What's your opinion on people such as Russ Foxx, Chase Campbell, Pineapple, etc?
The following isn’t an attack on any of the people you mentioned specifically…
Here’s the deal. Sutures, anesthetics, that kind of stuff… it’s surgery. As far as I know, no body modification artists are licensed surgeons. That doesn’t mean these “heavy” practitioners can’t be safe, or knowledgeable, but it means laws are being broken when they execute procedures on people. That’s all fine and dandy, really, if both parties are aware of the risks - largely that the practitioner doesn’t have the ability to really and truly “fix” things that might go wrong (prescribing medication, malpractice insurance that would cover hospital visits, etc.).
I really don’t think many people who offer these procedures are telling this to their clients - sure, some do, but a lot don’t. This promotes the mindset we see of “OMG, so and so is in town, I’m going to get my _______ split / removed / altered / reversed”, and not “OMG, I’m spending tons of money to have someone who most likely didn’t complete college do surgery on me, and if something goes wrong, I’m on my own!” I know people with irreparable damage to their bodies from people who didn’t know how to say “I shouldn’t do this.” Clients of these practitioners think what they’re doing is a step cooler than tattoos and piercings, and feel pressured from their peers and role models to be more “extreme”. Cool points don’t cover hospital bills though.
I think the piercing industry has a habit of elevating the people who offer these procedures to a really high status, and I think that encourages people to view being a professional piercer as a stepping stone to being an underground surgeon. For every person out there I personally might trust to do these procedures on myself, there’s dozens of others solely out to make money and seek fame who are hurting people. It scares me that if I wanted, I could buy all the medical supplies I’d need to do an implant online far easier than I could buy the supplies to do a piercing with industry standard jewelry. It saddens me that people contact me all the time asking me to point their ears / do their implants / whatever when I have never even alluded to offering those procedures. I could easily just start doing this stuff, with no idea what I’m doing, and people are already lined up to give me money for it.
The most scary thing is that A LOT of the people offering this work shove it in the public’s face via social media, and because these people are “body piercers” in the eyes of government officials, when they decide to attack this stuff, they’re coming after ALL body piercers, not just the people offering this level of work.
Is it safe to get a piercing with anodized jewelry?
Yes, anodized jewelry is perfectly safe for an initial piercing (assuming the jewelry itself is an implant grade material with a proper surface finish and appropriate threading).
So, there’s two kinds of colored jewelry you’ll find with body jewelry.
PVD (physical vapor deposition)
In a nutshell, this is considered bad for fresh piercings, and arguably for healed piercings too.
This method of coloring jewelry consists of thin films of a material being applied to the jewelry via a vacuum deposition process. You have likely seen this kind of jewelry at some retail stores that carry costume-type body jewelry.
This added film of material has a tendency of flaking off rather quickly when worn inside a body piercing. This can be problematic as the jewelry becomes quite unpleasant looking, and the small flakes can sometimes cause discomfort or irritation in a fresh piercing.
For jewelry that needs to be bent to get on or off, captive bead rings for instance, the coating is even more prone to flaking off as it cannot flex or bend with the metal, the coated material breaks off.
The metals we use in body piercing that can be anodized (titanium & niobium) cannot naturally turn red, white, orange or super shiny black, so you can easily spot PVD coated jewelry when you see these colors.
Here are some examples of jewelry that I found labeled as “anodized steel” or “matte finish steel”. These are bad.
^^The blue color on top can be achieved when anodizing titanium or niobium, but the red cannot. These are both PVD coated steel pieces.
^^Here is another example of a color that body jewelry cannot safely turn to. This one is labeled as a “matte finish steel” ring. This too is not appropriate for fresh piercings.
Niobium can turn black, but that is done with a heating process, causing the metals color to turn black from the inside out, not just on the surface, and it’s perfectly safe and will not flake off.
Though niobium can have a very nice dark black finish, it’s not that Batman super super black you see on PVD coated pieces.
Currently, no body jewelry manufacturer that offers PVD coated jewelry can provide documentation (MSDS) to show the material they’re coating with is safe for long term wear inside the body.
Here’s an example of niobium that has had the heating process to change it’s color naturally to black:
Titanium or Niobium anodized jewelry achieves its colors in a process where electricity is introduced to the metal, and is perfectly safe for fresh and healed piercings.
There are other metals and alloys that can be anodized, and some can turn other colors, such as red, but for the sake of body piercing jewelry we’re only dealing with titanium and niobium.
Anodizing forces the titanium or niobium’s oxide layer to grow thicker. Basically, it screws up the way light bounces off the surface of the jewelry, giving us the effect of a copper, bronze, purple, etc. colored piece of jewelry.
