Saturday, April 30, 2011

MODIFY! (the movie)

All of us know we should not pre-judge others, not to judge a book by its cover.
Does this feeling of acceptance apply to people who modify their body beyond what
is normal? Extreme is relative to perception. It is human nature to fear what we do
not understand. What is ‘normal’?
Everyone modifies their body in one form or another to help show on the outside
how they feel on the inside.
Using intirely original music, including over forty never before heard songs from
more than twenty new artists, this original groundbreaking documentary hits the
screen rockin’ right from the start.

For the first time ever, in their own words, the finest, more well spoken, talented,
surgeons, piercers, tattooists, cutters, body artists, and pioneers of body modification
in the United States, show and tell all in the Committed Films motion picture
You will meet more than thirty of the most amazing modified people that have ever
lived, and the body artists that have changed them forever. We have traveled the
country and have filmed more than fifty body modification procedures including
tanning, waxing, piercing, branding, scarification, genital beading, elective
amputations, bodybuilding, tattooing, tongue splitting, non-surgical implants, plastic
surgeries, trans-gender surgeries, and everything in between.
Why have they chosen to do this to their bodies?
We explore their thoughts on the difference between body modification and
mutilation, their feelings on discrimination, addiction, religion and the legal limits
regarding the right to choose what someone can or can not do to their own body.

it is also now available on netflix.

the arthouse inc: the arthouse inc

the arthouse inc: the arthouse inc: "welcome to the arthouse inc blog! we are a piercing and tattoo studio located in calgary, alberta, canada. we have been in business since ..."

the arthouse inc: the wonderful world of dermal anchors

the arthouse inc: the wonderful world of dermal anchors: "A dermal anchor is a technique that is essentially a single-point pocketing . A small piece of jewellery designed to be inserted into the bo..."

the arthouse inc: wood plugs and tunnels

the arthouse inc: wood plugs and tunnels: "here are a few links to beautifully made organic tunnels and plugs... Omerica Organic grenades by omerica organics Diablo Orangics ..."

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing

the arthouse inc: origin of tattooing: "Origin of Tattooing Believe it or not, some scientists say that certain marks on the skin of the Iceman, a mummified human body dating from..."

the arthouse inc: scarification

the arthouse inc: scarification: "Scarification is the creative and artistic application of scars in a controlled manner to achieve an aesthetically or spiritually pleasing..."

the arthouse inc: AUTOCLAVE.

the arthouse inc: AUTOCLAVE.: "An autoclave is an instrument used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C or mo..."

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project

the arthouse inc: 18 piece dermal anchor project: "i have been working on an 18 piece dermal anchor project since oct 2010. today i put in the last 2 anchors. Sondra took some awesome pict..."

the arthouse inc: type of materials for body piercings

the arthouse inc: type of materials for body piercings: "Surgical steel Surgical steel, also referred to as Implant grade steel is a steel alloy that is the most common body piercing material in ..."

the arthouse inc: sea salt for piercing aftercare

the arthouse inc: sea salt for piercing aftercare: "Sea salt soaks serve as a quick, cheap home remedy that is effective for the after-care of a piercing, both body piercings and oral piercing..."

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension

the arthouse inc: Body Suspension: "Vertical Chest suspension ('O-Kee-Pa') This suspension takes place hooked from the front of the body and hung vertically. Many people refe..."

the arthouse inc: Why piercing guns are dangerous

the arthouse inc: Why piercing guns are dangerous: "Piercing guns are a common tool used in mall shops, mall kiosks, beauty salons and by other non-professional piercers. Unfortunately, the p..."

the arthouse inc: different types of scar tissue & vitamin e

the arthouse inc: different types of scar tissue & vitamin e: "Atrophic Atrophic scars are sunken, depressed areas of scar tissue. The scar tissue is generally very thin and weak, and blood vessels can ..."

the arthouse inc: modern primitive

the arthouse inc: modern primitive: "Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making r..."

modern primitive

Modern primitives or urban primitives are people in developed nations who engage in body modification rituals and practices while making reference or homage to the rite of passage practices in "primitive cultures"These practices may include body piercing, tattooing, play piercing, flesh hook suspension, corset training, scarification, branding, and cutting. The motivation for engaging in these varied practices may be personal growth, rite of passage, or spiritual

I came across this interesting article today....

"Modern Primitives": The Accelerating Collision of Past and Future in the Postmodern Era

