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128 needles and going strong!

A couple of weeks ago, my piercer, Britt posted some amazing pictures on his myspace page. I further investigated and found out he was exploring an art called play piercings. Of course at this point I was already in....in my head I was there doing it already. It was just so beautiful I had to be a part of it.
Britt was working on this project for his portfolio and how cool would it be to be in someone's portfolio?! How cool to be a piece of living art. I messaged Britt and told him I was very interested in his project. I had had experience with Britt before, although only one piercing, my tragus, and it was absolutely perfect. Britt explained everything he was doing with me and made me feel more comfortable than any other piercer had. After that I knew that I would be back to see him. Who knew it would be for this though?
From the start I told Britt I was not going to have needles stuck through my breasts and he was absolutely cool with that. We decided to do my arms because he did not have any examples of them in his portfolio. On Saturday I came in ready to do it, we sat down, Britt started mapping out where I would receive my needles and after about two and a half hours we decided to start up again the next day. This gave Britt a little more time after seeing the canvas he had to work with, to draw out what he wanted to do. In our brainstorming session I also said it might be cool to bring the pattern up to my upper chest. I went home really excited. The next day I arrived at the shop at about six in the evening and Britt was ready with stencils. First, we wiped down my arms and sterilized my arms and chest using a three stage process. After that, it took about an hour and a half to get the markings symmetrical and where Britt wanted them. He also free handed some of the markings so that they curved with my body's lines. The design called for 126 needles, so, Britt and I slapped gloves on and got to work opening the sterile packages in preparation. Once done I plopped in the chair and watched Britt finish all of the prep.
"Are you ready?" Britt asked in anticipation, and with my nod of approval he inserted the first needle. Wow. Wow is the only way to describe the sensation of a needle slipping beneath your skin. Once again through out the process Britt answered all the questions I had as well as explained what he was doing as he did it. He repeatedly checked on me to make sure I was comfortable. Once the first needle was placed, it was a breeze. Britt worked up my right arm first and it took no longer than an hour to insert the first 63 needles. There are definitely more tender areas and Britt could tell me what would be painful before he even slid the needle through and goodness he was right. Once we got past about needle number ten I also could tell when a piercing was going to hurt. The pain though was really nonexistent. We then took a breather, I drank a soda to keep my blood sugar up and Britt placed sterile saline prep pads over my right arm to cool off my piercings. This is when "the shakes" started for me. This is when you begin to twitch from the sheer amount of adrenaline pumping through your system. This incredible feeling is probably the most vivid thing I remember about my experience. As soon as he was done, he was busy on the next arm. It all flew by so quickly after that. It was funny to watch the numerous people walk into the studio and see me getting this done and make comments like "oh man, I could never do something like that!" To hear people say that and be sitting there doing it really makes you feel proud of yourself. Once the piece was complete Britt looked on the prep tray and there was a needle left. I said we should put it in the center of my chest so he did but was not happy with it and then noticed another needle and said it would only look right if there were two, thus my set being 128 needles.
Once the piece was complete we went out front for a smoke break and I let everyone there take pictures. Then we went to the back for the photo shoot. I loved taking the pictures and posing for Britt. I felt beautiful. The photos turned out more than wonderful and it gives me great pleasure to not only help Britt out in his endeavors but to also be adored by so many people for what we have done. The extraction of the needles was an interesting feeling. I compare it to the burning sensation of getting a tattoo. I bled quit a bit because I had had a few drinks the night before and my blood was thin. Today, two days after my experience, I have minimal bruising and my holes have all scabbed over. I believe that this is an experience worth trying if you enjoy piercings. I can only wait until the next time I am able to do this again; it is a beautiful art form. Thank you Britt for letting me be a part of this amazing project.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 June 2006
in Ritual

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Artist: Britt+Laird
Studio: New+Traditions
Location: Houston%2C+Texas%2C+USA

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