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Spiral Cutting

Getting my cutting done has probably been one of the most positive experiences in my life. Over a year ago I saw my first professional cutting. It introduced me to the fact that there are people who cut professionally. There are really two aspects to my cutting experience, the actual procedure and the personal history leading up to the act. There are many things that lead up to my cutting. Most people want to know why I chose the design I did, why I chose the placement that I did, and why I wanted a cutting in the first place. The design is an even spiral out. One simple line that means so much. In my life spirals have come to represent the ever-outward turn of life. The eternal growth of the world, spirit and time. It reads corny on paper but the essential meaning is hard to describe. I chose the back of my hand, under my forefinger and thumb because it was the most natural place I could imagine having a cutting of a spiral done. Ever since I was a very young child (younger than 6) I have had an affinity for that spot on my body. When I was younger I would draw spirals, circles or vines in this spot. 'Why a cutting?' is a somewhat difficult question to answer. My mother was a very sick woman while I was growing up. When I was about 10 years old she was committed to a hospital over 300 miles away. My father and I went to visit her and when we did I saw that she had scratched her arms so repetitively and so hard that she had permanent scars on them. I suppose that mental image has never left me. This cutting is (in part) a way of reclaiming that act in a positive light and remembering my mother. Don't get me wrong.... I didn't have this done solely on the memory of my mother's past pain. This was for me. It just happens to also have some serious personal history/significance. The procedure was very standard. My hand was cleaned and scrubbed twice, a stencil was applied, and the artist and I went over the after-care and the details of the procedure. Holly (the artist) was great! She was incredibly patient, professional and caring. Holly's brother-in-law took pictures. He was also kind enough to lend me his knee so I didn't have to hold my head up during it. I have a high pain tolerance so I didn't have to worry too much about that. The most physical sensation I got was the feeling of the tissue popping apart as it was cut. It was definitely painful but not so much more than a heavy tattoo. Probably the most notable part of the experience was when I started feeling faint. The adrenaline rush seriously did a number on me about halfway through. I felt like such an ass! Luckily, and kindly, Holly knew just what to do. I worked on my breathing and tried to drink some water. I am so glad I didn't actually faint (or worse yet, vomit) in the middle of everything. We finished the rest of the session without problem while I chewed on a glucose tab. I stayed in the private room for a little bit longer to let myself calm down. I was so excited I almost cried tears of joy! It's only been a few hours so aftercare hasn't been too extensive. After I left the shop, I went to a local 24-hour grocer and bought the supplies that will (hopefully) help me heal up a nice spiral scar. First was the most-often-recommended toothbrush in bright red and only $0.99 with my discount shoppers' card. I also bought some hydrogen peroxide, as it is known for delaying growth of new cells. A facial exfoliate cream and a puff will either help me irritate the scar or keep my skin nice and smooth (either way a bonus). I also snagged some fruit juice just in case I started feeling faint or queasy again while I was doing the aftercare. It was really weird to see what was underneath when I first took off the bandage. Other than the spiral shape, I honestly couldn't imagine what it would look like. The first washing stung worse than the actual cutting! So far I've washed it a couple of times while lightly going over it with the toothbrush. A little H202 and a lot of pulling at the skin to make sure it doesn't close back up. I'll probably keep this up for a while because I'm really worried about the fine lines near the inside closing up. I would hate to have to start all over again just because I wasn't stringent enough with my upkeep. I am so happy that I decided to have my spiral cutting. I'm happy that I was able to do so in such a great environment with such wonderful people and I'm ecstatic about the way it is looking so far. I'm proud that it was done on my mother's birthday (with her knowledge and consent). I don't think I can say enough about what a good shop Fry St. Ink is and how amazing their owners (Justin and Holly) and their staff are. I know I am definitely going to have my other hand cut in an identical pattern. All I can hope is that it will be half as good an experience as this was.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 30 July 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: Holly+Vickers
Studio: Fry+St.+Ink
Location: Denton%2C+Tx

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