Firstly I wish to say that you should by no means try this at home very, VERY, bad idea. The amount of things that can go wrong is surprising I still don't know how my skin will react over time to the liquid eyeliner we used as "ink". Please note when I refer to Hannah her IAM is Metamora.
Myself and Hannah had been planning a Halloween spooking for a couple of months and aside from the play piercing we were going to do we wanted to get something matching. A friendship-type-thing. This, however, was a little hard as Hannah isn't 18 yet.
Hannah arrived on Friday the 30th of October, and after a wander around Peterborough we came home and sat chatting. We had looked at my needles, and had agreed they would work as play piercing needles but were meant for use on the end of a syringe. A flash came to me, a random crazy idea. "Hand tapped scarification or tattoos!" Hannah's face lit up. "YEAH MATE!" The plan was to wait until my parents had come home and then gone out shopping, I knew we had around an hour. I didn't want to tell my mum until afterwards, I may be 23 but I still live under her roof! The set up was simple; attach one of my tiny needles to the end of a pen with lots of cello tape and then using a rather hefty ruler, tap the pen and the needle into the skin. We drew the design, an eye, onto each other and I was to do Hannah's first, the idea being if I hurt her too much she could get revenge with mine.
She was lying on her bed on the floor, with her ankle up onto my bed on a towel.
Our first idea was to scratch the design in with the needles, but that didn't work at all and just felt very unpleasant.
So here I was, I'd NEVER done anything like this before and hadn't even imagined doing it. Ever. Why would I? The design was drawn on initially with thick black kohl eyeliner. Not liquid. I pulled on gloves and took up my "tools". As I started to tap Hannah's design in I realised I was holding the pen to tightly, after a quick lesson I was ready to start again, it went rather easily, especially once I got a rhythm going. The hardest part was reworking the same areas over and over again, Hannah soon decided she just wanted a line for an iris; two curved ones were too much work. She barely bled but when she scrubbed at it to agitate it a little it soon did, I covered hers in a plaster and she started on me. I was sat on my bed, she was kneeling on the floor beside it and I had my leg twisted slightly (the most uncomfortable position I have EVER sat in!) We changed over the needle to a clean one and she put on gloves as I got my camera ready to record. As she started it was quite painful and there was lots of giggles from nerves, the occasional squeal from me when she hit a nerve, but the design went in easily, although I bled a lot due to prescription meds. Mum and dad came home slightly earlier than expected, but Hannah carried on, certain areas really hurt quite badly, especially near the ankle bone or going down onto the foot, I continued to bleed and after a couple of goes around the design we stopped and covered me over.
After Friday's escapades, I had noticed my "tattoo" had faded considerably while Hannah's was still pretty obvious; I wanted mine re-done! Hannah agreed and I used my red liquid eyeliner to outline the design again, hoping that this would serve well as ink but not knowing how my skin was going to react. It was a strange feeling the second time around, I barely felt it apart from one particular spot, it was definitely less painful and was easily going in. Hannah stopped after a while because she was concerned she was hurting me. It didn't look right still, didn't look permanent enough, so I swapped to a fresh needle and got myself comfortable, and then tapped my own ankle. I can honestly say I didn't feel it at all, and the needle was definitely going in, I could see the needle going into my skin. I felt it when it caught bone, but still no pain. Lot's of blood, extreme amounts of blood. Once again my prescription meds were working wonders, two make up remover cloths later and I was done. The cloths were coated in my blood. Lovely sight,
I asked if Hannah wanted hers doing again. Yes. A changed needle, and eyeliner on the design, after a couple of lines Hannah said hers was itching, so I cleaned off the eyeliner and just went around the design again until she asked me to stop. I couldn't understand why she couldn't take more when I could hardly feel a thing. The designs were in the same spot and around the same size (mine is slightly bigger) but either way I stopped.
I don't know if they will stay, or even how well my eyeliner worked. I don't even know if my skin will react to the eyeliner over time, after all it's not meant to be worn permanently. Only time will tell.
Neither of us thought about this process as a "ritual" until afterwards, and what was the ritual for? What did it, or does it stand for? Friendship? Sameness? Or just something we wanted to do?
It was an experience that has led me to wanting a properly done hand tapped tattoo.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 Nov. 2009