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mild brand with a satisfying cutting session.

So to start this off I would like to say a bit about why I chose the design, a plain square. Well first off, the practical reasons. Four straight lines, with a 'regular' skin center, not a bad way to start off a DIY brand/cutting I thought, and I still think that. I am fascinated by keloids and was aiming to obtain one. I think everything is far to complicated now, and really enjoy it when people do lovely ritual suspensions, brandings, and especially well done facial tattoos. My parents are extremists when it comes to body modification. "You body is perfect the way it is, why ruin it?" But what about improving it... they didn't understand that there is a difference.

This is not a 'pure' cutting. Alas, it started out as a little branding project, but finding solid things of metal was hard and resorted to raiding our schools metal lab with some help from friends. I came across a chunk of ceramic (I know, random in a metal's lab) and after coming across it previously once or twice on the good old internet thought it would be a good alternative to metal. I went home later that day and contemplated how I was going to do this. And I'll admit I was scarred. I was nervous, sweating, and shaking a bit, but oh so excited. It was like getting my first piercings (other then lobes) which would be my nipples, all over again. I love the surge of adrenaline.

I wanted to heat it with fire so I went out to my dad's tool shop with is heated by a wood stove. There was a metal tray inside for cooking food, which I placed the ceramic square onto. I was alone in case I chickened out, which is not like me; I'm usually balls then brains to be blunt about it. I took off my shirt and cleaned the area with iodine, I didn't know how to clean the ceramic after it was in the stove so I left it, hoping the heat would do a half-a job of "sterilizing" it. Needless to say I do know better, but I think it's the ones that know better that do it anyways haha. Branding or for that matter any type for scarification, tongue splitting, sub-dermal implants are illegal to perform in Manitoba, Canada (my home) unless done by a doctor. But who are we kidding, if I was 16, or 18, or 53 years old they still wouldn't brand me. So that made me want to do it even more, a laugh in the face of authority if you will. Back to the branding.

I put on a pair of oven mitts and picked up the ceramic piece with a pair of pliers. I then pressed the side onto my arm that was marked with food colouring. I won't lie. It hurt. Bad. But I am more than stubborn so I continued. The pain decreased dramatically with each brand or my body gave up and realized it would just have to put up with it! So I completed it. And that was that. But after two weeks I realized that it wouldn't leave a keloid or at the very least a dramatic scar.

So one week after I made that conclusion that I would cut it. I got scalpels from a friend that works at a vet clinic who's father owns it, and went straight home. I wanted to start and finish and then clean up (I assumed their would be blood haha) before my parents came home. I headed to the bathroom, cleaned off the counters and grabbed a roll of paper towel. I laid it down, and took one scalpel out of its package, saving the other one for later. I began to cut a straight line down the side of the square. The scar tissue felt weird, different then cutting 'healthy' tissue. It felt more stringy, like raw steak, and I could feel the skin almost rip. The top of the square and the bottom lines where the most difficult, and also more sensitive because for the sides you can just pull down. Where as the top and bottom you have to push the scalpel away from you, if that makes any sense. I learnt a new appreciation for scarification artists and their elaborate designs that day. After I felt the line was deep enough I 'slide' the blade in the cut almost flush with the skin to separate the thick layer of the skin. I don't know why I did this, curiosity maybe? At the time I felt the need to do this.

I felt satisfied with what I had done, so I soaked the paper towel in some saline solution bought earlier, flushed it a bit with a syringe and then flushed the paper towels and cleaned up. I don't know if I should of wrapped the fresh cut, but I did anyways with some gauze- some nice stuff that wont get stuck in the wound. Then wrapped it with medical tape, and took a nap. I fell asleep with a smile on my face. The next day it was a bit red, but the surrounding area didn't feel hot to the touch, nor did it 'smell' and I felt great. I then flushed it with some more saline solution and left the bandages off so it could dry up a bit.

One week later- It has developed a great looking scab, if scabs can look great haha. I didn't get that 'worried' feeling that something was wrong, every time I was in front of a mirror I'd lift my arm up to catch a glance of it, I'd just pretend to be fixing my hair haha. I'm really excited for the healing and how it'll look.

Before you leave this, just let me say three things.
What I did was stupid. I'm not a professional. But one day I will be one. I know the risks and have accepted my fate. I've accepted having a large square scar on the under side of my arm for life. And I'm a-ok with that. But you may regret it.
And: Please don't read this as advocating self harm. That is not what this is. Also: if any one knows ways of encouraging keloids please let me know!! drop_a_heart37@hotmail.com

Thanks guys!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 April 2008
in Scarification

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Artist: self+done
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