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Celtic trinity knot design

I was in college down in Wilmington when my room mate found this local studio that did branding. After looking through the book of some of the previous work the guy had done with cauterization / strike branding I was pretty impressed. My buddy was the first to try it, he got two outlined pieces fish swirling around his ankle. The brand was done with a small cautering pen and was over fairly quickly (maybe 15 min). I liked the process and the fact that you can adjust the intensity of the scar by how much aggravate the healing process. The artist recommended rubbing ash into the wound, so this gave up a good reason to generate ash (bowl works better than bong, the latter gets them all wet and mushy). At the time I had a few piercings and one tattoo, I felt like I was too mainstream. Heck I knew grandmothers that were getting tattoos, and this was just different. I knew I wanted one but what why and where?

There forever hung this old Celtic tapestry of a dragon on the wall at the apartment. I got to really looking at it one day when I noticed the center "knot", as the Celts call those designs, it appeared to be three basic yin-yang symbols (with out the contrasting colors or the "dot" inside the lobes). Something about the design called two me, and after looking at it for a few weeks noticed a flaw in my opinion. Two of the three symbols connected and the third one dead-ended. I didn't like the non-uniformity of the design so I redesigned it so that all the symbols connected and it seemed to flow much nicer. I hung the redesign in my bedroom and looked at it every day for a few months until I had decided that I was sure I wanted it on my body from then on in. I didn't think about it at the time but the thicker lines of my design would require a lot more heat than the cauter pen could produce.

After making my decision to get it done there was no turning back. I made the appointment, the guy kept canceling though due to pneumonia he claimed. What ever it, worked out for me because every time he postponed me he dropped the price. He initially quoted me like $275 and by the time I got it done it was free. Finally the big day arrived, I considered going in comatose on dope but figured I would have a much more fulfilling spiritual experience the more conscious I was, so I went in cold sober. As I arrived I noticed there were more people in the shop than usual, my flesh was to be the spectacle of the day. The artist transferred the design to carbon paper and applied it to the top of my left peck, where I wanted it.

Looking at it in the mirror I knew it was gonna be phat and that it was about as permanent and primordial as you can achieve. I laid back and let the burning begin, first he out-lined the design with the cauter pen, to give himself a stencil and judge my pain tolerance as well. Because the next step was a bit intimidating, I must not have flinched on the first part, this S.O.B. cranks up the industrial blow torch right beside me letting me feel the heat roaring off it. He grabs up some vise grips and clamps down on a small piece of metal he had cut to the thickness of my lines approximately 1/4 inch. He tells me he has to heat this piece to white-hot and that's right beyond red-hot. The first time the metal touched my skin I knew this was going to be an ordeal. I mentioned the brand was located on the top of my chest, as he got to the top of the design I could feel the grease popping from my skin on my chin. As he said it was break time to let the tools cool down, as they wer e burning his hand (poor guy), I thought I should smoke a cigarette. As I walked out side the cool autumn air hit my chest and I felt like my whole body was on fire, this feeling didn't last long however because a couple drags into the cigarette I almost fell out. The adrenaline that had accumulated in my body mixed with the free-based nicotine and I started getting tunnel vision. I tossed the but as I noticed some employees showing jewelry on the side walk, evidently the dense smoke and the smell of smoldering flesh was more than the customers were willing to tolerate. So we finished up with the brand, and I liked the final piece very much even if it looked shrunken and swollen at the same time and red as hell. It hurt a lot for a couple of months, but pot helps tremendously in my opinion better than opiates, plus the ash is good for raising the keloids. I must have gone through a QP in those few months but the design never raised, I must be too white! It has two small bump s that raised and one larger one, I don't care much for the non-symmetry of the keloids but their probably more noticeable to me. The artist said he could scalpel them off but I don't know about that.

If I had one piece of advise to offer any one with a large brand it would be that no matter how thick and crusty the scab gets don't put gauze on it to soak up the healing juice. I was getting nasty bloody puss stains on the inside of my shirts so I thought I'd put a patch of gauze over it to catch those fluids during the day. It worked but as it caught the fluid it got the scab all soggy and embedded the gauze into the scab. When I took the gauze off that night I had to rip the whole scab off. That hurt badly, looking back on it I wished I'd have tried soaking in the tub or something. All in all I'm glad I got it I like the way it looks and the individuality of it. It's not for most but that's what keeps it elite kind of.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 11 Nov. 2008
in Scarification

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Artist: CHEW
Studio: Jade+Monkey
Location: Wilmington+N.C.

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