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"Go big or go home"

I'll make sure I don't leave any detail out!

Well, a few months ago I saw glass talons and barbs for the first time. A friend of mine showed me, and for whatever reason I wanted them stuck in my head. I just really liked the way the glass looks, the colors and different styles really appeal to me. I've have piercings done before, like my tongue and ears with small gauges, and I was never really excited about them. I had them removed a long time ago as a result. So aside from my ink I haven't had any mods for quite a few years. I started to poke around looking for shops and one of my buds let me know about Haven Body Arts. He told me it was a new shop but the people working there had been in the industry a long time. So about two weeks ago I headed into downtown Northampton.

The shop its self is on the second floor on the main strip. You walk through this big silver door and then up a flight of stairs. At the top on the right hand side is a large, curved, black wall with bunch of small silver windows. When you walk in you are immediately facing the main counter. To your left are the tattoo stations, my ears were greeted by the familiar buzz of a tattoo machine at work. Which reminds me, I need more ink! The floors are all wood and polished, and the walls are white and spotless.

This place is immaculate. It has this whole modern simplistic theme going on. Very well organized and well thought out. I walked up to the counter and above it on the back wall are two rows of certifications held by people at the shop. Everything from CPR, to blood-borne pathogens, to piercing certifications; it was very reassuring to see.

The girl at the counter (I can't remember her name, but she did have her ears stretched really big) was friendly and directed me to this set of hanging cabinets on the opposite wall. This is where the glass was neatly laid out by size on each self. I was getting excited, there were all sorts of glass twists, hooks, barbs in many different colors. The selection was very good and I probably sat there pacing back and forth for thirty minutes trying to figure out what I wanted.

During this time I was greeted by Penelope, the piercer my friend had mentioned before. We chatted for a while as I looked. She is one of the easiest people to talk to. Very friendly, she is a total sweetheart. She has a ton of modifications herself. She is covered in ink, and has numerous piercings. She wears it very well I have to say....but I am getting off track.

I finally decided that I'd just get some glass plugs. Penelope told me it would take about four to six weeks to heal completely. I figured a plug would be the least cumbersome during the healing time. So, the next question was, how big? So I asked.

"What do you think? What gauge should I get?"

She stood with her hands on her hips and cocked her head to one side and smiled.

"Go big or go home of course." And then laughed

Ok, big it was. So I selected a pair of 00g clear plugs from the case. We continued to talk as she led me into the piercing room. On a side note the piercing room its self is separated from the main studio floor by this giant piece of glass that runs from the ceiling to the floor. There is a shade of course if you need privacy, but also a really cool twist on the shop lay out. And the piercing room looks like something out of a hospital. I just couldn't get over how clean everything was.

She had me lay back on this comfy piercing table and told me to relax. She continued to set up her tools and kept talking to me the whole time. Now something happened that I was not expecting. I became nervous. I was fine up until this point and all of a sudden I got a little knot in my stomach. My ears are normal, no holes anywhere. So I was about to go from nothing to 00g.

"Well." I thought to myself. "This should be interesting."

Penelope hovered over me and let me know she would not perform the actual pierce until she said otherwise. I remember she set the clamps and told me there would be some pressure. She told me to take a deep breath and on the count of three she would pierce. I took a deep breath and she counted. On three I felt a sharp pain as the needle quickly passed through my lobe.

She worked very quickly and told me:

"You will feel movement." As she set up for the first stretch.

Oh yeah, the way this worked out was that she needed to pierce with the first needle, a 4g or 6g, I don't remember exactly, then use this thing called a "taper" to stretch to 2g, and then another taper to stretch to 00g. I don't know how the taper things work exactly, I didn't think to ask.

So the first stretch comes, it hurts worse that the piercing, but its not horrible. The pain is sharp and there is a lot of pressure. More pressure than anything. After that the second stretch, which is much of the same as the first, just with added pressure.

By the time Penelope sets up for my second ear, the first is throbbing a bit. The left ear goes off without a hitch. Cool, now I have glass in my head! Very excited, I stay a bit longer to pick up some medicated soap and get more info on the aftercare and what to expect during the healing.

Penelope also told me at anytime I could come back or call if I had questions or concerns about the piercing. That was two weeks ago. The first two nights my ears ached and throbbed. It was kind of a dull pain but consistent. There was no bleeding, since it was a stretch, the skin is pulled very tight and creates a natural seal around the glass. I made sure not to touch my ears unless I was washing them with the medicated soap. I soaked the piercings and followed the other instructions Penelope gave me.

The pain went away quickly, I have had no redness or swelling. I formed "crusties" about four days in. Then I hit the itchy stage for a while, which I was told would happen. One kind of cool thing that I just lucked out on was the selection of clear plugs. Since they were clear and so large I could actually see the wound inside if I held up a light to it! I thought that was really sweet. I could see the raw flesh, and each day the progress my body was making during the healing process. It's not everyday you get to see the inside of your piercing! HA HA! I am very pleased with myself in case you haven't noticed...

I am currently very excited about getting some crazy glass to throw in my ears once they are fully healed!

Everything went smoothly from start to finish. It was a cool experience I have to say, I am very happy. I tried to give as much detail as I could, from what I could remember anyway I hope you enjoyed it!

And, remember, "Go big or go home!"


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Penelope
Studio: Haven+Body+Arts
Location: Northampton%2C+ma

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