Today, largely thanks to publishers such as Re/Search and Loompanics, Autonomedia, and Amok Press, many people are familiar today with the "modern primitive" movement. They know that it involves some sort of strange juxtaposition of high technology and "low" tribalism, animism, and body modification - a kind of 'Technoshamanism,' if you will, at once possession trance and kinetic dance. In books like William Gibson's Count Zero , ultracomplex Artificial Intelligences (AIs) take on the personality of Haitian Voudoun deities, seizing the minds of initiates through neural networks, creating an ersatz technoreligion.
The idea of the "primitive" is of course one from anthropology's abandoned socioevolutionary past. While invented to simply function as a descriptive for temporal phases, it inevitably also functioned as an evaluative term, suggesting that those societies to which it was applied were inferior in terms of literacy, knowledge, technology, social organization, or moral judgement - in a word, they lacked 'civilization.' The notion was of course inescapably ethnocentric, since it assumed that all societies on the planet were on an undeviating climb toward the standards of Western culture with regards to religion (monotheism), marriage practices (monogramy), economics (the free market), governance (representative democracy), etc. The 'primitive' was at once reviled and romanticized, especially by Romantic artists fascinated with the taboo and the exotic, and philosophers swayed by the image of the unfettered Noble Savage.
While a more culturally relativist anthropology has sought to cleanse the perjorative ideas associated with 'primitivism,' preferring to describe idiographically rather than evolutionarily the less 'advanced,' pre-modern, indigenous societies of the planet, the notion of the "primitive" remained a powerful one in Western culture, which internalized representations of "primitives" from both within (the Native Americans) and without (Oceanians, Africans, etc.) To many people within Western civilization's orbit, (which increasingly encompasses the entire planet), the "primitive" still signifies a premodern, "untainted" alternative to industrialization, capitalism, and the European Enlightenment. It represents a preferred "Golden Age" past, of things left aside in the march of "progress", to which might be juxtaposed a dystopian technological future.
And, then, of course, there is modernity. What it means to be a modern is still being argued about, as well as whether we have left the condition of modernity behind. If anything, modernity was probably the vision that the future would be radically different (and most likely better) than the present. Certainly, in the arts, modernity was associated with Futurism, involving a penchant for action, speed, power, abstraction, and change, as well as other movements in the avant-garde - Surrealism, Dadaism, Expressionism, etc. Modernity basically meant experimentation to many people; a refusal to be fettered by conventions of the past, and a demand to shock the morals and traditions of the bourgeouisie. New territories - the unconscious mind, for example - were being opened to investigation and creation.
Postmodernism, if anything, is in essence a combination of modernity and the premodern - a genre blurring of the abandoned and the untried. In a world where the old (tradition, superstition, folk beliefs, etc.) is increasingly being abandoned, there can be nothing more new and avant-garde then to reintroduce it once more... thus the ironic state of postmodernity. There can be no more postmodern movement than that of the "modern primitives," determined to follow the simultaneous tracks of the past and the future toward their inevitable collision. Having at once embraced a mythical "low-tech" past and a mythical "high-tech" future, the "modern primitives" are preeminent denizens of the postmodern, cyclical-time era...
The "modern primitives" like Stelarc and Fakir Mustafar are perhaps best known for their use of body distortion, modification (elongation, coloration, etc.), and piercing. Many moderns were familiar (from visual anthropology) with the practices found in less 'civilized' cultures such as footbinding, elongating the neck or skull, or ritual incision. Body manipulation is not anything alien to modernity, with its use of more antiseptic and clinical plastic surgery, but then neither is tatooing or piercing either. Moderns never gave up the urge to inscribe and mark the body, or to alter and distort its features... indeed, Foucault's biopolitics suggests that a preeminent feature of modernity was the pursuit of unnattainable somatic norms, especially for women. Still, many people see body marking (tatooing) as transgressive, exotic, and 'primitive,' and this is one reason why modern primitivies embrace it as a custom.
What does make the modern primitive movement unusual is its pursuit of sensation. Borrowing from the S & M sexual subculture, the modern primitives suggest that one of the effects of modernization and industrialization has been psychic numbing. People no longer know either authentic pleasure or pain, and have forgotten the curious neurochemical ways in which they are interwoven. Piercing is more than just inscription; piercing of the genitals or other sensitive areas of the body means pain, especially during sexual intercourse... but it is a pain that becomes part of the ecstasy for ModPrims... there is this idea of a knowing through pain which modernity has forgotten.
When Mustafar or Stelarc hang themselves from hooks, or pierce themselves with sharp painful implements, they are only duplicating a practice found all over the world. It is a key ritual for many "primitive" and other societies for the person to go into trance and to demonstrate their "absorbtion" by the divine through the negation of pain and injury. The ModPrims claim that their performances are a pursuit of transcendence, proving the ability of the mind to go beyond the taxings and limitations of the body. Stelarc calls himself a "Cyberhuman," pointing to his belief that the future of human evolution toward a greater interconnection of men and machines will require humankind's mastery over (rather than suppression of) passion, suffering, and pain.
Futher, within the ModPrim movement, there is this sort of obsession over technological invasion of the body, through prosthetics, genetic modification, implants, and so on. This bodily invasion is at once feared (as a colonization by capital) and desired (by permitting people to directly neurally link into the "consensual hallucination" of Gibson's Virtual Reality.) The body is seen as information (DNA provides the 'code') and its invasion as either 'scrambling' (through viruses, cancer, etc.) or 'purification' (by removing 'noise' or 'distortion.') The technological modification of the body is seen as a reworking of the shamanic 'deconstruction' of a past era, where the shaman is torn apart by the gods of his tribe, and then his bones and flesh are replaced with quartz or fire or something else...
The limitations of the body need not be obeyed. It can be made to live longer, or be healthier, through artificial organs and nanotech 'magic bullets.' It can be made stronger and more dextrous through steroids and enhancing nervous signal transmission. The mind can be extended as well, its memory or perceptions or intelligence increased. The "primitive man's" desire to imitate and become like his gods can be met. But ModPrims also know that there is the danger of forgetting the body as well - that in cyberspace, people will no longer be "in tune" with their tangible physicality... thus they push for ways in which the "feedback" from the Matrix will be at once tactile and visual...
ModPrims also embrace the rave as a sign of the uniting of past and future. The rave is at once 'primitive,' with its gathering of 'tribes' of young people for the experience of Levy-Bruhl 'participation mystique' through kinetics and MDMA (Ecstasy), and 'futuristic' (or modern) with its use of digitally sampled and remixed music, laser and light effects, and multimedia expositions. Ravers at once dress in way that signifies past and future - piercing their ears with computer chips, wearing 70s (or earlier) clothes with futuristic hologram jewelry, combining the fashion of folk and punk. They consider themselves the heirs of the 60s counterculture, and also its antithesis, since they reject its anti-technology, pro-natural, 'peace and harmony,' and idealist emphases for a more pragmatist, aggressive, and techno-positive viewpoint... to the raver, whether a drug is synthetic or organic is besides the point.
Besides raves and piercing, ModPrims are perhaps best known for their attempts at juxtaposing magick and science. Publications like Virus 23 juxtapose Crowleyan occultism with chaos theory, Neo-Paganism & Wicca with memetics and information theory, and use of ancient hallucinogens with the latest findings in neuroscience. Shamanism is shown to have a basis in quantum mechanics, and Hermeticism in astrophysical cosmology. Fringe science publications, full of diagrams of Tesla machines, antigravity motors, UFO propulsion systems, free energy devices, perpetual motion machines, and radionic/psychotronic boxes, combine at once the impossible fascinations of past eras with the latest technological principles...
Computer hackers often call themselves "wizards," for good reason. Abstruse computer programs are not all that dissimilar from blasphemous incantations; electrical logic diagrams often look like mystical Tables of Correspondences from olden times; complex systems are inevitably suspect to the interference of unguessable entities variously called "bugs," "glitches," or "gremlins." The technoshaman/computer hacker knows that he is part of an elite whose knowledge is mystifyingly undecipherable to the general public, and that society has placed an almost religious faith in the power of computers to solve the problems of society, from traffic routing and personal communications, to psychiatric diagnosis and aiding athletic performance...
The ModPrims eagerly embrace technoshamans like Timothy Leary, John Lilly, Terrence McKenna, and Jose Arguelles. The I Ching really becomes a computer code, connected to the rhythms of history and the codons of the DNA sequence. The hallucinogenic mushroom really becomes an extraterrestrial colonizing spore, seeking to link human consciousness with its cosmic roots. The use of mystical drugs like LSD really becomes a means to activate normally dormant "circuits" within the "biocomputer" known as the brain, thus making "metaprogramming" possible. Human-animal communication becomes at once a technological duty, and a necessity for realizing the interconnectedness of "Gaia," or the collective identity created by organic life on the planet...
The ModPrims themselves point to the collision of the past and future. Reading McKenna, they point to the cycles of history, and the way in which many linear trends (scientific invention, etc.) are reaching bottleneck points where they may accelerate exponentially (this being thought to be "TimeWave Zero," or the "Omega Point.") The Principia Cybernetica Newsletter advances the idea that the new webs of telecommunications networks are creating a "global brain" in which humans are the individual neurons. Others suggest that the Human Genome project may unlock the means for humanity's next great evolutionary advance. Many ModPrims think that we have passed out of linear, past-to-future, historical time, and entered some other new kind of cyclical time or maybe even the "end of history"...
People interested in materialist analyses of culture wonder whether this efflorescence of modern primitivism, with its explicit rejection of older notions of linear progress and evolution, has anything to do with the changing material basis of culture. Has the fact that we have entered a post-industrial, service/information economy, 'disconnected' from material production because of automation and other forces, similarly 'disconnected' people from the idea of a rational, orderly march of time? Such a sense of time was essential to industrialism, in which time was money and the Puritan criterion beyond all others was time-efficiency, e.g. not 'slacking' or 'wasting time.'
In his book "Time Wars," Jeremy Rifkin suggests that many of the conflicts between groups may have been over competing notions of time. Rifkin sees the conflict of our era as being between 'industrial' time, which is individualistic, atomistic, quantitative, utilitarian, artificial (clock-based), centralized, and mechanistic; and what might be called 'postindustrial' time, which is communitarian, participatory, qualitative, empathetic, rhythmic, cyclical, decentralized, and organic. From the 'industrial' viewpoint, time is a resource for the progressive creation of wealth, which is not to be squandered. Perhaps from the 'postindustrial' viewpoint, time is a resource for human lives and experiences... recognizing entropy, the person living in 'postindustrial' time knows that material 'progress' is not indefinite or without external cost.
I would suggest that the way ModPrims can perhaps best be understood are as people living in a different time-order or time-value-system. This ideological shift is partly due to the transition of people toward a post-industrial economy, where the previous system of linear industrial time no longer makes sense. For them, there is no contradiction between past and future. If time is a circle, then of course past and future are heading toward their point of uniting. In the postmodern world of the ModPrims, the "moderns" have much to learn from the ecological sense of interconnectedness of the "primitives," and vice versa, the "prims" can learn from the experimental sensibility of the "mods." Together, they can perhaps turn the spiral of time back to its point of origin, at a higher level of existence.

