Body modification is a universal art form that has been practiced for thousands of years. It is done for such motivations as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious or mystical affiliations, shock value, and self-expression
In our section of Modification we discuss the action of Scarification, Beading and Splitting
Scarification has been used for many reasons in many different cultures:
- Scarification has been used as a rite of passage in adolescence, or to denote the emotional state of the wearer of the scars, such as times of sorrow or well-being. This is common among Australian Aboriginal and tribes in New Guinea, amongst others.
- Scarification, by deliberately burning skin, is called branding and has historically been used to mark slaves and criminals, usually with the brand being visible and often letter-coded to reflect the crime.
- The Māori of New Zealand used a form of ink rubbing scarification to produce facial tattoos known as “moko.” Moko were considered to make the body complete as Māori bodies were considered to be naked without these marks. Moko were unique to each person and served as a sort of signature. Some Māori chiefs even used the pattern of their moko as their signatures on land treaties with Europeans.
- In some cultures, the willingness of a woman to receive scarification shows her maturity and willingness to bear children.
- Scarification is fairly common in West Africa and New Guinea.
- Facial scarring was a popular practice among the Huns.
- Facial scarring resulting from academic fencing is regarded as a badge of honour among the European dueling fraternities, this tradition originating in the 19th century.
There are many reasons why people may turn to scarification. Aesthetically, scarifications are usually more visible on darker skinned people than tattoos. Also, unlike tattoos, scarifications are a product of one’s own body
Lines are cut with surgical blades
Extended cutting techniques include:
This is where tattoo ink (or another sterile coloring agent) is rubbed into a fresh cut. Most of this ink will remain in the skin as the cut heals, and will have the same basic effect as a tattoo. As with tattoos, it is important not to pick the scabs as this will pull out the ink. The general public often interprets ink-rubbings as poorly done tattoos. (see Wings of Desire/ pin-point piercing by Christiane)
Cutting in single lines produces relatively thin scars, and skin removal is a way to get a larger area of scar tissue. The outlines of the area of skin to be removed will be cut, and then the skin to be removed will be peeled away. Scars from this method often have an inconsistent texture. (see PBA scars by Ryan Ouellette, Sicklove = Ron Garza and Art-Kor by Lukas Zpira)
The common opinion on healing a scarification wound is that it should be treated with irritation
Generally, the longer it takes a wound to heal, the more pronounced (the darker or more raised) the scar will be. Therefore, in order to have very pronounced scars, the goal is to keep the wound open and healing for the longest time possible. This is done by picking or scrubbing away scabs and irritating the wound with natural irritants such as sugar and citrus juice. Some practitioners recommend the use of tincture of iodine which has been proven to cause more visible scarring (this is why it’s no longer used for treating minor wounds). With this method, a wound may take months to heal; however the scar may be inconsistent.
Keloids are raised scars. Keloiding can be a result of genetics, skin color (darker skin types are more prone to keloiding), or irritation. Keloids are often desired for the visual, 3-D effect they provide and for the way they feel to the touch.
If an enclosed space –such as a circle — is cut or branded, it is possible that the skin inside of the closed space will die off and scar due to a lack of blood flow to the area.
If a scarification does not heal in the desired fashion, secondary scarifications may be done to help achieve the desired effect, such as even scarring, or detail. Ususally you will have to wait at least 6 months before the skin is ready for a touch-up
Masaai people get their huge ears by cutting away the antitragus. This is not only practical but looks really beautiful. Other cultures with big stretched ears also cut their lobes or pierce them big at a very young age.
For centuries various kinds of cultures have practised beading.
In almost all Asian countries they occur, in Japan the Yakuza uses mostly real sweet water pearls (they do it in prison to ease their body of their sexual urge temporarily and to show their loyalty to their yakuza boss by inserting 1 more for every year they are in prison). If they cannot get pearls, they will make a ball of a part of their toothbrush. Actually it is such a common ritual in Japan that the ward in jail will count the balls before they go in and again when they leave. If there is more than 1 extra in it, they supposedly have to pay a fine!
In Indonesia they put cillinder-shaped beads in the shaft while in prison.
Also South America is familiar with genital beads as well as the Antilles and in Surinam.
Nowadays not only men are doing genital beadings but also women.
(see pictures in the modification gallery)
3D BODY IMPLANTS
Not only genital places are beaded but almost everywhere on the body beads are being placed.
The generator of this practise is Steve Haworth. (www.stevehaworth.com)
The first stories about getting your tongue split were from 1997..then there were 3 people who did it, without knowing from each other and all doing different techniques. One got it professionally done by a plastic surgeon using a laser. The 2nd did it himself by cutting and cauterization and the 3rd also did it herself using a teflon tie-off method. This was on the cover of the magazine Body-Play back then. Since then many different methods have been practised. The tongue will try to heal together again for at least 6 weeks. So usually the tongue will grow back abit.
Scarification is a new trend in Body Modifications.
We have been seriously active in this field for some time now and meet other professional scarification artists (Scarwars, APP and other private meetings) and get work done on ourselves regularly.
