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Chest valknut branding

It had been a pretty long time since I had had a mod of any shape or form. I hit 30 and figured it was really time to get back into it. I'd missed it; actually I'd really missed it. A branding is something I had been contemplating for a long time, nearly a decade and it was just time. I knew it was time.

I'd known the design I wanted for a while, it had been sitting in my images folder on my computer for years. A trefoil knot or a valknut. It is a spiritual symbol for me, not in its direct meaning but as a way marker for things I consider deeply important. And I knew where I wanted it – middle of my chest about even with my nipples.

I chose branding less for the eventual scar (though it is important) than for the experience. I wanted to test myself, my boundaries and thresholds. And frankly, the older I get the more comfortable I am with admitting that I enjoy a little controlled pain from time to time.

I emailed Marc at primitive just telling him the usual, why I wanted it, how much it was going to cost all that sort of thing. He got back to me really quickly and pointed out that I hadn't attached the image. I fixed that up smartly and organised a booking for it. It was a long three weeks. I mean I am a planner when I do these things but it was dead annoying, cause I wanted it, but had to save the cash up.

The happy day arrives. Rock into the city and into the studio. The first stages are pretty much like getting a tattoo. Thermal transfer gets done, downstairs and shaves the chest hairs off. Retrospect being a fine thing I kinda wished I'd waxed, because I hate other people shaving me. Not important really. Transfer is lined up, stuck on and we are all good to go. Up the stairs and into the chair. This is the point I actually realise what is about to happen.

Alright, Marc pulls the cautery gear out and we wait for a minute to let it all get ready. We start talking about aftercare, the pain and all that sort of thing. Marc's conversation was really calming and positive which is really important and really welcome. I always figure conversation between you and whoever is sort of private, but it was an interesting conversation and settled me right down, I think he could tell I was getting nervy. That and Marc reminding me that breathing steadily is an important part of the process.

All that out of the way and it's time to start. And let me just say it was nowhere near as painful as I was expecting. Most of my piercings were much much worse. It really reminded me very strongly of tattooing, in that the lines were worse than the fill by quite a long way. Not to say it doesn't hurt though, but without the pain, I guess I wouldn't really be interested. The smell though – the smell is funky. I mentioned it at one point something like "Man, that is some kind of stench." The response – "that's your smell!" The other disconcerting thing is the little line of smoke (vaporising flesh that is) that rises up towards the ceiling. I didn't think it was a big deal though. After a little while it starts just feeling like fresh sunburn and really, that is no big deal at all. After about three quarters of an hour the job is done. I lie there for a minute and realise I am absolutely flying from the combination of endorphins and breath control. And I had completely forgott en what an incredible sensation that is. Anyway, down stairs, clean, bandage, shake hands, hand over the cash and off into the evening.

It's a pretty long trip to where I was staying on public transport, but for the first time I was in no way bothered. I was utterly euphoric, better than drugs, orgasms etc. I mean first blush of love euphoria. Just a big stupid grin over my face and a deep feeling of satisfaction, happiness and contentment. I had not felt so happy and centred for a long long time, in fact I can't remember feeling that good possibly ever. It was simply amazing. And that feeling lasted with me the rest of the night and well into the next day.

Aftercare is really pretty straightforward. A little saline and keeping it dry. Given that it is in a thin tissue area are a little dicey I think as I don't want it to spread into a couple of blobs in the middle of my chest. I would not have thought cover ups are the go on branding. The itch is the only real annoyance, and it itches like a bastard from time to time. That and the pulling feeling as the scab was forming was kind of painful. But there hasn't been any problem and I am just stoked with it, through and through. Unquestionably the best mod I have every gone through both as an experience and hopefully as a result. Thanks very much Marc.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 31 July 2008
in Scarification

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Artist: Marc+Pinto
Studio: Primitive+Body+Piercing
Location: Perth%2C+Western+Australia

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