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Scarification: My favorite form of bady art

Scarification: I started out doing scarification on myself doing stylized Runes on my arm and my stomach and my calves. It took some experimenting to find a depth that wasn't too deep or too shallow. I found that a 1/8-inch is the best depth and began marking the scalpel to help guide it until I became comfortable with the cutting. The Second problem I came across is that I have fair skin and don't scar heavily due to the small amount of keloids. To make up for that I researched scarification practices and found that ash is a good way to agitate the skin into a scar, I use sage ash. I suppose getting a tan would probably also work. And yet a third problem, I found out the lame way that if you have 2 cuts too close together then the scars might merge and ruin the piece, which I managed to "fix" by cutting off the skin where I didn't want it to be and applying Neosporin.

Let me get started

explaining the scar on my stomach. Its of the rune Teiwaz which is a symbol of warrior. It is about three years old, and has only had a few problems. It was also the third scar I did on myself. The process I used to keep it sterile was to first get a brand new scalpel (that can be a pain sometimes), I than proceeded to sterilize it by boiling the blade for just over an hour because I don't have an autoclave. Then used rubbing alcohol to sterilize the skin in the area I planned to do the scar and let it dry (that also tightens the skin a bit, which makes the cutting easier). I also remembered the latex gloves and went through about three pairs during the sterilization process (I wanted to stay away from cross contamination). I had a hard time cutting deep enough at first, I think that comes from the self-preservation instinct, so I had to go over the scar again to cut it deep enough to leave a good scar. I also recommend having something on hand to swab the blood; I used a paper towel, which probably undid my attempts at sterilization. I had about a 1/4 pound of sage ash that I had been saving for awhile for scars and rubbed it into the cuts, I used up a good portion of the ash (mostly on the surrounding skin) and was left with a black scab afterwards. Most of the ash came out due to bleeding and picking the scab a few times a day to irritate the cut into a thick scar. I'd say it was bout three weeks before I considered it healed although I still took care of it just to keep on the safe side

After I became comfortable with the

process and felt I was competent, through a combination of practicing on myself and on leather, I started doing work for friends who thought I was doing a good job. The one problem they had was remembering to pick the scabs. I ended up doing some intricate Celtic knots and some Japanese symbols with pretty good results. The first scar I ever did on anyone else was a Celtic cross that took up a decent area on the back. I used the same sterilization process again except I had access to an autoclave this time so I autoclaved instead of boiled. The person who got the cuts drew the design of the Celtic knot. It took up a lot of space on the back and was filled with various other designs; I suppose maybe it was more of a frame for everything that was inside. I used freshly cleaned terry cloths to swab the blood until I was done and used a towel and got a nice design on the towel from it. The subject had a mixture of marijuana ash and sage ash to rub in. Apparently some THC was left in the ash and leeched into the blood because the subject claimed to have gotten high, I think that it more likely endorphins, because I had a similar experience. That scar turned out pretty decent I'm thinking it was because the person had a decent tan. I'm glad I had learned from my previous experience with the scars merging so I had remembered to cut shallower in some places where the detail was high. And in the end I think it was probably the best piece I had ever done.

I still do scarification on myself and

perform the art on others. Scarification almost landed me a job but the business went under before I was hired. The Scarification got me interested in branding and body piercing neither of which I am comfortable doing on others. As a last note I would recommend that a better environment be used than a kitchen.


submitted by: sinbot
on: 04 Sept. 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: Myself
Studio: Kitchen
Location: Ashland%2C+Oregon

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