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A Do-It-Yourself Branding Story

Here it is.

The long awaited story.

The day I was branded.

It all started with the tattoo magazines. Keigan and I had become obsessed with tattoos, then piercings, then body modifications in general. The weirder, the better. Especially do it yourself mods. We had started to build a tattoo gun; however, it had been sitting in Keigans shed for about 2 months with no real progress being made. It was clear that we were never actually going to finish it. Time to move on. I had been reading stories of body modifications when I came across something new... something I had never heard of... something... fantastic. It wasn't tattoos, it wasn't piercings, it was better, it was branding. How come I had never seen this before!? Why had I never heard of it?! I guess people avoid it due to the fact that it is quite painful... as I was to find out in the not too distant future.

It started off as a normal day. We were at school, in the middle of theatre class, not doing anything. Kiegan shouted across the room:

"Let's go home"

"What's at home?" I replied.

I wasn't about to leave class for no reason.


Before I knew it, we were in Kiegans car, racing down the street, Aus-Rotten blaring through the speakers. I could honestly say I was nervous, and reluctant to do it. I started wishing I had a cigarette, anything to calm my nerves. We arrived at his house. He ran inside to grab antiseptic and bandages, I waited in the driveway. We headed into the shop behind his house, where we began the search for materials we could use. Finding a heat source was easy, as there was one of those nifty propane blow torches sitting on the work bench. We had earlier decided to brand a start onto my shoulder, and we figured we could bend some wire into the desired shape, then heat it up and do the whole thing in one go. We couldn't find any wire though, so Kiegan picked up a nail. It now became clear to me that this was not going to be over in there short time I had hoped, that I was in for a more painful ordeal than expected. We cleaned the area on my shoulder that was about to be branded, and
he drew a star. It was quite large. I was nervous. I asked him to just do a practice burn son I could get a feel of what I was in for. He heated the nail with the blow torch and lightly touched my arm with it, for about half a second. It wasn't too bad, I must say. But I was still nervous. I asked him to burn himself so I could see his reaction. It turns out Kieagn has quite a high tolerance for pain, as he held the heated nail on his arm for about 5 seconds without even flinching. I was still nervous, but it was time to get it over with.

Oh, I should probably say, by this time we had re-drawn the star to a much smaller version. Less star = less pain. I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt, because, in all honestly, it hurt like a mother fucker. It took about 10 minutes to finish and it was 10 minutes of hell. The smell of burning flesh was a smell that I hope to never experience again. The sound was awful too, the "ssssssss" of my skin burning away. IT makes you think,

"Why the hell would anybody do this?"

Why the hell WOULD anybody do this? Why would I leave school to burn a star onto my shoulder? It's an obsession I can't describe. Is it an on-going quest for self love? I don't know if I would call it that. I just choose to define myself differently than others. Some people wear makeup, some people get plastic surgery. I modify myself, and I think it's beautiful. I hate to say that the finished result didn't turn out to well though. It healed, a little too well. It's not a clearly defined star; in fact, it's not a clearly defined anything. It's more of a blob of scar tissue on my shoulder. It holds a story though, so I appreciate it for all it's worth. It looked nice when it was fresh though, the healing process was... gross. I didn't hesitate to show everyone in sight, though! I loved seeing the unique reactions of my friends.

Would I do it again, now that I know the pain it comes with? The sound and smell of your own flesh burning away? Yes, but I certainly would not do it myself, I would do it professionally. And I don't recommend you do what I did, as it was not the safest thing in the world.

I would do it again though.

Sign me up.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Scarification

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