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washboard chest

I read that cutting or any bloodletting ritual is sometimes used to heal disease or build up your immune system. I wanted to do that after I found out that I had a virus. I also thought it was aesthetically beautiful.

I only waited about a week after I first considered getting cut. I read as much as I could on cuttings and brandings. I wanted to be as aware and informed as possible before hand. I wanted to make sure I went to someone I felt confident and comfortable with to perform the procedure. I had seen cuttings on Kristin at Metamorphosis (Broad Ripple, IN) and thought it might be something I would like on my chest more than a tattoo. I had another local piercer, Bradd, perform my first four cuts. He had scarification done himself, so I knew he could tell me what to expect afterwards. They were four horizontal, symmetrical cuttings on my chest. I wanted the design to be simple and warrior-like (for lack of a better term)! I was impressed at how much time and attention he took to get the lines straight and properly placed. When I was happy with the placement, he began the cutting. I was not scared. It didn't hurt at first. When he went over one area a second time, it was a little more painful. After the cutting, I was happy. I was with friends and I felt empowered. Not to sound freaky, but seeing my blood and uncovered flesh, made me feel alive... real...

He told me in order to get keloids, I had to scrub the scabs off twice a day. I started in the shower with a loofah. I let hot water soften the scabs up first... the easy way out. Doing the scrubbing hurts more than the cutting. I have also read, that the more melanin in your skin, the more likely you are to have bigger keloids. Luckily, I am not so pale. After only a few months of scrubbing and bleeding and sleeping on my back, I had lovely large keloids.

Two Years later, I decided I was ready to add to my chest. I decided to continue with the horizontal lines, to keep it simple. Kristin at Metamorphosis took on the job. She also took great care in making sure my lines were symmetrical and would work with the previous lines by Bradd. This time, I was prepared. I had two photographer friends, armed with cameras. When she began the cutting, it seemed to hurt more the higher up she went and closer to my collarbones, it was even more sensitive. My friends were able to capture some really spectacular photos of the blood dripping. Being done by a female, who had had it done on the chest as well, was nice. She offered to step aside to allow for pictures. She also took an imprint of my chest on the lap pad, so I could save that. She explained other things I could do, like chemical irritants, to promote keloiding. Some Chemical irritants would include: lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide. But I decided to stick with good ol' scrubbing. It seemed to work for me fine last time. I don't think I had scabs for quite as long this time. But when they healed, my keloids were nice and fat again.

There are only slight color variations between the older and newer scars. They are all about even. The newer ones are slightly more pink. But they are all raised. Kind of like a washboard on my chest. Having the lines on my chest are like armor or a chest plate... it keeps out the people I don't want in. People look at your differently when you do something like this. As a woman, my chest is a bit more noticeable. I get a lot of strange looks and assholes trying to touch them.

In addition to being beautiful, the sensitivity of the scars add an entirely other appeal. When someone rubs their fingers along or grazes it with their fingernail, it feels good. I am aware of other cultures creating beaded scars all over their body for this heightened sensitivity. I can definitely understand why now.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend a cutting, especially on the chest. I was lucky to be worked on by two good people. I am really fortunate and happy with how mine keloided. I am possibly going to add more to my chest. And I am toying with the idea of flesh removal. I have not been branded. But because of the skin on the chest raises up pretty easily, it ends up looking like a brand. This has been my experience. I would recommend talking to an experienced professional. I think it helps if they have had this kind of work on themselves.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 Nov. 2005
in Scarification

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Artist: kristin+smith
Studio: metamorphosis
Location: indianapolis+Indiana

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