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My First True Branding Experience

Well, I have been interested in bod modification for a while, especially tattoos. I cant remember what exactly spurred my interest, but it here now, and not leaving anytime soon.

For a while I was really into piercings, but after being misled by a few girls I knew who said I could get a piercing or tattoo at 16 with parental consent ( I think they got theirs through a different route, if you what I mean), when i asked around at the local piercing and tattoo places, they all told me, even for piercings, I had to be 18 with a state issued ID. I thought it was bullshit to be honest, but I just smiled and thanked them for their help.

About a year ago, I discovered this new and wonderful thing called scarification. I originally found it by accident just coming across it in an internet search about African culture for a school project. A lot of people I know have got the basic "smiley" scar, from holding a superheated lighter head on your skin, but I thought that was a little cliche when everyone was doing it on a school trip. The truth was that I didn't want to look like a puss because I didn't know how much it would hurt. I tried a homemade tattoo once, while at a friends house, but that didn't work out very well either.

Eventually, I can here, BME, and found the scarification page. I've literally spent the last couple of days reading all the experiences and looking at all the pics I could. from what I had read, I learned that the design needs to be rather simple, or very large if its complicated, and I didn't want anything too big, but I also had to consider that fact that I was doing it to myself, so i wanted it to be quick, so the only options were either my arms or my hands. I decided on the hands because It would be easier to make up an excuse as to why there was a band-aid on my hand, than on my arm.

Originally, I wanted to get a skin-removal scar, but the only local shop that I know that does that is 4 hours away, and I cant drive there without my parents knowing, so I started reading all the self-done experiences to get an idea at what everyone has tried and what works well.

I know that I didn't want to cut the skin myself, partly because my hands shake pretty bad, and partly because I didn't have the guts to do it, so I decided to brand myself. I've tried ink-rubbing before, but that didn't work out very well, and you can barely see it, so I decided for sure, branding was the way for me. At least for now.

All i did was grab a pin, a set of pliers that were sitting on my desk, and a lighter and went to work. I bent the pin into a simple U shape, but upside down. I didn't want to leave my room and let my mom know what I was doing, so I didn't get any alcohol to sterilize the pin, so I just heated it till it was glowing once, to sterilize it, then again to do it. When I tried the first time, It hurt a lot, and I didn't think I cold do it. Then I thought, why not numb the area? So I went to my little fridge (yes, I have one :P), and got an ice cream bar. I sat on the bed with the ice cream bar on my hand for what felt like eternity, but in reality was really only a few minutes. Then, when it was thoroughly numb, I heated the pin and placed it o my hand. The weirdest parts of it, I think, where that I actually felt it (partly because I used the numbed hand to work the lighter), and the sound of my flesh burning. I have never heard anything quite like it. And the smell, it wasn't re ally obvious because the brand is very small (about the size of a dime), but i could smell it. It smells the same as burning leather, if you know what that smells like. IT burned for a few seconds, then after the nerves died, I didn't feel it at all. I quickly left my room and went to the bathroom. There, I got an alcohol prep swab and wiped down the burn. I could sorta feel the alcohol stinging, so I guess I could have gotten the pin hotter, but that doesn't matter now. After that, I got some Infection-preventive ointment and applied that, then slapped a band-aid on it and called it a day.

All in all, I know I should have done it better, and probably professionally, but I'm still very happy with my new little brand. Hopefully, when I turn 18, I'll have the cash to get some real work done, professionally of course.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Nov. 2009
in Scarification

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Artist: Self-Inflicted
Studio: My+house
Location: Texas

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