In some instances with anodized jewelry, the colors can start to fade or go back down the color chart (pictured below). This isn’t always the case, but sometimes this can be caused by body cleaning products or even your body’s own pH. This fading is not anything flaking off into your body, but rather the oxide layer being worn away, which poses no health concern to you or your fresh piercing.
So some key notes regarding the metals we use in body piercing:
Steel does not anodize. Its color cannot change unless it is PVD coated. Jewelry labeled as “anodized steel”, “titanium coated steel” or something similar is not appropriate for a fresh piercing.
F136 or F67 titanium does not turn black. So jewelry labeled as “black titanium” is not appropriate for a fresh piercing.
Hope you find this helpful with picking out your future jewelry for initial piercings.
So while I was scrolling through tumblr today I saw this meme of a google search auto complete. This is something that comes up all the time at my studio and I’ve never thought to address it here.
Yes, at one point a single earlobe piercing was used to signify sexual orientation. A kind of subtle nod to those in the know. Over the years that is something which has faded away. Now many people wear a single lobe piercing simply for the joy of self expression, there is no hidden meaning to it. I can’t count how many times people have asked “which side is the gay side?”. My default answer is now a deadpan “both are”.
So let’s just enjoy the art of piercing and stop worrying about what they signify. There are no piercings that make you gay. Although you do run the risk of becoming FABULOUS.
Hiya! First off, I love your blog <3 Secondly I wanted to ask the price for some piercings. I want to have an industrial, one cartilage, and one tragus. How much would that cost in both USD and Euro? (I live in Germany but there's also American piercing shops around here who take both $ and € )
Hi there! Thanks! I am glad you like my blog! :)
As for your question, it really isn’t something I can answer! There is a big variation in prices that shops charge, because there is often a big variation in the overheads for running a shop, depending on the country and area. Your best bet would be to contact the studios you’re keen on visiting and get some quotes from them :)
About the project, according to the show(I know reality shows aren't truthful) the girl was dared to let the piercer give her any piercing he wanted and he choose that for a cool portfolio pic. Some are only blaming the girl, it's not 100% her fault
Yeah, absolutely the piercer is to blame here.
Piercers: Your clients trust you to do right by them. They trust you as a professional that you’re going to take care of them, do the best you can by them. They trust that you know what you’re doing, they trust that everything in your studio is clean, they trust that you won’t harm them by knowingly giving them a piercing (or 70) that will cause long-term damage to their bodies.
Your challenge Mr. Garcia? I'm sorry, who the hell are you, and should I know you? So let me get this straight a man who I don't know, and why should I he's a nobody, Wants me to take time out of my busy schedule, and make him a piece of shit gold septum ring... While I am making $150,000 engagement rings, to prove what to whom? Let me state this, number one the only reason why I landed on AJ's page was because my niece wanted to get her nose pierced, went to your friends studio and wanted to
This whole first paragraph is continued from this moron’s ask response to me :
"Get her nose pierced with a piece of gold jewelry. After texting me and telling me the prices, I then googled the studio and somehow landed on AJ’s Tumblr. That would explain why I am under anonymous, because I don’t give a shit about any of this stuff. I simply called him out because what he is doing and selling is completely ridiculous. After reading his posts, and hearing him talk about the quality of jewelry, made me fucking laugh. And yes Mr. Garcia my family and I are 82% owners of Diamond mind in south Africa. Complaining about prices? Now I wasn’t complaining, I was simply trying to make everybody aware that AJ is a rip off, and what he is selling and for the prices he is selling them at is complete fucking bullshit. Now I don’t understand why you stuck nose in this argument, but like I said I have no idea who you are, because you are a nobody. Why don’t you do your self a favor, I don’t care if you have been piercing for 50 years, go get yourself a reputable Occupation, maybe even an education, and when you are done doing all of that, maybe then I will make you that gold septum piece u so badly want : But I can guarantee you this, it won’t be a fucking rip off. Now do your self a favor, go back to piercing 15 year old girls and making a difference in this world. Here’s an idea, maybe you should go to law school since you like fighting other people’s battles so bad. Have a great day fellas!!!! Oh, and I almost forgot, don’t forget to send this to AJ, so he can re-blogged this or whatever!!!! lMFAO maybe when we are all off of our periods, we can go get a beer and settle this the right way! Happy piercing"
And my response:
Wow, just wow.
Apparently all that metalsmithing had ruined your reading comprehension.
I do not covet any jewelry from you. You ran your mouth, so I asked you to pony up and see if you could meet our current standards for polish, since you seem to think that you could do as good a job for a cheaper price. Then we could put it side by side with the stuff that AJ uses, that you claim is a rip off, so we can compare quality. By the way you were talking, one would think that should be a quick and easy job for you. Apparently not, so you just spouted off a bunch of irrelevant nonsense.
Let’s touch on some of your moronic banter, shall we?
First, who am I? I’m one of the better known body piercers in the world who has taught technique classes all over the world.
I have an education. I have two bachelors, one in biology, and another in chemistry, from George Washington University in DC. From the sounds of it, I’m clearly more educated than you.
I chose to work in this field because it makes me happy. Simple as that. I wouldn’t expect you to understand that, though, since you sound like the typical spoiled brat that is raised by a family that owns a blood mine. Money is all you care about. You’d probably sell your own family out for a thousand bucks.
As for making $150,000 wedding rings, do you realize how hypocritical you are being? It’s well known that the typical markup for such rings is over 1000% (verified by several Philadelphia jeweler’s row jewelers, and by me purchasing my husband’s wedding band for cost at (under $10,000 when it’s retail value on jewelers row was over $150,000)
You’re more guilty than AJ, since you claim to be one of the family that owns this style of business.
All AJ is doing is pricing accordingly to what he was charged wholesale. Maybe it’s the wiser people in your family business that handle that kind of stuff, but let me explain it for you: every business sells their items for at least 200% more than what they payed to acquire it. It’s simple economics.
I interjected because you were full of total shit, and that’s how tumblr works. I can chose to interject and respond to blathering monkeys like you. At least I’m not doing it anonymously.
You point the finger at our industry, when yours is more guilty than almost any other industry of the same thing, only to a way higher extent.
As for your name calling, really? That’s all you have? Calling me a nobody?
That falls flatter than a skeletons’ tits, grey face.
We’ve had some requests for a breakdown on piercing studio etiquette for piercing clients, and a few people asking about common gripes piercers may have.
Below is our first installment for etiquette, and things we generally like to complain about as whiny body piercers (kidding…..sort of).
We hope you all find this handy.
And other piercers, please feel free to chime in with your additions.
This post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the APP or its members. It is the opinion of the author.
(In no particular order)
1) Do not touch, handle or remove your body jewelry in the studio.
This is a big one for most of us. Even though you likely don’t think it’s a big deal, we don’t want your cooties all over the studio. When you take out your navel jewelry or bring in your old circular barbell from your retired PA and then proceed to touch the display cases, pens, (heaven forbid) jewelry we’re showing you….. We’re pretty much having a silent mental break down (pictured below). Now we need to disinfect everything you touched.
Some piercers may come across as a little gruff when they tell you to not handle your jewelry, but it’s only because we want a clean and safe studio for you and all of our other clients.
So if you are bringing jewelry in, please have it in a sealed bag. And if you need to show us your piercing or jewelry, just don’t touch it.
2) Please bring proper identification
Even in areas that may not have written body piercing regulations, you should always have government/state issued ID with you when you come in for a piercing. No reputable piercer will do your piercing without an ID.
This is especially applicable when it comes to piercing minors. Generally, most piercing studios will require official ID’s from the minor and guardian, both with matching last names and addresses. If there is a difference with you and your guardians last names or addresses, bring a copy of your birth certificate.
Depending on your state/county regulations, if a minor does not have an official form of ID, a current school ID, the guardian’s ID and a birth certificate can be used (check with your local studio before going in).
In and of them self, school ID’s, insurance cards, gym membership cards, etc. do not count as an official form of identification.
If your legal guardian is somebody other than your mother or father, be prepared to also have paperwork from the court/state proving said person is your legal guardian.
3) Don’t forget to eat something
Naturally, clients can get a little nervous before a piercing, whether it’s their first time or 50th. That’s totally fine.
Do yourself a favor and eat a full meal a few hours before getting pierced. This will help you out a bunch and can prevent you from feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous after your piercing.
From time to time, clients faint. This is not due to some extremely painful experience. It is almost always because they haven’t eaten recently and you’re riding that awesome piercing high that consists of nervousness and excitement.
Eating a good full meal (a tube of Pringles doesn’t count…) and going easy on caffeine beforehand can make your piercing experience much easier and pleasant.
4) Smoking, chewing tobacco, food and drinks
Please use common courtesy while in a studio, especially in a piercing room.
It is never okay to smoke inside of a studio, and most of us do not like when you put a wad of chew in your mouth and spit in a little cup while walking around the lobby. Please do that outside.
Bottled water is fine, but please respect a studios policy on food or drinks (some studios do not allow anything besides water in the studio), and no food or drinks besides water should be brought into the piercing room itself.