Getting your first cutting is usually the biggest step. It’s not too difficult to imagine yourself with it, so it’s not so much an issue if you like the looks of it but the thought of a scalpel cutting your skin can be repulsive for people, depending on their own fantasy/ creative mind.. You can make yourself as scared or sick as you want, but you can also try to stay relaxed and realize it’s only for a little while. If you heal right and you like your body decorated with it, you’ll not be so hesitant to get another one. Of course every scar will be drawn especially for every person. You can also bring your own design. Sometimes it need to be redrawn to make it work as a scar. There cannot be too big spaces that need to be cut and the lines should not cross each other too much for instance.
We believe the best results for intricate designs can be achieved by cutting and not branding. This is because of less control of the depth doing (cautery) branding.
Cutting a design is not extremely painful. It feels almost the same as getting a tattoo.
Different designs are possible as well as different techniques. Depending on the design and the place, sometimes its best just to do a single cut and other times its better to start very thin and slowly make the lines bigger.
Sometimes the design requires a small piece of skin taken out. This is called peeling. You can only take out very small pieces, healing wise and painwise.
There are other options for this kind of designs and we are happy to discuss this with you.
The result of a cutting will take from half year to a year to see. In the beginning the scar will be red/ dark en slowly it will start to get lighter and maybe to keloid.
Some people’s skin have a tendency to form keloids (you can see on your other old scars maybe). Usually people with dark skin keloid very well (thats why this practise is common in Africa and New Guinea) and some places keloid easier than others (a chest keloids much easier than hands)
If you like to have an even more visible result of your scar you could think of inkrubbing. This is done with sterile tattoo ink. After being cut, the ink is massaged in.
Usually you will have to clean your cutting for 10 days. See the aftercare page
CUTTING BIG EARS
If you like big stretched ears (20mm and bigger so you know it will not go back to normal again) you will maybe have to start thinking about cutting them. Only people with fat and big earlobes can stretch them to a big size. People with thin and small lobes that want to go big need to have a hole placed high up or else have a risk of splitting it at the bottom.
Sometimes the placement of the hole is not high enough or too far or too close to the face which makes the jewelry look weird or not as nice.
Then it is possible to relocate and improve the placement by cutting the lobe in a certain way. We will have to see and discuss this first of course.
Getting your lobe cut is not as painful as you might expect. Of course it will bleed (because the lobe has a fast bloodflow) but the cut is too fast and too sharp to make it really painful.
There are different ways to insert beads. We like to use the pierce and taper- method (like Steve Haworth taught us in his class)
This is not as painful as you would maybe expect. It feels like a piercing but then a bit more tight and slightly bruised afterwards. Of course that part of the body needs rest to heal and to get the bead encapsulated (30 days). You can put beads in different parts of the body; usually customers (M/F) like them in their genitals, but for instance parts of the arm, hands etc are possible also. We are happy to discuss different options.
We use beads made of different materials: Sillicon, Teflon, Titanium (polished and unpolished), sweet water pearls. And all these in different sizes and shapes
Sharon, the owner of our studio was the first person in Holland to have her tongue split. Since then people followed which made it possible for us to discuss and try different ways of splitting. To our opinion the best way to get a split tongue is with abit of patience. We will cut it big first but not completely. You will have to wear a stud for a minimum of 6 weeks and after that we’ll cut the rest. This procedure will have the biggest cut in the end. Because other ways will not prevent the tongue from growing back abit. Also we believe this procedure is the least painful. We tried it on ourselves first!
PREGNANCY AND SCARIFICATION
Since pregnant ladies can react to anything in and on their body, it is possible she would get an allergic reaction to the wound or the aftercare. Furthermore since her body is already busy making a baby it should not have an extra thing (a wound) to heal. Also the skin will be more sensitive. Therefore we do not scar pregnant women.
Getting it and taking care of it
Getting a new mod is the best if you’re rested, nourished, healthy and relaxed.
Make sure you don’t drink alcohol or use drugs the night before, because then you might bleed alot and your skin is more sensitive.
Don’t get this if you are not sure you really want it. Because then your mind will have to accept it first, before it starts healing. And if you don’t know whether you like it you can get too focused and troubled by it.
Don’t get modified until having consulted your doctor if you have the following complaints: diabetic, hemofilia, metalallergy, had (plastic) surgery on the desired spot and on spots where you see a swelling or any kind of deformation of the skin.
Your rights as a customer (service)
After getting modified, you can always come to the shop and show us. If you have any questions or if you just like somebody to have a look at it, go back to the person who modified you. Sometimes a scar is not healing totally right and needs a different way of cleaning for instance. you should be able to go back as a service. Sometimes the cut need a little touch-up. This should be done by preferrably the same person who did it originally and this should be for free of charge
Since there are too many different styles and possibilities nowadays we can not to go into each one separately. but keep in mind that it cannot be too small or too intricate/detailed because it will not be visible/obvious after healing.
Its always best if you have a good idea of what you want.
And very helpful if you can bring some examples of this.
That can be a print out or a drawing, a picture or a link to a certain page on the internet that represents what you like.
We will always draw every design especially for you, so there will be nobody with the same scarification.
Drawing is for free.