Steve Mizrach

Sunday, April 17, 2011

different types of scar tissue & vitamin e

Atrophic scars are sunken, depressed areas of scar tissue. The scar tissue is generally very thin and weak, and blood vessels can be seen very close to the surface. They are caused when insufficient collagen is laid down in the wound. This sort of scar tends to be formed as the result of acne, though some scarification work (especially when no aftercare regime is followed) will result in this sort of scar.
A wound healed under optimum conditions will form scar tissue that is almost the same colour and thickness as the skin around the wound, and be substantially smaller than the original wound. The body tries to form scars which mimic the tissue around them. A large number of scarification pieces heal like this, most of the people who get scarification work are young and healthy, and consequently their bodies heal wounds very well, even if aftercare techniques are followed. For the first couple of months the scars may be red/purple, but over time they will fade through pink to white, leaving a very subtle effect on pale skinned individuals.
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars which do not extend beyond the border of the wound. They are formed when the rate of collagen production in a wound exceeds the rate of collagen breakdown. Unlike keloid scars, the collagen fibers are still aligned evenly within the scar, so the scar will be more even, and less likely to be painful when you move. Hypertrophic scar formation can be encouraged by giving the wound a difficult healing environment, although the predisposition to forming hypertrophic scar tissue is a genetic trait. Hypertrophic scars sometimes form next to piercings, especially on the ear. They often fade in colour and become less raised over time, especially when any irritant (i.e. piece of jewelery) is removed. Wearing high quality, well-fitting jewelery and massaging regularly with Vitamin E oil can help reduce hypertrophic scar tissue around piercings.

Keloid scars are large, raised, generally uneven scars that extend beyond the border of the original injury. The word 'keloid' is very commonly misused by individuals who are actually referring to hypertrophic scarring. People with dark skin are much more likely to form keloid scar tissue, especially on the back, shoulders, upper arms, and earlobes. Keloid scars are formed when the rate of collagen production in a wound exceeds the rate of collagen breakdown, and the collagen fibers align themselves in a random pattern (as opposed to in parallel lines as in normal scars). It is not known exactly what triggers the formation of keloid scars, but it is thought that the wound healing factors mentioned above can influence keloid formation. Keloid scars tend to increase in size over time. Keloids also occasionally form next to piercings, and while removing the jewelery and rubbing with Vitamin E oil may help, it is likely that a medical professional will have to assist with their removal, either by steriod injections or surgically

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin which is found naturally in certain vegetable oils and other foods (for example: germ oil, nuts and seeds, whole grains, egg yolks and leafy greens). It is an antioxidant that protects your body’s cell membranes and other fat soluble parts of the body, and a necessary constituent of a healthy diet. Vitamin E oil has shown to penetrate the dermis. It is able to reduce the formation of oxygen radicals that impede healing. Vitamin E also stabilizes collagen production.

Vitamin E oil is renowned for its healing properties; it is an excellent moisturizer, and it can help reduce unwanted scar tissue. It's commonly used to lubricate organic plugs to help keep stretched ear piercings healthy. It can be purchased in bottles, or in capsules each containing a small amount of oil.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why piercing guns are dangerous

Piercing guns are a common tool used in mall shops, mall kiosks, beauty salons and by other non-professional piercers. Unfortunately, the piercing gun or stud gun is an inferior piece of equipment that can cause unnecessary damage and increase a piercees risk of complications.


All equipment used in any piercing must be properly sterilized between uses to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases and reduce the chance of infection. To be properly sterilized, equipment must be run through an autoclave. Piercing guns cannot be autoclaved. When a piercing is performed with a gun, tissue and blood become airborne and will come into contact with anything near it, including the gun, the piercer and the person being pierced. Wiping a piercing gun with antiseptic wipes or alcohol swabs between uses is not sufficient, as it will not kill all blood borne pathogens. This means that both the piercer and person being pierced are exposed to the tissue and blood of every other person that has been pierced with that equipment. In addition, the new piercing has come into contact with the dirty gun and all of the bacteria on it. This greatly increases the risk of infection. This risk of infection is of even more concern when applied to cartilage piercings. Infections in cartilage can become trapped between the layers of cartilage and cause deformation of the ear, sometimes requiring surgery.

clean adj. - Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled.
ster·ile  adj.  - Completely free from live bacteria or other microorganisms.

