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Branding bar-b-q anyone?

A fine tale of fire and flesh.

So, I`m a chef right... i SHOULD be used to the smell of cooking flesh... its a tad bit different when the smell is accompanied by that of singed hair and the feeling that the scorching thunderbolt of Thor himself has just passed through your neck. Hmm, a splendidly good way to be spending a Toronto afternoon if you ask me.

If you`re reading anything written in this section then I can assume you know Blair... most articles based out of Canada involving professional branding are involving him. Heck, thats what drove me to him in the first place.. word of mouth in this industry is the only way to get by... and get great work done. SO, after being reccomended by my own supremely talented piercer Andy from the Red Dragon and after reading dozens of branding stories on here, I made an appointment with Blair for a small strike branding for a week later.

Now, prior to this Id been racking my brain for just how to properly lay down this mod concept properly. The mod was to be a tribute to fire, something that would be trully meaningful to me but might not be instantly recognizable to others (very important to me that people dont instantly know personal things about me just by glimpsing my tattoos.. theyre all in foreign languages and symbol work). So I came to the alchemical symbol for fire. Its a perfect triangle thats upsidedown (pointing downwards) and I knew that the back of my neck was the only viable place on my body that would be central enough to signify just how much it meant to me. Fire is the basis of my career, its part of my astrological sign, I have the temper to wilt flowers in June... all said and done... fire is my thing. Then it came to me that really, the only logical method of making this tribute to fire permanently visible on my body was with fire itself.

Whoohoo road trip time! As aforementioned the only reputable brander in Ontario at the time was Blair at Passage in Toronto.

I was working at an island camp in Northern Ontario for the summer and had to take the Greyhound bus for thirteen hours just to get to Toronto.  A day on the bus is no way to get pumped for an adventure like this... BUT... once in the city I was fresh as a flower and started the stroll to Church Street.  If you`ve never been to Toronto I`ll just play the tour guide here and say that it`s an absolutely rad part of town around Church and Queen, heck... the whole neighborhood is prime for adventure.

So I arrive at Passage a little bit early to fill out forms and to get myself better aquainted with the new studio surroundings.  It`s a super-chill environment and I was sent up right away to Blairs lair.  This guys studio space is just plain better than anything I`ve ever seen... not the clinical white but soothingly decorated and with tons of pics and sketches on the walls.  I think I mentioned that I could just live in there a few times to him over the hour that I was there.

We went over design and placement, he ran through the details of how strike branding works and started to set up the gear.  Then we got to gabbing about my piercer Andys experience with him and all about ancient tribal tattooing, heck we just shop-talked for the better part of the hour.  Once we got down to business and I found myself face-down on the table trying to mentally prepare myself for the blow-torch heated metal to connect with the first corner of the design.  I hadn`t really known anyone who had been professionally branded before and so really wasnt prepared for the pain or smell.  The pain is about that of armpit tattooing (not unbearable but not something I`d put on my list of things to do without benefit), the smell i went over earlier... it`s my most vivid memory of the whole deal.  MmMMm, spit-roasted pig will never be quite the same.

Ahh healing.. yeah the first week is a blast. Prime show off time and picture opportunity. Then the scab comes off. The next two weeks were a seepy, eat your greens to stay healthy kind of time. Living on a remote island without proper sanitation and gusty sand-filled winds were not prime conditions for an open wound. It took about three and a half weeks total to heal and now its such a beautifully even scar just below my hairline on the back of my neck. A perfect homage to that wonderous element of fire.

Cheers and happy trails.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 May 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: Blair
Studio: Passage
Location: Toronto%2C+ON%2C+Canada

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