Last night I started the process of proofreading the next Better Safe than Ari interview; getting everything formatted, cruising Facebook and Instagram to source photos to accompany the text and trying to get it done in time for a self imposed but wholly arbitrary deadline. I fell asleep with the noble goal of finishing everything up today.
When I woke up this morning I learned that the subject of the piece, tattoo artist and former piercer Ken Dean, had suffered a great loss only hours before. The space he was living in burned down. He lost everything he owned save for his car and the clothes on his back and worst of all his two beloved dogs, Tanaka and Barry, were both lost in the fire.
I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through right now, processing the loss of his two best friends while having to face the reality of having to completely start over.
A GOFUNDME has been set up in Ken’s name to help with things; should you have a little extra to spare you can find the campaign here: Fresh start for Ken @ Gofundme.
From the upcoming interview:
Ken- We would go over Jack’s house and he was fuckin’ hilarious. One time I pulled up on my little motorcycle and there was a limo out front – Jack was piercing someone from British Parliament! There were guards everywhere, he was like, “Ken come back in like an hour!” We’d just hang out and swim in the pool, he’d keep body parts around everywhere, I mean I thought it was neat, any kid would think it was neat! He had a big fuckin’ statue of David with a towel around it, and one time I pulled the towel off and David had a huge fuckin’ dick, like not the normal David dick. He had a big painting in his bedroom of Mickey Mouse fucking Donald Duck, he was a fuckin’ funny dude.
Happy New Year, everyone, and happy fourth anniversary to Sacred Debris!
It’s been a heck of a run so far, and I’m hoping that we can do fun things in 2018.
One of the best additions to the blog in 2017 were the BETTER SAFE THAN ARI interviews that Ari Pimsler has been working on; he’s managed to chat with a pretty impressive lineup of current and former body piercers so far, and our list for the new year is already shaping up to be something special. Getting these memories recorded is very much at the heart of what our goal is here at SD, and with that in mind we’re going to be rolling out a print edition of the BSTA interviews. It’s currently in the pre-order phase over at our online store (HEXAPPEAL) and should be ready in no time at all.
Volume One of the collection contains interviews with:
To celebrate Cyber Monday, the Sandbox Sponsor membership tier will be offered for $150. This level of donation unlocks all of the members only content- Supporter, Patron and Sponsor- for 59% off of it’s normal price.
The funds collected via these “memberships” directly keep the Sacred Debris project afloat; buying new hardware (external hard drives, cloud stories, aging media platforms) and if I’m lucky, time spent keeping all the plates spinning and wheels greased. We’re going to be announcing 2018’s yearlong project soon, and the money collected with these memberships will help kickstart that, so your donation will go directly to funding the archival and restoration of some amazing one of a kind content!
The membership lasts for one year and includes an invite to the private Sacred Debris Facebook group* where in progress and exclusive content is posted.
I can’t remember what the first question I ever asked Jim Ward was; I’m sure it was three in the morning and I was going through a stack of photos and needed to identify the subject in a print and saw that Jim was active online so I shot a quick message out (or any number of other “Jim, do you have a second?” scenarios that have come up since then) without really appreciating how blessed and privileged I- and we as a piercing community- was to be able to have Jim around to help bring the early years of our communal history to life.
I’m certainly appreciative of it now though. Jim is infinitely patient and engaging with those of us who are passionate about modern body piercing and it’s history. For years I’ve been an evangelist for his book RUNNING THE GAUNTLET, (which you can pick up here) because it allows folks who were too young to experience Jim’s era of piercing a window in; piercers who weren’t born when Jim hung up his needles and retired from being a professional body piercer. But the crew at 23rd Street Body Piercing have upped the ante, inviting Jim Ward to spend a few days in November at their shop, offering one on one visits with one of the most important figures in the history of body piercing. What’s more- you can also get pierced by Jim during your visit! Piercings would have to be pre-approved by Jim, but let me tell you this is an amazing opportunity. From 23rd Street Body Piercing:
“We are super excited to announce that Jim Ward will be doing a guest spot here at 23rd Street Body piercing this November! There are only 20 spots available. If you want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to have 1-on-1 time with Jim you’ll be required to place a $500 non-refundable deposit all of which will go to Jim. This industry would not be what it is today without him, please show your support.
To book please click the link below. If you have any questions please email [email protected]
*The hour with Jim may be spent in what ever way you may seem fit. Your hour can be a rare chance for a good visit, and could also include getting pierced. Piercings performed in that hour must be pre-approved by Jim at the time of booking and included in the appointment notes section of the booking.”
This is a rarer than rare chance to pick Jim’s brain, maybe leave with something shiny, and show your support to a true pioneer!
I met Nicholas Adams a few years ago in Las Vegas at the APP Conference and Expo. He was wearing a skin tight Fred Perry, had a Bill the Butcher gleam in his eye and called me a Geezer. Over the course of our friendship he’s been an occasional houseguest, an Uncle to my Italian Greyhound (who he calls Suzanne despite it being a male hound named Bailey) and even married one of my favorite people in the world.
He’s also the funniest person I’ve ever met.
My newer friend Will sat down with Nicholas on his “podcast” to discuss the trials and tribulations of being an on-the-road body piercer; if that sounds like your cup of tea you should check it out. From the show’s description:
In this weeks episode, we speak about a topic that is gaining quite a bit of momentum in the industry. That topic is being a Traveling Body Piercer. As we see, the demand for a unique individual that can seamlessly cover days, or even weeks at high end studios. It is becoming clear that this is a viable option for a body piercer.
That brings us to this weeks guest, the journeyman himself, Nicholas Adams. Nicholas has been exclusively traveling the country working in some of the most well-known studios across America. We take some time to discuss the pros and cons of traveling, what we both think is best for your social media and what it takes to be a rambling man in this industry.
Real Talk is a podcast from the minds of piercing industry professionals on piercing and piercing culture. Each episode is centered on a common theme with a guest. We will discuss things such as piercing methods,industry topics, jewelry, and culture. Real Talk is hosted by professional body piercer Will VonDoome.
My social media streams have started to fill up with status updates and scores of photos from friends attending the 2017 APP Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the majority of activities won’t kick off until Monday, June 12th it seems like a lot of folks headed to Vegas early with over 1000 registered guests slated for this year’s event, which I’m told may be a record. I had planned on sitting out again this year, but the prospect of piercer/anthropologist Paul King’s 2017 offering encouraged me to book a trip out west for what promises to be a class that was made specifically with me in mind.
If you’re attending the Conference this year make sure to stop me and say hello!
The folks at PS Media are running an Indiegogo campaign to assist in the publication of an updated version of the classic Stelarc book The Obsolete Body. Campaign perks include volume discounts on multiple copies, postcards, posters and other books released by PSM.
When PS Media approached Stelarc to suggest that we could run a new edition of Obsolete Body, his immediate response was that it would be more interesting to publish a new book that contains a complete presentation of his suspension performances, as well as new articles and a different selection of images. We agreed immediately! It is with great pride and joy that we can now announce that PS Media will publish Stelarc’s new book: Stretched Skin—Obsolete, Uncertain and Indifferent Body.
Stretched Skin will focus on Stelarc’s suspension performances—from the very first in 1976 to the most recent in in 2012, including the collaborations with Håvve Fjell and Wings of Desire in 2012 and 2013. The book will also contain some of Stelarc’s other performances; where they have direct relevance to, or lead up to, the suspension series.
Stretched Skin will be a work of art in itself. It is a book on art by an artist, with layout and design by our award winning team. PS Media takes great pride in publishing high quality books. Our choice of printer and materials is made with careful consideration to professional and ethical standards, so that our customers receive a high quality work that they will be proud to own and display in the years to come.
You can find out more here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stretched-skin-a-book-by-stelarc-photography-art#/
Happy New Years from Sacred Debris!
Today marks the start of our 4th year as a blog. I hope that you folks enjoy what we’re doing here. The site is still in a state of semi-hiatus but I’ve got a few new posts in the works so check back (or better yet- subscribe!) soon. As always: likes, shares, comments and tips are appreciated.
This photo dates back to the late 1970s and features a very dashing tattooed/pierced gentleman. No artist/model credit was included with the 35mm print.
I meant to post a little blurb on the SD tumblr back in June when I read that Tom Leppard had passed away but never got around to it. Luckily our friend George in the UK was kind enough to send over a clipping of Tom’s obituary which was a perfect reminder.
Tom- born Tom Woolridge in 1930- was a career soldier who transformed himself through tattooing into The Leopard Man of Skye. Living a solitary hermit’s life in a small hut without electricity Tom would kayak into town for groceries and supplies, begrudgingly appearing at tattoo conventions to make extra income. We have some photos of Tom in the SD archives that will eventually make it onto the site.
The core value of Sacred Debris is to resurrect old mementos and put a new shine on them. Photographs, videos and body modification culture ephemera from the last few decades all polished and presented in a new context..
Which is sort of what I’ve done with the site’s layout. I was never (even remotely) in love with the WordPress theme we’ve been using since launching the blog in 2014 and, frustrated, I made the move tonight to aesthetically merge Sacreddebris.com and it’s tattoo sister-site Occultvibrations.com to add some consistency to my two history sites. They’re remaining their own unique entities (with the occasional shared post) but will look like one cohesive site.
It may be confusing, but I assure you it’s for the greater good. Or at least my own satisfaction.