Stud vs. Needle
A properly done piercing is performed using a hollow needle that is extremely sharp. It has a beveled edge that creates a very neat, clean slice in the tissue. This leaves the area with very little damage or trauma, allowing for the easiest healing and minimal complications as well as less pain for a shorter period of time.

A piercing gun uses a dull stud that is forced through the ear through sheer force. Look closely at the end of a piercing stud and it is obvious just how dull it is. Remember that you can sleep on these studs without cutting your neck. Because the stud is dull, it rips through the tissue, causing major tearing, trauma and compaction in the tissue. This will lead to a longer healing time and increased risk of building up excessive scar tissue in and around the piercing. It also causes more irritation and swelling, leading to more pain for an extended period of time.

Excessive scar tissue can cause problems for those that intend to, or decide to stretch their piercings to larger gauges. Some find that it hinders stretching, or even makes it impossible. It will often cause the stretching process to be much slower and involved than normal to allow the scar tissue time to soften and the stretch to heal properly.

The only appropriate materials for use in a fresh piercing are implant grade metals, plastics, glass: Surgical Stainless 316LVM, Titanium, Niobium, PTFE, Bioflex and Pyrex. The nickel content in gold, silver and low grade steel can cause serious reactions and irritation in many people. The porosity of other materials allows the harboring of dirt and bacteria, causing serious irritation and infection. Piercing studs are generally made of a low-grade metal and are often plated. Most common are gold and silver studs.

It is necessary for the jewelry in a new piercing to allow room for swelling and proper access to the piercing for cleaning and to allow the piercing to drain.

Every aspect of the piercing stud makes in inappropriate for use in a new piercing. They are much too short to allow the tissue to swell comfortably. Swelling can be exacerbated
by the restriction of the stud, leading to further damage and irritation of the piercing. The locking butterfly backs cover the back of the piercing and pull the jewelry tight against the front of the piercing. This will not allow a piercing to drain properly as well as building up lymph and dirt and holding it against the healing piercing. Butterfly backs are extremely difficult to clean properly as the loops are very small and cannot be accessed easily.

Proper Placement and Similar Concerns on Body Parts Other Than Ears
When the piercing gun is used, it visually blocks the person operating it from seeing exactly where the stud is being placed. This, along with minimal training on the part of the person using the gun and the kickback of the gun often leaves poorly placed piercings. This also means that matched piercings are often not symmetrical. Many people are left with a no-win situation. Take out the piercing and have it done re-done to correct the placement or live with an improperly placed piercing. This may not be an immediate concern for some, but those wanting to stretch to larger gauges later may find that any asymmetry becomes more pronounced at the larger gauges.

In less common cases, "piercers" will use the gun to perform other piercings, such as in the navel, nose and even tongue. The gun was designed for use on the ears and cannot accommodate other body parts. The design does not allow a larger amount of tissue to be placed in it and the short jewelry is even more dangerous on the thicker piercings.

The width of a gun stud cartridge makes in impossible for it to be fully inserted into the nostril. This leaves the piercing too far forward on the nostril. While being aesthetically unappealing, it also makes it difficult or impossible to wear a ring or nose screw comfortably. A screw will tend to hang out of the nose because it cannot be turned around properly and a ring will stick out from the nostril.

Trained Piercers vs. Minimally Trained Gun Operators
A professional piercer must apprentice under a trained profession. This training includes classes in blood borne pathogens and cross contamination, as well as first aid. This prepares a piercer to handle any situation that may arise during a piercing procedure as well being able to accurately assess a person and any possible complications. They also understand all possible complications and can assist a client with the correct solution to a problem.

The majority of piercings performed with a piercing gun happen in mall shops and/or kiosks, and beauty salons. The people using these guns receive minimal training on the use of the equipment and no training whatsoever on human anatomy, the proper care for a new piercing or the risks and complications involved with piercings or how to treat them. Generally, training consists of two weeks of instruction on use of the gun and possibly practice on a teddy bear or foam ear. The trainee is then loosed on the general public with minimal knowledge and no experience whatsoever.

Piercing guns can jam while being used, leaving the piercee with a half embedded stud and most likely a piercing gun stuck to it. This can be very painful for the piercee and someone that is not properly prepared to deal with this situation can cause unnecessary pain and extended damage to the piercing.

The lack of proper training leads back to the inability of a piercing gun operator to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases, as they are not aware of the risks or the precautions that need to be taken. They also open themselves to exposure, as most do not wear gloves.

Should any serious complications arise, a piercing gun operator will not be able to help you. With little experience in body piercings, they are unable to identify or offer guidance on problems that may arise.

A piercing or tattoo shop is a safe, clean environment with trained staff. To ensure the safety and comfort of a client, piercings are performed in a room specifically set up for piercing. This means that all of the tools and equipment are within easy reach, as well as any medical equipment that may be needed in case of an unforeseen problem. The area is kept extremely clean, there is a Sharps Container for used needles to be disposed of in and equipment is cleaned in a separate area. All of these things greatly reduce the risk of contamination from the piercer or a previous client.

Mall kiosks and stores are not closed off from the public. In fact, if it is a store, they typically keep the piercing booth right at the front. Equipment is not kept in a sanitary manner nor is the area in which a person is pierced. The open-air environment of a mall means that you are exposed to many more germs and bacteria than the controlled environment of a piercing studio. Should any problems arise, such as unexpected bleeding, you will most likely get an unsanitary paper towel to hold to your ear. Used gun cartridges are tossed in a trash basket, further increasing the chances of spreading disease.

For a safe piercing experience, please choose a professional piercer that works in a proper piercing or tattoo shop and uses the correct equipment and jewelry. Your piercings will thank you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Body Suspension

Vertical Chest suspension ("O-Kee-Pa")

This suspension takes place hooked from the front of the body and hung vertically. Many people refer (quite possibly offensively) to this as an "O-Kee-Pa" suspension because it looks similar to a Native American rite of the same name. The vertical chest suspension is considered to be the most difficult and painful suspension. Problems reported include difficulty breathing coupled with intense pain in the sternum and armpit areas.
It should be noted that many people strongly object to the use of the term "O-Kee-Pa" to refer to a vertical chest suspension, as "O-Kee-Pa" in actuality refers to a complex and deeply meaningful cultural ritual that very few modern people understand. A two point vertical chest suspension is no more an "O-Kee-Pa" than drinking a glass of wine at dinner is taking communion.

