BMExSPC007: Knuckle Piercing


Piercer: Tom Brazda.
Studio: Stainless Studios, Toronto (since closed)
Client: Shannon Larratt.
Source: Hard copy photo submission to spcOnline.
Date: 1996/1997 (exact date unsure)

I had a Tumblr message asking for more posts from piercing’s “middle school” era, so I dug out one of the 1990s albums and found these shots, submitted to the spcO site back in the late 1990s by Shannon Larratt of BMEZINE.COM. I’m not sure I ever actually added them to the site back then.

During the mid/late 1990s piercers challenged the ‘if it protrudes, pierce it” ethic of the previous generation, trying out new piercings, new techniques, new jewelry and aftercare. Sometimes things worked out, sometimes they didn’t, but the experimentation was integral to the evolution of the modern piercing community.


Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.

5 thoughts on “BMExSPC007: Knuckle Piercing

  1. I always found that amusing… the idea of pierce anything you could stick a needle into. Yet here I was castigated from the community, outcast, for daring to do large GA piercings in normal areas and *gasp* heal them in 1/3rd the time. “How dare I do so”.

    1. and now its a norm and every day thing to do in a lot of them. go figure. But sadly ask them who you are, or Tom,etc and they stare blankly.

      My generation and the generation after failed us all. Except for Shawn, he does his best to keep us all in check and not forget. 😉

  2. I think I vaguely recall Tom having some more pics of these as well. Being mentored by him, I can’t even remember everything we talked about or he showed me. Every day it was like I fell deep down the rabbit hole of Body Piercing and was consumed by its awesomeness.

  3. I was maybe the last of Tom’s apprentices, starting in late 1999ish iirc. Of all the things I’ve gone onto so since, including a further decade as a piercer and now working as an architect, I can’t remember a more intense, interesting, and completely fulfilling time of my life. Nearly every single day, Tom and I would experiment in the jewelry shop, or the piercing room. He’d walk me home every day, in the opposite direction of his home, just so we could continue our conversations about body modification. At the time, along with Steve H., Tom was the leading mind in the industry, in my biased but expert opinion. Thanks for posting this, Shawn.

  4. As Tom’s current apprentice, I can assure you he never stopped teaching.
    Also, as a young blood, I’d like to restore a little faith that there are still those among us coming up who care enough to learn our history.

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