5) Don’t price shop
We care about you, and we want you to have a beautiful, quality, safe piercing that will last you a life time.
It’s not your fault that you have good taste, so don’t bite our head off when you ask how much the gold septum clicker with genuine diamonds is. Yes, it’s more expensive than the titanium clicker. It’s gold. Those are diamonds. Please don’t act like we just asked for the soul of your first born.
There are a LOT of styles of jewelry you can choose from, and we can certainly find lots of pretty, quality pieces that fit your budget.
If you walk in expecting a $25 deal, that’s not going to happen with quality jewelry and appropriate sterilizing equipment (some quality studios will offer occasional sales or discounts, so that’s a little different).
Realistically, you should be prepared to spend at least $60-100 for most piercings with quality jewelry, give or take depending on the jewelry you select. That’s referring to a single piercing.
6) All sales are final
Most studios will not do an exchange or refund on your worn jewelry.
If the jewelry had some sort of defect, let’s say a gem fell out of it’s setting, then that is covered under warranty of nearly all reputable manufacturers and we will be more than happy to get that fixed.
But if you simply changed your mind on the color gem you picked out last week, or you’re coming in for a downsize on your initial jewelry, no, we cannot take your old ones throw them in the sterilizer and re-sell them. Doing so would be unethical and unsanitary.
7) You are likely not a piercing expert
We get it, you’ve been pierced twenty times, and we love you for it. You’ve read through The APP’s website (shameless plug!) and you’re pretty knowledgeable. That’s great, and that’s what we want.
But when you’re questioning why the piercer has your friend laying down for their piercing when you always had yours done sitting up, and why are we suggesting you don’t use things like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on a fresh piercing when that’s what you did and you healed up totally fine, and that’s what your piercer back home told you to do and he’s legit and a master piercer because he told you so and has lots of piercings…………………. Just….Relax.
There is more than one right way to perform a piercing. Some piercers will use a clamp on your navel, some may do it with no tools. That’s okay.
Now having said that, OF COURSE you should be picky and cautious if you see anything that doesn’t seem safe, sanitary or in general makes you feel uncomfortable.
As a client you do have rights. And it is not hard to look up the basic fundamentals on what things you should or should not be using on fresh piercings. (See?)
8) Piercings and their names
You’ve probably heard body piercers on their podiums preaching about piercings being renamed and how it is wrong. In this day and age of the internet, it’s not your fault if you didn’t know that “spider bites” isn’t a real name for two lip piercings. Piercings get all kinds of goofy new names all the time online.
That doesn’t give us the right to talk down to you like you’re an idiot. In fact, I can’t stand when piercers do that. But it can be frustrating when a client looks at us as if we’re a total noob because we don’t know what the hell a dolphin bite is.
So in a nutshell, if it has the word “bite” or “bites”, that’s not the correct name. And that’s okay. Just point on your face to show us what it is you’d like to have pierced.
Our friend Rob Hill was kind enough to make a handy chart we can all use.
So that wraps up this first installment.
We hope this information is helpful and gets spread around a little, and hopefully the lighthearted humor doesn’t put anybody off….. But seriously, dolphin bites? Really?
u seriously pay $200-400 for a fucking septum ring? like how the hell am I supposed to afford anything from bvla this has to be a joke that's so much money I can't believe ppl spend that much on a god damn ring
How much do you think gold is?! Those are made by hand and a lot of work goes into them. People pay that much for cell phones, shoes, and purses so why not a piece of jewelry you can keep for the rest of your life?
Hi there! First off I love your blog! I have a question about my rook. I had it done about 7-8 weeks ago at an OK shop. When I went to a different and much better shop yesterday, they said my rook was pierced shallow and to watch out for rejection. It hasn't been acting up and looking at other pictures it looks like its in a normal position? For about the first week there was a LOT of pain and now theres still a TINY pain if I touch the back of my ear. But no visible infection. What gives?
Well, first of all, in future you should only get pierced at shops offering a high level of experience and service! Your health is always worth a bit more of a monetary investment :)
Without seeing your rook, I can’t say whether or not you’re at risk for rejection, though rejection sometimes takes a long time, sometimes months, of tiny movements that people often don’t even notice.
Also, looking at photos on the internet can often not be a great way to find well-done and well-placed piercings. There are a LOT of poorly done piercings around on the internet, so its always best to check with a reputable piercer rather than Google ;)
Infection is also extremely rare, in my experience, and definitely not something that goes hand-in-hand with rejection. You may notice signs of irritation during the rejection process (even if you don’t notice the piercing migrating), and while sometimes this can mimic the signs of infection, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from one!