Vertical Back suspension ("Suicide")

This suspension takes place hooked from the back of the body and hung vertically. Most people refer to this as a "suicide" suspension because the body appears to be hanging by a noose. This is one of the easier, less confining suspensions and one that many people choose to start with -- vertical back suspensions generally allow greater freedom of movement while suspended (the arms and legs not usually being pierced and thus free to move). This can be a pro or a con depending on the person.
Suicide suspension is definitely the favorite style to date, although, this suspension can often be too difficult for first time suspendees because there is more weight per hook than with horizontal suspensions, making the initial lift more painful. Other than this normal pain from suspending, the most common complaint is lower back pain.

Vertical Back suspension with arm hooks ("Scarecrow" or "Crucifix")

This suspension takes place hooked from the upper back and hung vertically, with hooks also placed in the arms to force them to be held horizontally.

Horizontal Face Down ("Superman")

This suspension takes place hooked from the back of the body and hung horizontally. Most people refer to this as a "superman" suspension since the position resembles Superman flying. Due to the fact that the hooks can be distributed to a larger area of the body, this style is considered to be the easiest of the suspensions. Most novices find this to be a good first suspension. It seems the biggest complaint about this suspension is that back of the legs can be a very sensitive and piercing them is a somewhat upsetting thought to many.

Horizontal Face Up ("Coma")

 This suspension takes place hooked from the front of the body and hung horizontally. Most people refer to this as a "coma" suspension after the movie "Coma". Not only is this style one of the more painful suspensions, it can be mentally difficult due to the fact that the individual can easily see the hooks and the skin stretching upward.

Inverted Knee ("Falkner")

This suspension takes place hooked from the knees and hung vertically with the head closest to the ground and the knees at the top. Many people refer to this as a "Falkner" suspension since Allen Falkner is the first known person to ever attempt this particular configuration. This style is relatively new, but is quickly growing in popularity. It is not considered to be an extremely painful suspension, but the drawbacks include lower back pain and ripping of skin in the areas around the knees. Another factor of this suspension is the increased blood pressure to the brain due to the inverted position, which can lead to disorientation and cause headaches.

Resurrection Suspension

This suspension first done by Life Suspended is a suspension in which the person is held up by hooks, usually in two rows on the abdomen. The name comes from the visual impression that person is rising from dead. Generally this suspension is seen using 6 hooks. However, variations from 8 to 2 points can be done.

Lotus Suspension

This suspension features the person hanging in a lotus sitting position. Hooks are often placed in the upper back, chest, thighs and calves, but other variation are common such as hooks placed in the knees and sometimes none in the chest. In some cases the lower leg hangs free and this sometimes called a seated suspension.

Tandem Suspension

 Tandem suspension is hanging one person from hooks in another person that is already suspended. Sometimes this is referred to as a stacked suspension.

sea salt for piercing aftercare

Sea salt soaks serve as a quick, cheap home remedy that is effective for the after-care of a piercing, both body piercings and oral piercings. Sea salt soaks help the piercing to heal, reduce swelling and redness, and clean the area.
To make a sea salt solution you first need a non-iodzied sea salt (do not use any other types of salt, eg. table salt or epson salt). Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to 8oz of warm water. If you are able, invert the cup so the liquid inside completely submerges the pierced area. If you are unable to do this, use a Q-tip or cotton ball to gently apply the solution to the piercing. Keep the solution on the piercing until it cools---at least five minutes.
There are premixed saline solutions which you can also use on a piercing.
Woundwash Saline by Blairex (found at shoppers drug mart)
Woundwash Flush (found at the arthouse inc)
if you wish to use these sprays on your piercing you simply spray the solution dierectly on the piercing 3-6 times daily.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

type of materials for body piercings

Surgical steel
Surgical steel, also referred to as Implant grade steel is a steel alloy that is the most common body piercing material in North America. It can be polished to a shiny surface, and many people prefer this material to titanium because of its luster.
Allergic reactions, when they occur, are rarely due to the stainless steel but from other factors (most commonly from mechanical irritation or harsh cleaning products). Allergic reactions typically include itching, redness, and swelling, with a discharge of clear fluid that is not lymph. The element in stainless steel that causes allergic reactions in some people is nickel. Polishing the jewelry to a mirror like luster results in a protective layer of chromium oxide which reduces the migration of the Nickel content into the tissue.
One disadvantage of steel is its weight. For larger pieces of jewelry this can be a problem as it can cause tension in the body tissue, and also unwanted stretching or tearing of a piercing. In areas with low blood circulation, such as the earlobe, this can be potentially dangerous. However, with smaller jewelry, there is no need to worry.
Another downside is its tendency to become very cold during winter. This can cause problems; due to this, many change their jewelry to others made of horn, bone, wood, plastics and glass during winter.
The 316 series of stainless has a tendency to work harden and to form a long stringy curl when lathe processed, the use of a chip breaker is recommended. Steel body jewelry may be sterilized in an autoclave.
Specific Gravity 7.95 Melting Point 2550F
Annealing 1850-2050 F (1010-1121 C), followed by rapid cooling. Can only be work hardened, and not hardened by heat.
The two most common standards that apply to body jewelry made of steel are ASTM F138 and ISO 5832-1 which describe the qualities of steel for surgical implants.
The only quality recommended for use by the Association of Professional Piercers is steel that is certified to meet ASTM or ISO standards for surgical implant applications. "Surgical Steel is made of a variety of alloys. Many of them are used for body jewelry, but only a few specific grades are proven biocompatible: steel that is ASTM F138 compliant or ISO 5832-1 compliant"
The following formulations give percentages of material in the mix, single numbers represent maximum values:
Forceps are usually made of 410 stainless (UNS# S41000) which by percentage is composed of: Carbon .15 Manganese 1 Silicon 1 Chromium 11.5-13.5 Nickel .75 Phosphorus .04 Sulfur .03 Note small areas of surface rust are not unusual for this grade of stainless, it tends to be able to be scrubbed off with a wet steel wool soap pad such as Brill-O.
316 Stainless (UNS# S31600), This does not have low carbon content as compared to 316L, 316LM, and 316LVM. Formula Carbon .08 Manganese 2.00 Silicon 1.00 Chromium 16-18 Nickel 10-14 Phosphorus .045 Sulfur .03 Molybdenum 2.0-3.0 Nitrogen .10
316L Stainless (UNS# S31603), the “L” stands for Low Carbon. If any class of steel truly deserves to be called surgical stainless steel these "L" class derivates of 316 would be it, It never develops surface rust and is even resistant to constant salt water exposure. Formula Carbon .03 Manganese 2.00 Silicon 1.00 Chromium 16-18 Nickel 10-14 Phosphorus .045 Sulfur .03 Molybdenum 2.0-3.0 Nitrogen .10 This is the same material as 316LVM only a different process is used in the production of the steel called "Vacuum Melting".
316LM Stainless (UNS# S31653), is very similar to 316L, except with a slightly higher nickel and molybdenum content.
316LVM Stainless has the same elemental composition as 316L, but has been vacuum melted.

Implantanium (trade name)

When the EU passed the nickel law, and common forms of surgical steel were no longer an alternative for new piercings, "Implantanium", a new steel alloy with less nickel, was used, with the aim of replacing the surgical steel as the leading healing jewelry.
However, "Implantanium" never became successful, mainly due to its high prices, uneven quality and a limited choice of jewelry. Instead titanium became the leading material.
The alloy consists of less than 0.05% nickel and is therefore compatible with the EU nickel law. It is safe to use in a healing piercing but as stated above, the choice of jewelry is very limited.


Titanium body jewelry is often manufactured in either commercially pure grades 1 to 5 or grade 23 Ti6AL4V ELI alloy.
The only quality recommended for use by the Association of Professional Piercers is Titanium that is certified to meet ASTM or ISO standards for surgical implant applications. "Look for implant certified titanium (Ti6Al4V ELI) that is ASTM F136 compliant or ISO 5832-3 compliant, or commercially pure titanium that is ASTM F-67 compliant.".
Pure and alloyed qualities have long been used for both piercings and surgical implants, and very few long-term allergies and other complications have been reported, though as with any material they could arise after prolonged contact with the human body. Ti6Al4V ELI alloy contains aluminum and vanadium.
When the EU Nickel Directive came into force - high nickel bearing alloys were restricted from use in primary (new) piercings. Because of its virtually 'Nickel Free' content Titanium has become one of the preferred materials used in piercing jewellery within the borders of the EU.
Titanium jewellery is lightweight (around 60% the weight of stainless steel given the same volume), it is highly corrosion resistant and less likely to react with body fluids, is not magnetic, it can be anodized to create a layer of colored oxide on the surface. Common colors are yellow, blue, purple, green, and rainbow.
Titanium can be sterilized in an autoclave.

Blackline (trade name)

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) coated biomaterials were introduced in medicine in the late 1980s and revolutionized what it was possible to do with materials. It is a technique still used to treat the surface of pacemakers and other medical equipment.
"Blackline" brand jewelry is produced by adding a surface layer of black and highly durable titanium film to a titanium core.
The jewelry is resistant to wear and causes little friction to body tissue.
Allergic reactions to the materials used in "Blackline" are extremely uncommon, which is why it is often used in surgical equipment. Although the surface layer isn't classified as permanent, it is very durable and lasts longer than, for example, anodized titanium, but can not be reapplied in a studio setting.
"Blackline" coated jewelry has been shown suitable for piercings that are still healing, as it is lightweight, safe and durable. However if used where in contact with hard body parts, such as teeth, or if the jewelry is changed frequently, the surface layer can be scraped off. It can be autoclaved.

 Zircon Gold / Zircontwo (trade name)

"Zircontwo" or "Zircon Gold" were developed as an alternative to gold jewelry. The method of production is similar to that of "Blackline" (PVD), but instead of titanium in the film, a material called zirconium nitride is used. The core of the material is most often a high grade titanium alloy called Ti6AL4V ELI. "Zircontwo", like "Blackline", is used in medical equipment.
"Zircontwo" is better suited to a healing piercing than real gold, since it won't discolor as 18K (75%) gold often does. It is also more lightweight and has a smoother surface so it won't cause as much irritation. It is also cheaper and significantly more durable.
"Zircon Gold" / "Zircontwo" can be autoclaved.


Niobium is a metal resembling titanium, but it is softer and heavier. When using niobium in a piercing jewelry it has to be as pure as possible, the threshold value being 99.9% niobium. This is sometimes called "999 Niobium". Impurities in low quality material can lead to allergies.
Pure niobium doesn't react to body fluids, oxygen or cleaning agents. It can safely be autoclaved. It is allowed in healing piercings by the EU nickel law.
Niobium can be heat treated to obtain a permanently dim black surface. A Septum retainer in black niobium is practically invisible.
The selection of niobium jewelry is much smaller than that of titanium and other common metals, mainly because niobium jewelry is more expensive and more difficult to produce.


Jewelry made out of silver, a noble metal, has been common for centuries in all forms of jewelry. It has a certain luster and can also be treated to make certain areas black which gives a nice contrast. However, silver is also one of the most common reasons for nickel allergy.
It should also never be used in new piercings or damaged piercings as blood, sweat and other body fluids as well as cleaning agents can make the silver oxidize which makes the metal black and also releases nickelsalts which can cause severe allergies and also discolor the area around the piercing, a discoloring that will last through life.
The purity of silver is measured in hundreds. The numbers stapled on silver jewelry is what indicates this. For example, 925 means 92.5% silver, and 7.5% other metals, often nickel.


Gold is a noble metal. It is a beautiful metal for use in jewelry and has an old tradition.
When using gold for piercings, a lower purity than 14 or 18 carat (58 to 75%) is not recommended. Neither should gold-plated jewelry be used and even though the EU allows it, gold should never be used in healing piercings.
Gold is about as soft as lead and is easily scratched. These scratches can irritate the body, especially in new piercings. Tongue jewelry made from gold is not recommended as chewing on the beads is common. To avoid the irritation of damaged jewelry from such scratches and flaws, gold colored titanium jewelry is a safer substitute.
Piercing jewelry is often made of a gold alloy, the most common being 18k, with 24k being entirely pure and much softer. 18k gold usually contains 75% gold and the remaining 25% copper, silver and traces of other metals. In lower quality gold, zinc, nickel and other irritants can also be found.
As said, gold jewelry should never be used in healing piercings as body fluids tends to discolor the base metals in the alloy and cause them to tarnish. Allergy to gold is uncommon but it does exist, and then mostly from white gold. In some extreme cases, the copper in the jewelry can tarnish and cause greenish discoloring of the tissue.
Gold can become discolored from autoclaving. It could be several things, reaction to the chemical indicators, residues left from polishing or cleaning products, or corrosion of elements in the gold itself.
Experienced body piercing studios clean the jewelry with a jewelry steamer, and then an ultrasonic process with warm alkaline detergent, followed by a distilled or deionized water rinse, then an alcohol rinse to help remove residues. Use Class 5 or 6 integrating indicators instead of class 1 or 2 chemical process indicators for monitoring autoclave sterilization with gold.


