Vertical Lowbrets

brazda1 sllowI can’t remember when Shannon Larratt submitted these to the spcOnline site; sometime in the late 1990s seems right but I’m honestly not quite sure. The 4″x6″ photos showed up in my Post Office Box with a note that’s long since been lost.

The piercings- vertical lowbrets- were performed by Tom Brazda at Toronto’s Stainless Studios. Brazda was one of a small handful of highly influential piercers who emerged out of the early 1990s scene. His contributions to the piercing scene have been immeasurable if not regrettably overlooked.

According to the BME/Encyclopedia:

The vertical lowbret piercing starts inside the mouth between the lower lip and the teeth (not behind the teeth as with a mandible piercing) and travels straight down, exiting on the lower edge of the jawline. This piercing is usually done with a straight or very slightly bent barbell 1.5″ to 2″ in length depending on anatomy.

Healing is usually uneventful, although the piercing can be quite sore at first. Gum erosion is also a risk depending on placement. In some cases there may be some transfer of fluid from inside the mouth to the outside of the piercing.


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.

12 thoughts on “Vertical Lowbrets

  1. As is consistent with many forms of media, recognition of many artists (Canadian) is often left in the background while their American counterparts take the foreground.
    I think those in know the know are aware of Tom’s contributions to the industry, but the one thing I am painfully aware of is the industry rarely recognizes the efforts of its leading champions.
    This industry, like any other, is a bit cliquey and if you aren’t in the right group…..well you know.

    1. 100% agree with you Rick. Any who deserve recognition, save for the clique, get whisked under a rug and or ostracised.

  2. This post sparked a wonderful story-time with Tom at work today.
    Cliff notes being: The leakage is what led to Shannon take these out, that fishtails custom bent to conform to anatomy work best, and getting slightly off topic (as is tradition), the history of the mandible piercing (which i hate to admit, i didn’t know)

    Great stuff,
    Thanks 🙂

  3. Wow today is the day of post that lead me to attempt to follow in Tom’s footsteps. Within a week or so of seeing these pics I did a pair on myself that I kept until just a few years ago.

    To this day I still think Tom was the greatest mind in piercing.

  4. Wow today is the day of post that lead me to attempt to follow in Tom’s footsteps. Within a week or so of seeing these pics I did a pair on myself that I kept until just a few years ago.

    To this day I still think Tom was the greatest mind in piercing.

      1. I have to agree with Shawn on this one. About 6 months ago one of my former employees, while still in my employ, had a young piercer friend come in to visit them. They worked not too far from my shop, about 4hrs drive, and when they were introduced to me they asked me if I was a piercer….. I could forgive this if they were from another country, but they are in the same province. And unlike the early days, pre-Internet, I have a pretty strong public face. I will continue to persist in the position that Canadian artists are just not seen in the same way as thier American counterparts.
        This seems try as well in other mediums such as sports, entertainment and so on.

        1. I find that the public doesn’t get as fascinated with our history and our mere players, This includes neophyte and isolated piercers who aren’t looking for or may even feel excluded from or against this elder perspective,

          Tom may seem like an unsung hero, but he probably has had more attention than most. He ran a successful local enterprise, frequently spoke out in international media, and continues to effect the trade.

          I suppose that modesty can preclude much of creating a media personality

          1. It’s true, as during the same era that Tom was in the spotlight most piercers had no clue who you were, Brian. That was based purely on his active internet presence in a time when you weren’t as accessible.

            You both were innovators and pioneers, but he was known and your messages were relayed more by people who heard them from you rather than from you, yourself.

            That being said, anyone who picks up a needle without knowing your name or his, has been taught by someone who doesn’t love and respect the industry as much as they should.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *