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Friends and I branding ourselves

About three months ago two friends and I decided it would be a great idea to get some tattoos. After thinking of what to get done and talking to a couple shops we decided to go with branding instead due to the fact that none of our friends or people we know of has it done and thought it would be cool to get something different done.

After finally convincing ourselves this was the right move we figured it couldn't be too difficult to do it ourselves instead of paying a ton of money to have it done for us. We realized with any burn that the chance for infection is high so we made sure to purchase a whole host of supplies to clean our new burns.

We decided to start with little circular designs due to the fact everybody we talked to said it was extremely painful and working as a chef for 8 years I know how bad burns can hurt. If the procedure wasn't as extremely painful as we've heard we would then move on to a bigger and better design. My buddy went to a local muffler ship and had them bend a piece of metal into a small circle and weld on another piece of metal about 14" for the handle. The best part was it only cost us $5!

My two friends and I were excited although very nervous, we argued over who would go first and of course nobody wanted to volunteer. So, we the best solution we could come up with was to pick straws, . I actually lucked out and picked the longest straw so I would go last. We didn't know exactly how hot the iron would have to be or what to make the first out of but figured the hotter the better. A have one of those little clay chimney fire place things in my hard so at about 10am I started the fire with just wood that we use in the indoor fire place. I burnt through a couple pieces until there was a nice thick bed of coals. About noon time cleaned the iron brand very well and figured the super hot fire would help to disinfect it as well.

My first friend cleaned his arm real well where the brand was to go and put a wash cloth in his mouth, figuring it would hurt and I guess didn't want to break his teeth clenching so hard. The third guy held his arm so he wouldn't flinch and jerk it back messing up the brand when the hot iron touched his skin. I grabbed the iron out of the fire; it had been in the ash bed for about 30 minutes and was glowing red at this point. I blew off some of the ashes and approached my friend. He was sweating bullets and I really thought he was going to back down but he said "hit me with it". So I gently pressed the iron to his skin, he instantly flexed his arm, dropped the cloth from his mouth and yelled. Even though his arm was being held he yanked back hard enough to get his arm away from the hot iron. The fresh burnt skin actually wasn't as gross looking as I thought it would be. After complaining about the pain for a few minutes we put the iron back in the fire to heat up aga in. My next buddy was more nervous than the previous guy who just got the brand, I guess because he saw how bad the pain was and how bad the first guy reacted to being touched with it. The scent of burning flesh was pretty sick as well but it seemed the homemade brand was working well so far. The second brand went about the same, and then it was my turn. My nerves settled a little after the first two guys told me it really wasn't all that bad. I wasn't sure if they were telling me this to calm me or maybe because the small brand really wasn't that bad.

I cleaned my arm good and closed my eyes while they held my arm and grabbed the red hot iron. I tried to think of anything I could to get my mine of the horrible pain I was about to feel until it hit my arm. The pain was bad, it was worse than I expected and I yelled, jerking my body back as hard as I could.

All in all it wasn't too bad of an experience but we haven't progressed to bigger or better brands yet. We're all a little nervous to go much bigger due to the increased pain from a larger burn area. The burns healed up pretty nicely, I made sure to keep it very clean and none of us were left with infections. The brand and scar healed up a little more than I thought it would leaving me to believe that we didn't hold it on long enough and the burn wasn't quite as bad as it should have been. I guess we'll know for next time, if there is a next time, to hold the red hot iron on the skin a little longer.

It was a fun experience that most can't say they've done. Someday hopefully we'll decide to do a bigger or cooler design!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 June 2004
in Scarification

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Artist: Friends+and+myself
Studio: My+house
Location: PA

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