Glass is a common piercing material which has been used for thousands of years. For example, earplugs made of glass have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
If correctly shaped and manufactured, glass is an excellent material: comfortable to wear, tough, and safe for the body. However, cheaper glass beads that are not covered in a metal shell can easily break into shards. If you drop glass jewelry on the floor, you probably won't be able to use it again. Also if you have a cheap bead in a tongue piercing and accidentally chew on it, it can break into tiny shards and cause lacerations.
It is possible to sterilize glass in a steam-autoclave but the heat may cause cracking in cheaper products.


Plastics have been used for a long time for both implants and piercings. Early piercers often used it as a healing jewelry. After the piercing was done, a product resembling a thick fishing line was inserted in the hole and its end was rivetted together. When the piercing was healed, the plastic was cut and pulled out, and then a real jewelry was inserted. The method is still in use today, but to a much smaller extent. There are many better and safer ways today.
Plastic is a light material, with an amazing resistance to the body's chemical reactions and safe against most allergies. However, many plastics have tiny pores, which makes it necessary to often take the jewelry out and thoroughly clean it from skinparts and such.


PTFE or Teflon was invented in 1938 and is used in the medical industry as well as for frying pans.
It is biocompatible, meaning it will not cause allergies. It's a lightweight plastic, it's bendable, autoclaveable, not visible with X-Rays, not magnetic, and very stable. It's well suited for implants and piercings, specially if you want a little elasticity in the jewelry.
It's also a good material to use as retainers, when you need to take out any metal jewelry, like when in surgery or when X-rayed, so that the hole won't shrink.


Wood is a common material for plugs and other shapes. Wooden pieces tend to keep warm in cold conditions, they are lightweight, they often stay in place better than other plugs and also they allow the body to "breathe" so the piercing is less likely to smell as it might with other materials.
The downside of wood as body jewelry is if not cared for properly it may dry out and lose luster. This can be prevented with mineral oil or jojoba oil and avoiding excessive exposure to water.
It should not be autoclaved as that can cause cracking, warping, or splitting.
Wood has grain that will rise if not properly finished, dramatically changing the texture. The porousity of wood and inability to be safely sterilized renders it inappropriate as a material for initial piercings or unhealed stretches.
Some types of wood are strongly discouraged for piercing jewelry as they can cause allergic reactions or otherwise be irritating for the skin. Hardwood is preferable. Correctly treated, it doesn't swell, it's durable, stable, does not absorb a lot of moisture or body fluids, and the surface can be polished to be very smooth.
Wood is also an excellent basis for more advanced jewelry. The flat faces of a plug can be inlaid with gemstones or metals, etc. Wood can easily be shaped and it comes in many colors.


Amber is fossilized tree sap and has a long tradition of use in jewelry. Its most common color is a goldish yellow but it also comes in black, greenish, reddish, white, brown and blue and various blends. It can be found with natural inclusions of small animals, insects and plants which can be amazingly well-preserved.
Amber is commonly used for inlays in metal jewelry or in plugs made of horn, bone or wood etc., but there are also massive amber plugs.
The material has a smooth surface that is kind to the skin, but tends to be a little fragile and can't handle heat very well, so it shouldn't be autoclaved. During winter, it will stay warm.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

18 piece dermal anchor project

i have been working on an 18 piece dermal anchor project since oct 2010. today i put in the last 2 anchors. Sondra took some awesome pictues of it, sadly we didnt take a final picture of it all done! (Will if you read this post, next time you are around this way come in so we can take a few pics!)


An autoclave is an instrument used to sterilize equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121 °C or more, typically for 15–20 minutes depending on the size of the load and the contents. It was invented by Charles Chamberland in 1879, although a precursor known as the steam digester was created by Denis Papin in 1679. The name comes from Greek auto-, ultimately meaning self, and Latin clavis meaning key — a self-locking device.

All piercing and tattoo equipment at the arthouse inc are run through a 4 step sterilization process. Once tools are dirty they soak over night in a germephene bath, in the morning they are taken apart and scrubbed a high suds instrument soap. Once all residue is removed from the tools they go through 1 cycle in our sanyo autoclave

once they come out of this autoclave they are sterile but not done yet! They then get packaged into autoclave tubing or pouches.

they then go into our ritter m9 autoclave for one final sterilization

once they run through the m9 the whole sterilization process is done. none of the packages are touched without a gloved hand.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Scarification is the creative and artistic application of scars in a controlled manner to achieve an aesthetically or spiritually pleasing result. Scarification is considered to be different than Self-Harm, in the body modification community because it is mainly for cosmetic purposes rather than a way to cope with undue stress.
Many people that do these forms of body modification are doing it to mark a rite of passage in their lives. Even though many people hold that scarification is no more painful than tattooing, it is somehow more "intense" to most people. It has very symbolic meaning to them and often their peers or partners.
Typically the goal of scarification is to get raised scarring, preferably keloid scarring, but most people usually heal to hypertrophic scarring. Because scarification has a three dimensional aspect, many people enjoy the feeling of healed scars. As a rule of thumb, darker skin tones usually have better scarring than lighter skin tones.
There are many differnt ways to do scarification. Strike branding with strike branding, a sheet of carbon steel sheet metal is used, which is cut into small one inch strips. Taking the small strips, they are then bent or cut to the desired design. 
From there the pieces are laid on the skin and the edge of the steel is heated with a propane torch. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it is pressed against the skin for a brief moment, which is called a strike. This is done with each piece until the design is completed. 
Cautry branding is done with a design on the skin and a surgical cautery pen (which is very hot) is taken and used to draw along the image on the skin. The finished work can include a much more detailed image than that done by striking.
  One short term benefit over striking is there is no immediate seams that are seen with the cautery method, while with the striking method there temporarily will be seams in the design, although that ultimately turns seamless after time.
Even so, the cautery method leaves more of a natural flowing look, like a brush was used, while the strike method has more of a rigid look that comes from using steel, even if it ends up seamless.
There is also skin removal but cutting with a scalpel. You cut single lines which produce 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

scarification with scalpel

scarification with scalpel
scarification with dermal punch

scarification with dermal punch

scarification done by strike branding

scarification done with electrocautry

Friday, April 8, 2011

origin of tattooing

Origin of Tattooing
Believe it or not, some scientists say that certain marks on the skin of the Iceman, a mummified human body dating from about 3300 B.C., are tattoos. If that’s true, these markings represent the earliest known evidence of the practice. Tattoos found on Egyptian and Nubian mummies date from about 2000 B.C., and classical authors mention the use of tattoos in connection with Greeks, ancient Germans, Gauls, Thracians and ancient Britons.

