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DIY Stitches scar

I have always admired the look of a scar, which has the tell tale signs of having stitches littered around it. I don't know what attracts me to these scars, but I think they're great. My Granddad has a huge one on his left forearm as a result of the war, perhaps which is what attracts me.

I have been planning on getting one of these scarred on me for quite a while but have never seriously given it real thought or real effort. I did plan on getting it placed on my left calf but my circular brand now lives there instead, for the interest of balance the left leg is out of the equation. I was thinking about on my right leg just behind my ankle bone, coming straight up my leg... But like I said, I never really thought about it, so I was open to suggestion.

Anyhow, about 6 hours ago I had the urge to go in the garage and retrieve a soldering iron. I had been reading about soldering iron brands on BME for a while now, and hell, why not give it a try? So I go to the garage, have a rummage around and sure as hell, I find a soldering iron. And not just any soldering iron, a brand new soldering iron. Jackpot.

I take it to my room and plug it in, just to see how hot it will get, and is it hot enough to scar me? I watch it heat up for a while, but how will I know if it is hot enough? I press the tip against some polystyrene and sure enough, it sinks right in and smokes a little. But polystyrene isn't exactly tough stuff is it? So I try resting it against some good quality A4 paper and it makes it smoulder straight away. Ok, these 'tests' are stupid, so I roll my sleeve up on my left arm, my testing area. I pick out a plain unscarred area and rest the tip against it gently, touching as little as possible. I hear a slight crackle, the skin suddenly pulls tight and a faint wisp of smokes disappears into the air. Ok, so it's good, but how good? So I proceed to burn a thin line into my arm with the thinnest tip on the soldering iron. It doesn't hurt too badly, just a good sting, which quickly dulled into a throbbing ache.

I make the line about an inch long, bearing in mind what my parents will do if they see this with my past. I'm confident I can make this look like an accidental burn, which will eventually fade into the other scars and become irrelevant.

After I have burnt this line, my confidence is good enough to move onto a different design on a different part of my body, something a little more special than a line.

I hold the iron above my body, moving it from body part to body part, waiting for some divine flash of inspiration, but it just didn't happen. Then it hit me, I'd already drawn a line on my arm, why don't I turn that into my stitches scar? I mean, if it works, cool, then I'm happy. If it didn't work it would be one scar amongst a few, and I'd have some fun memories. Sometimes I do think of my body as a memory board. Each piercing or scar can take me back to a different time or place with different memories.

Content to carry on with my arm I began to burn the first mark next to the inch line I had already burnt. It wasn't too hard once I started, once I was accustomed to the hissing of skin burning and the burnt smell, it really wasn't bad. One thing I really would say to people branding themselves is it really is easier to grit your teeth through the pain and get on with it. The less you burn, the more you'll have to go over it for the desired effect. It's easier to get it right first time around.

After the first line I carried along with another line underneath it, and another under that, until I had six lines going down the side of my original linear brand. Each of these smaller lines about three quarters of a centimetre long was positioned about 4mm from the original line, at right angles to it.

I then repeated this pattern on the other side of my arm, to give me 12 small scars 'from the stitches' and one long scar, 'from my original injury', (I hope this makes sense, see my IAM page for pictures).

I really need a warning for this story, so don't go out and brand yourselves, it's a stupid thing to do as far as I'm concerned. But if you do, be sure to get pictures and stories into BME. Don't copy my mistakes. Go see a professional.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 March 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: By+Myself
Studio: My+bedroom
Location: Durham%2C+NE+England

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