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Triple Whammy!

Surface bars... where did my fascination with them start? I'm not 100% sure, but I think it may have had something to do with seeing some done on a friend by Symppa. I liked the way they looked, liked the idea of it, but they were quite rare at the time, and it was hard to find anyone in Ireland to do them, so it kind of slipped to the back of my mind I guess. Fast forward a couple of years to a conversation with a friend who's an apprentice. Being the adventurous soul I am, I quickly offered up my flesh to be used as a pincushion for anything she needed to try out (yeah, I'll do anything for free holes really) and the conversation turned to surface bars. I jumped at the chance, and we quickly arranged a time when her mentor would be in, and all was set. Saturday rolled around, and I headed in around lunchtime. After a bit of a wait for the shop to calm down a bit, we were ready to go. I got into the piercing room, and got myself sat down. At this point, I should point out that I will go into a lot of detail of the procedure, but this is NOT a 'how to', and you shouldn't try this at home, nor is it necessarily the best, or normal way to put in surface bars, but it's what works for us. THe first question was exactly what I wanted, and we decided to go for 3 bars on my wrist, at 27mm, 31mm and 34mm to provide a kind of 'stepped' look. Once decided, it was time for marking up, and that's when the fun started. Now, I'm a bit of a hairy git, so shaving a patch on my arm was the first move. Once that was out of the way (it took a while, and we managed to nick a mole, but we'll come to that later). After the de-hairing came the mark-up -which is not an easy thing on a wrist, as it moves around a lot, so the first set of marks ended up a little awry. It was at this juncture that the suggestion was made to mock up the spacing on a piece of tracing paper, so the position could be changed as much as we needed, so all was procured, and a short time later, the marks were all in place and I was ready to go. We got into position, and Kaye began to massage my arm, to separate out the skin layers to make it easier to pierce. This was possibly the most painful part of the experience, mostly due to it being prolonged and intense, but after five minutes it was time for the needle. The method used was pocketing followed by separation of the skin layers using an insertion pin (IP). Taking a few deep breaths, and I could feel the pinch as the needle went straight into my arm, just past the bevel. It was then flattened against my wrist, and moved around a little to create the first pocket, before being removed and covered in gauze to stop the bleeding. This stage hurt a little, but it was manageable. The second hole was done the same way as the first, and then it was out with the IP to create the pocket. I have pretty tough skin, so this was possibly the worst part of the whole whole thing, both for Kaye, and me, as it took a hell of a lot of effort to get it through, but eventually it popped out the second hole and we were halfway done with the first one. The surface bar was placed against the IP, and pushed through the fresh wound. Unfortunately, about 75% of the way through, she lost connection, so the last little push was harder for her than it should have been, but she made it in the end, and I had the first bar installed in my wrist! The second two went in the same way, but a little easier as I guess practise makes perfect. Once again, it was pretty uncomfortable having the IP digging around inside my wrist, but that just part of the procedure, and if you just concentrate on breathing deeply, it soon passes. Once the three bars were in, it was time to step back and look at Kayes handiwork. I'm very pleased with how it has turned out, even with it starting to swell and looking quite bruised. I slipped Kaye a twenty (against her will), and headed home. As I was wearing short sleeves, my arm was pretty noticeable, and it's amazing how un-subtle people can be (I must have heard 'jayus, look at that guys arm' about 20 times in half an hour!) Now, it's down to the waiting game to see how many of them (if any) settle down. I don't want to tempt fate, but I'd be happy with 2 out of the 3 staying. All in all, I'm well chuffed, and may be getting some more in the next couple of weeks!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Feb. 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Kaye
Studio: Celestial+Ring
Location: Dublin%2C+Ireland

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