Tattooing was rediscovered by Europeans when exploration brought them into contact with Polynesians and American Indians. The word tattoo comes from the Tahitian word tattau, which means "to mark," and was first mentioned in explorer James Cook’s records from his 1769 expedition to the South Pacific. Because tattoos were considered so exotic in European and U.S. societies, tattooed Indians and Polynesians drew crowds at circuses and fairs during the 18th and 19th centuries

Tattooing in the 1800s
William Dampher is responsible for re-introducing tattooing to the west. He was a sailor and explorer who traveled the South Seas. In 1691 he brought to London a heavily tattooed Polynesian named Prince Giolo, Known as the Painted Prince. He was put on exhibition , a money making attraction, and became the rage of London. It had been 600 years since tattoos had been seen in Europe and it would be another 100 years before tattooing would make it mark in the West.

In the late 1700s, Captain Cook made several trips to the South Pacific. The people of London welcomed his stories and were anxious to see the art and artifacts he brought back. Returning form one of this trips, he brought a heavily tattooed Polynesian named Omai. He was a sensation in London. Soon, the upper- class were getting small tattoos in discreet places. For a short time tattooing became a fad.

What kept tattooing from becoming more widespread was its slow and painstaking procedure. Each puncture of the skin was done by hand the ink was applied. In 1891, Samuel O'Rtiely patented the first electric tattooing machine. It was based on Edison's electric pen which punctured paper with a needle point. The basic design with moving coils, a tube and a needle bar, are the components of today's tattoo gun. The electric tattoo machine allowed anyone to obtain a reasonably priced, and readily available tattoo. As the average person could easily get a tattoo, the upper classes turned away from it.

By the turn of the century, tattooing had lost a great deal of credibility. Tattooists worked the sleazier sections of town. Heavily tattooed people traveled with circuses and "freak Shows." Betty Brodbent traveled with Ringling Brothers Circus in the 1930s and was a star attraction for years

The Circus
The popularity of tattooing during the latter part of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century owed much to the circus. When circuses prospered, tattooing prospered. When circuses went bankrupt, tattooed people and tattoo artists were out of work.

For over 70 years every major circus employed several completely tattooed people. Some were exhibited in sideshows; others performed traditional circus acts such as juggling and sword swallowing. Rival circuses competed with each other for the services of the most elaborately tattooed show people and paid them handsome salaries. Many of the old-time tattoo artists made most of their money while traveling with circuses during the spring and summer, returning to their shops and homes in the winter. The circus served as a showcase where tattoo artists could attract customers by exhibiting their work to a paying public, and in many cases the only surviving records of the great early tattoo masterpieces has come down to us in the form of photos and posters which were used for circus publicity.

The love affair between tattooing and the circus began in 1804 when the Russian explorer George H. von Langsdorff visited the Marquesas. There he found Jean Baptiste Cabri, a French deserter who had lived for many years among the natives. During this time Cabri had been extensively tattooed and had married a Marquesan woman who bore him several children.

Cabri returned with Langsdorff to Russia where he enjoyed a brief but successful theatrical career in Moscow and St. Petersberg. Langsdorff reports that _although he has by degrees become reconciled to European customs, he still thinks with delight of the men whom he formerly killed and exchanged for swine, or perhaps ate._ Cabri told such extravagant tales of his adventures among the savages that, according to Langsdorff, _ anyone who heard him relate them would be disposed to think himself listening to a second Munchhausen._

After working for a year as a swimming instructor in the Marine Academy at Cronstadt Cabri resumed his theatrical career and toured Europe, where he was examined by distinguished physicians and exhibited to royalty. But within a few years his career went into decline. During the last years of his life he was forced to compete with trained dogs and other popular amusements in country fairs. In 1812 he died, poor and forgotten, in his birthplace, Valenciennes.
Tattooing in the 1900s
The birthplace of the American style tattoo was Chatham Square in New York City. At the turn of the century it was a seaport and entertainment center attracting working-class people with money. Samuel O'Riely cam from Boston and set up shop there. He took on an apprentice named Charlie Wagner. After O'Reily's death in 1908, Wagner opened a supply business with Lew Alberts. Alberts had trained as a wallpaper designer and he transferred those skills to the design of tattoos. He is noted for redesigning a large portion of early tattoo flash art.

While tattooing was declining in popularity across the country, in Chatham Square in flourished. Husbands tattooed their wives with examples of their best work. They played the role of walking advertisements for their husbands' work. At this time, cosmetic tattooing became popular, blush for cheeks, coloured lips, and eyeliner. With world war I, the flash art images changed to those of bravery and wartime icons.

In the 1920s, with prohibition and then the depression, Chathma Square lost its appeal. The center for tattoo art moved to Coney Island. Across the country, tattooists opened shops in areas that would support them, namely cities with military bases close by, particularly naval bases. Tattoos were know as travel markers. You could tell where a person had been by their tattoos.

After world war II, tattoos became further denigrated by their associations with Marlon Brando type bikers and Juvenile delinquents. Tattooing had little respect in American culture. Then, in 1961 there was an outbreak of hepatitis and tattooing was sent reeling on its heels.

Though most tattoo shops had sterilization machines, few used them. Newspapers reported stories of blood poisoning, hepatitis, and other diseases. The general population held tattoo parlors in disrepute. At first, the New York City government gave the tattoos an opportunity to form an association and self- regulate, but tattooists are independent and they were not able to organize themselves. A health code violation went into effect and the tattoo shops at Times Square and Coney Island were shut down. For a time, it was difficult to get a tattoo in New York. It was illegal and tattoos had a terrible reputation. Few people wanted a tattoo. The better shops moved to Philadelphia and New Jersey where it was still legal.

In the late 1960s, the attitude towards tattooing changed. Much credit can be given to Lyle Tuttle. He is a handsome, charming, interesting and knows how to use the media. He tattooed celebrities, particularly women. Magazines and television went to Lyle to get information about this ancient art form.

thanks to the art of tattoo for the info