whole cutting process. Since the numbing gel Wayde uses only works on broken skin I thought it was going to hurt like hell to start with. But surprisingly enough it didn't. I've had paper cuts that hurt more.
It was all so surprisingly easy. The scalpel didn't really bother me, I have a phobia of needles but not scalpels it seems. Being a bit squeamish I also didn't think I would be able to watch the whole thing but it was incredibly interesting to see how it's done. Watching the skin being removed was a bit weird as by that stage the gel was working and I couldn't actually feel it happening.
It was all over rather quickly. Wayde cleaned up the area and tried to take some photos. Unfortunately the top triangle wouldn't co-operate and just kept bleeding. Finally we managed to make it stop for just a little while and get some photos. I thanked Wayde, paid and headed back to the station for the interminable train ride home. Checked my hand when I got home, as it had bled a bit more on the way home I decided to change the dressing.
The whole process hurt considerably less than I have been expecting, having a shower on Friday morning was more painful than the whole cutting. All up I am really happy with the cutting and how easy it was. If I can heal this without any issues I will definitely look into getting the outlines to the flowers I want on my legs done as scars.
As for telling my friends and family, I have only told 3 people so far. One was a bit freaked out, one showed me where he used to burn his skin with lighters in response and one told me she couldn't wait to see it. So we have freak out, ambivalence and acceptance. I wonder what's next.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 16 Sept. 2006
in Scarification

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Artist: Wayde+Dunn
Studio: Wicked+Ink
Location: Sydney%2C+Australia

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