Location: Crystal Springs, Florida.
Year: Approximately 1988.
A selection of Silver Anchor Body Jewelry fresh from the buffing station.
Items include tapered insertion pins, captive ball rings, barbells, screw on ball rings, stainless steel shackles and guiche weights.
On Saturday, August 2nd I’m going to be having a small birthday party at the Overground Cinema in Philadelphia where we’ll be screening some classic Body Modification films. I’m still finalizing the roster, which will include a mix of professional documentaries like Dances Sacred and Profane and the Marionette alongside some of the classic homemade footage you’ve seen on Sacred Debris.
We’ll be screening them on a full sized movie theater screen. And there will be popcorn. What more can you ask for! As a thank you, anyone who’s contributed to Sacred Debris in any way- through our donate button, with providing media players or content, etc is invited to come and join the fun. Just contact me for information!
Oh. I forgot. Month to date (July) we’ve had almost 7000 viewers here on the blog. It would seem that there’s people enjoying the content we publish- and if everyone who enjoyed an article donated $1 we could easily buy the hardware we need to add new (old) content. So. If you’re feeling generous- please hit the donate button on the right. Consider it a birthday present. Feeling appreciated for what we do goes a long way to keeping the site online.
Consider a piece of body jewelry.
Not some piece of mass produced low quality mall kiosk belly button ring with vibrating dolphin charm, but a beautiful handmade piece of wearable art made by an artisan company that takes pride in producing the finest jewelry available. Each piece takes time to be realized, created and quality checked before it moves to the next step in the chain- the folks who pack it up with care and send it to you knowing that you’re sitting around your mailbox counting the seconds until it arrives.
It’s a process with a lot of moving parts that works well in harmony and leaves both ends of the transaction happy.
Consider Sacred Debris.
Today is our one month anniversary. In that time, we’ve had almost 10,000 visitors. The most popular post for unique page views was Evolution of a Subculture: ModCon, the most traffic from a referring link was from Luis Garcia’s tumblr and we’ve had contributions from myself, Allen Falkner, Ron Garza and Luna Duran. During our first month I think we’ve managed to set a tone for what you can expect in the coming weeks.
As readers, you folks have left 214 comments on the 21 posts we’ve created. One of my main worries in starting a new project (with SPCOnline and Scarwars.net under my belt) was that it would be a one sided thing. Our team (which is mostly me right now) doing all of the work and having nothing to show for it in the end. I’ve been pleased to see that level of interaction- of community- with the Sacred Debris project. It may seem to be an afterthought, but discussing the articles really does make a difference. It shows us that the content is being read and appreciated, that there’s a market for something as incredibly niche as Body Modification history. The reblogs on tumblr, twitter and Facebook are also incredibly helpful in bringing visibility to what we’re doing, so keep that up. We’re going to be doing random contests for comments and reblogs- tshirts, original photographs from the SPC archive, posters- so there’s going to be some fun stuff coming (starting tonight with the ‘Do you remember your first PA’ contest) so stay tuned.
That brings us to the little button beneath this post. DONATE. Both sides- reader and editors- working together.
We’re never going to do a ‘hard sell’ on donations; this is not a paid site (our PG rated videos come with google ads and we may accept paid ads from reputable shops/jewelry in the future, but there will never be a fee to view content) but the site does cost money to create and maintain. At the moment, our server space and bandwidth is being donated but we have no escrow account if that were to ever change. Given the explicit content of our site we can’t run on WordPress.com’s servers, so should we lose our server we lose our site.
Then there’s the hardware.
To date, most of the videos I’ve added- of Body Modification icons like Jack Yount, Ed Fenster and Til of Cardiff- has been content I’ve previously captured for other projects- videos that were sitting on DVDrs unedited. Capturing new content means needing storage space. Capturing an hour long video (such as Sailor Sid’s Guide to Safe Piercing) at full resolution for archival clocks in somewhere around 30-60gb depending on the settings. When they’re uploaded they’re considerably smaller, but to preserve these tapes for future generations requires storage- more storage than I have.
We also need to purchase- or arrange donations- for a variety of media players including mini-dv and 8mm, as well as negative scanners for old analog 35mm print archival.
Last but certainly not least is time. With my current setup, adding a 10 minute video to Sacred Debris takes as much as ten hours to get online. Sorting the tapes that are often unlabeled. Scanning them from start to finish to make sure that all the content on the tape is accounted for. Importing it into my macbook. Cleaning up or removing audio, editing it down into a usable movie when then has to render and get uploaded before I sit down to write the article that accompanies it.
As a reader, you then sit down, watch a five-ten minute video, possibly leave a comment, share on social media and wait for the next update.
My hope is that the folks who care about this kind of content will want to see the project continue and will throw a few bucks into the hat to keep it going. If every viewer who checked us out in the first month would have dropped $1 into the pot- we’d have a workable budget for years to come.
So. I’m asking you folks for a little help.
The donation button is here in this entry as well as on the sidebar of the main site. If you see an update you really love and think it’s worth a buck or two… please feel free. Trust me, every little bit helps.
Thank you all so much for a great first month, and here’s hoping for more where that came from!
Before piercing was an industry or even a community it was a scene. With ties to leather, BD/SM, swinging and kink it’s practitioners were often hobbyists-fetishists who were as likely to be getting pierced as they were to be doing it. Get togethers like Doug Malloy’s T&P parties as well as innumerable get togethers in hotels, play spaces and backrooms found piercing devotees having fun regardless of what side of the needle they were on.
Jim Ward’s GAUNTLET would change the concept of a piercer from a fetish player to a specialized career; showing someone a few tricks became an apprenticeships between mentors and students. Then came classes and intensives, seminars and instructional videos and even a yearly conference where the best and brightest in the Industry gather to share what they know to other piercers hoping to further hone their techniques.
While I think progress is always a good thing, I miss the scene days; the sexually adventurous meeting up to have a little fun, pierce each other and make videos to share with those not lucky enough to live close to other piercing and modification devotees. Sailor Sid Diller’s shop in Fort Lauderdale was a beacon to men interested in body piercing, and Sid himself was a tireless documentarian. This clip features some amateur piercing at Sid’s with Big Ed Fenster of Silver Anchor Body Jewelry.
As with most of the history videos presented here on Sacred Debris- this should not be considered a how-to, nor should the lax standards of sterility and cross contamination be encouraged.
Zephyrhills Florida was first incorporated as a city in 1914. According to the 2000 Census it was home to 10,833 residents, many of whom were over 65 and retired. It’s close to Tampa and to my home town of Plant City, and can boast to being the birthplace of several famous NASCAR drivers, an American Idol finalist and notorious Ghoul Carl Tanzier.
It was also, for a few years at least, the Body Modification capital of the world.
Far from the cultural meccas of the West Coast, Zephryhills was where advanced body modification pioneer Mr. Jay (Jack Yount) settled after his wife passed away and he retired from American Standard Plumbing, where his only full apprentice Mike Natali lived and where famed ‘Modification Doctor’ Ronald Brown made frequent visits for underground surgery. It was also the home base of Big Ed Fenster and the Silver Anchor Body Jewelry Company. 1
At the time finding body piercing jewelry was no easy task. In the 1980s and early 1990s the companies manufacturing it were few and far between- not only was it not available at every mall or website, but even most tattoo shops didn’t have piercers to buy it from/install it for you. The Gauntlet. Spain’s Customs. Pleasurable Piercing. The Good Art Company, Toucan for gold, Wildcat in the UK and Fenster’s Silver Anchor were the big names at the time. Pre-internet. Some had catalogs while others had stapled and xeroxed price sheets, included with your order. The business- owned by Big Ed Fenster who was a nudist, swinger and friend of both Jack and Sailor Sid Diller shared a name with Sid’s Ft. Lauderdale tattoo studio and was located in a small house that served as the offices/Ed’s living quarters and a few satellite trailers where the jewelry was manufactured.
Twenty something years later I still contend that Silver Anchor produced the finest quality body jewelry of all of the companies that were around back then. Open to interpretation I know, but during their “good years” with Mike Natali as GM and his partner Chuck as shop manager they put out top notch large gauge jewelry that had a mirror finish that I’ve never seen rivaled. Chuck was one of the few jewelers who, by hand, could produce a ring for a P.A. in 1/2” stock with an inner diameter of 1/2” with a threaded 5/8” ball that fit perfectly. Sure, some of their output would make a devoted APP acolyte cringe- the 00g externally threaded barbells I had made as a present to myself on my 17th birthday would likely cause a panic, but the threads were buffed for easy insertion and years later when I finally gifted them to a friend they had retained a perfect finish.
In my time visiting the shop- with Jack at first and then later to spend time with Mike and Chuck- it was always an adventure. My brother and I would meet up with Brian Skellie, Kevin Covella and Rob Moore, and be in awe that we finally found people who ‘got’ it. Sometimes we’d continue on to Jack’s house and document a modification procedure, meet some of his out of town friends or just sit in the pool or hot tub and enjoy the company. The shift was taking place quickly from an older gay demographic to younger people who were taking on modification as a culture and not a kink and Jack was grooming us to help bridge the gap. Visits to Silver Anchor had them asking us questions about making ‘earlets’ since more people were stretching their lobes and despite having made custom 1/2 question mark shaped nipple jewelry they had never seen a stretched earlobe before mine.
You have to appreciate dealing with Ed- who’s entire history was with piercing as a sexual thing being able to make some of the most complicated “u-tubes” imaginable but being completely vexed by the mechanics of a plug for stretched ear lobes. U-tubes were urethra tubes, which later went on to be universally referred to as ‘Princes Wands’ and Ed specialized in them. I remember sitting at his desk and seeing this MONSTER of a tube in his inbox (back when the inbox was actually a box and not an email account) that he had made for himself. At the thickest it was a full 5/8″ with 1″ balls and 4g posts for his apadravya. I remember thinking that it looked more like a billy club than a dick accessory. Ed looked at me sheepishly and said “my girlfriend likes me to wear this when I fuck her”.
My teen years were a little strange.
Ultimately, under Mike’s direction Silver Anchor became a powerhouse of a company. At the time it was a sellers market, and with body jewelry being as rare is at was it wasn’t uncommon to pay over $20, wholesale, for a 12g ring. When things get too big the stresses start to appear and eventually Mike and his partner moved on to start Bravo! Body Jewelry. Several of the jewelers Ed had hired did the same, and before long over saturation of a niche product flooded a small area. Tattoo shops started selling body jewelry. Tampa, Zephryhills nearest major city, saw a piercing only shop open under the name of Leather Tiger (that’s a story in and of itself- with a ‘head piercer’ who had to have PFIQ’s Pierce with a Pro open when he’d do a piercing) and once Jack Yount passed away things mostly fell apart.
In time Silver Anchor closed it’s doors. I’m not sure what happened to it’s backstock or employees. I’m not even sure what happened to Ed Fenster. But I still have a handful of my Silver Anchor jewelry still in their original bags that I keep for old times sakes.
- The Silver Anchor was located in Crystal Springs, Florida, which was a suburb of Zephyrhills ↩