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Industrialized

Ahh, the saga of my industrial. This is a story that isn't particularly interesting, as my ear hasn't turned green and fallen off—but it was a grand experience for me, and hopefully, other people can have as pleasant an experience as my own.

I've wanted an industrial for, oh I don't know, ages. I've always found that they're piercings that can be a bit different, yet not completely wild. Living in a culture where self expression and body modification is usually discouraged, I figured that an industrial would be the perfect piercing for me. I was fifteen when I first went into get one. Unfortunately though, I ran into two massive problems: I wasn't old enough to get one without parental consent, and secondly, they were way too expensive in Switzerland. So, I had to set aside my desire for getting an industrial.  

But then, I traveled roughly 8,000 miles to the other side of the world for University, I started to toss the idea of getting an industrial around in my mind again. Alas, for me, I was the stereotypical poor college student. (Who knew that cheap coffee and cigarettes were so expensive?) Since I was poor, the idea of getting one was in the same place it had been exactly three years ago—just an idea.  

Then, though, when I had a little bit of a more steady cash flow and a nice long weekend—I took a trip up to Seattle with some of my friends. Somehow, I knew that over this particularly fantastic weekend, I would finally cough up the money for my desired piercing.  

I was thrift store shopping with my roommate on Capitol Hill. We were getting ready to head back to her house when I just knew—I had to get pierced now or else it just wouldn't happen. Standing in a store, I asked the heavily pierced/tattooed clerk where he got his stuff done and where a reputable place was. He told me to go across the street to a place called Laughing Buddha.  

My roommate had heard of this place and conceded that it was one of the top places to get any sort of modification done in the city. So, I went in and immediately loved the feel of the place. It had a great vibe and the people who worked there were awesome. The woman who helped me with my paperwork saw that I had a Colorado ID (I figured that would be easier than using my Swiss ID) and we talked about her living in Durango and how much we loved Colorado.  

I had originally wanted my industrial done on my right ear, as I sleep on my left side most of the time and wanted to be able to sleep. But when they measured my ears they told me I didn't have enough cartilage on that side to support a piercing. I suddenly felt a rush of dread—maybe I just wasn't built for the piercing I wanted so badly. I lucked out though, because my left ear would support it, if they angled it a little bit less. (I wouldn't say my ears look that different when you first look at them. It's really only under the inspection of someone whose profession is to pierce.)  

I agreed to having it done on my left side and then sat down to wait. They told me it would be roughly 15 minutes for sterilization. As I was waiting I started flipping through the artist portfolios and found that they did some really great tattoo work. So, I figured if this went well, I would come back next time to get my tat. (I've found American prices much less expensive then the Swiss prices, and I don't feel as if quality is hindered in any way.)  

While I was waiting, some girls who also attend my University and were in Seattle for the weekend came in to get tattooed. That was a bit strange, as a parlor in Seattle was the last place I expected to run into people I knew. Finally, I was called back. My roommate wanted to come, but I've always had piercings done on my own and honestly, I was nervous about this one—I didn't want someone watching me in case it hurt more than expected.  

I cannot, for the life of me, remember the name of my piercer. His name was Christian or Christiano something along those lines. But I do remember he was from Italy and was working in Seattle from January through August or something like that because body modification isn't as big in Europe as it is State side. He was great. He talked me through every procedure. He measured my ear again, just to double check. Then marked it with a toothpick dipped in ink. Then, he held the angled toothpick to my ear to give me an idea of how it would look.  

I was getting jittery then. I hadn't really had a piercing quite like this. I had my conch done and had a few other piercings littering both ears, but they were still pretty much lobe piercings. He laid me down on the table, which was covered in throw away paper.  

I'm going to digress for just a moment and talk about how sterile this place was—certainly a coup. He wore a surgical mask as well as gloves. Gloves that he changed when he took the tools out of the sterilization unit. Gloves that he changed after we did the angling and alignment and finally the gloves that he did for the actual piercing. I really felt reassured by that, but looking at all of the neatly displayed tools I couldn't help but feel a bit nervous.  

Finally, it was time for the actual piercing. I tied my hair up and pushed back any loose pieces with some bobby pins that I had in my bag. He did the lower hole first. That one was painless. It just got hot, but it didn't hurt. I relaxed substantially after that. But then, he did the upper hole and that was more painful then I was expecting. It HURT—not hurt like it brought tears to my eyes hurt, but hurt like my ear was definitely aware there was a relatively large hole in it hurt.  

He finished up quickly after that and I did bleed a little bit, but not too much. After he was sure that the bleeding was stopped he showed it to me and I couldn't help but feel giddy. I had wanted one of these for years and now I finally had one. Then, he asked if he could snap a photo for his portfolio, naturally I obliged.  

Coming out of the piercing room, I paid and had aftercare explained to me. In total (tip included) it was $78. I left the studio feeling exhilarated.  

It's been 9 months since this was done and it had a bit of an interesting healing period. I had been doing salt water soaks religiously and cleaning it with satin in the shower, but it didn't seem to want to get better. When I went back to Europe over the summer to work, I feared it was getting infected. It's actually there that it healed. I found some of the old stuff they had given me to clean my conch, called BepanthenPlus. It's a spray that I've found if I spray directly on the site and then twirl the jewelry around and my industrial started looking better almost immediately after I started using it. It's now completely healed and it looks great. I couldn't have been happier with the outcome.  

I would definitely recommend Laughing Buddha to anyone in the Seattle area looking for a piercing or tattoo. They're clean, with some great people working there. And to anyone looking to get an industrial—do it. You won't regret it.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Nov. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: I+can%27t+for+the+life+of+me+remember
Studio: Laughing+Buddha
Location: Capitol+Hill%2C+Seattle%2C+WA

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