I met this gentleman somewhere around 1996-7 at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Tattoo Convention in Portland, ME. I’m sure I have the notes somewhere to go along with this but if my memory serves he had been cut by Raelyn Gallina and Keith Alexander- though who did what is lost in time.
It wasn’t common to see scarification at conventions back then; even displayed piercings could cause furled eyebrows and not so quiet mutterings of disapproval from some of the older biker folks, so when I spotted him from across the room I quickly made my way over to chat with him and snap a few photos. Part of the charm of the smaller community back then was having instant mutual friends; conventions were like family reunions that gave you the opportunity to meet some truly genuine characters.
I used to run a feature on the Scarwars blog that showed the phases of healing that a cutting or branding went through over a several year span. This branding was one of the most dramatic- a reminder that even when performed by a professional modification artists, sometimes the finished scar can radically change over time.
The initial strike branding (top left) was done in approximately 2005/6. The scar grew significantly over the years- bottom right is 2009 and shows and extreme change in size. The flower cuttings were done in 2009.
The variables in any scarification procedure- past picking a qualified artist- can include genetics, location, aftercare and luck. The Scarwars blog always did it’s best to give people interested in their first scar a realistic expectation of what could be expected during healing.
(The small ‘dot’ scars next to the Pisces were from a chest suspension. In the four years between the first and last photos you can see that the client’s scars are still very pronounced.)
Originally posted on the SCARWARS blog, this hybrid cutting/tattoo is a collaboration between modification artist Brian Decker and tattoo artist Joy Rumore. While cutting/branding into blackwork tattoos is semi-common it’s rare to see scars used as a three dimensional outline. If I remember correctly, the cutting was originally done over an existing tattoo (the darker part of the tattoo) and the lighter colors were added after the cutting was fully healed and the scars matured.
I’ve seen this cutting ‘settle’ over the years and it’s showing no signs of definition loss; the outline (scar) is still very crisp and the colors are still holding despite no black outline.
The story of getting this photo is an adventure unto itself; the scar’s owner met up with us for dinner and allowed the pictures to be taken in the restaurant’s tiny (barely big enough for one) ladies room. It took a lot of arranging to get the shot and certainly raised a few eyebrows as several people- one of whom carrying a large SLR camera, came piling out of the rest room.