Tag Archives: Vaughn

How we learn, How we teach

Apprentice: Lynn Loheide, 2013.

A History of Apprenticeships.


“I want to be a piercer! How do I get an apprenticeship? Where do I learn to pierce?”

 This desire has been expressed by thousands of people over the recent past. What was once something barely thought of as a viable career blossomed into a huge, multifaceted industry in the last few decades. As if out of nowhere, piercing became a legitimate job one could make a comfortable living at. But the path to get there has been as ever-changing as the industry itself. You don’t go to school to become a piercer, there’s no classes or degree you can hold in body piercing. Traditionally, like many other crafts, piercing has been trained by masters, to apprentices. Someone already skilled at the craft takes a beginner under their wing and shows them the craft one on one. But how did we get there? Where did the first piercers come from? How did the apprenticeship evolve to what it is today?

Continue reading

Nodal Points Issue Three: Spanish Edition

One of the only downsides of moving content from the archives of Sacred Debris back into the world of print after two and a half decades is a lack of quick and easy translation; for the interviews we’ve posted online, for better or for worse, most modern web browsers allow readers all over the world to have access to the history we’re sharing. Sure the translations can be a little clunky (body piercer, it seems, can translate to body driller. Which sounds kind of badass, honestly) but at least they’re available.

The zines, however – up until now they’ve only been available in English. Thankfully, we have some pretty amazing friends, and with the assistance of Nahuel Burgos and a small team of multilingual proof-readers, we’re pleased as punch to be able to offer the latest issue of Nodal Points in a Spanish translated edition.

Better yet, we’ve decided to match Nahuel’s generosity by donating 100% of the gross monies collected between January 10th-January 31st for this edition to a charity to be determined – we’re leaning towards a charity that provides aid and services to families affected by the policies at the Southern US border.

These zines will be coming directly from the printer.

US Customers: https://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/8513806/c6f594e39b7c88403020e779e2b3bf7519e77283

UK/Europe: https://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/invited/8513806/c6f594e39b7c88403020e779e2b3bf7519e77283

(the English language edition can be found here: https://www.blurb.com/b/9773006-volume-3-nodal-points)

En este número de Nodal Points, Ari profundiza en la carrera y la influencia del perforador corporal retirado Vaughn. Hablando con el, antiguos empleados, clientes y amigos, indagamos en su carrera desde Modern Primitives hasta la apertura del estudio de perforación corporal más longevo del mundo. Con Vaughn, Joey y Melissa, Duncan Vann, Greg Kulz y Blake Perlingieri.

BSTA: Vaughn

Since it’s 1989 release, RE/Search Publications’ seminal issue #12 – Modern Primitives – has become one of, if not the most, nodally significant cultural studies of western body modification ever printed. The pantheon of influential body art figures interviewed includes Fakir Musafar, Jim Ward, Ed Hardy, Raelyn Gallina, Lyle Tuttle, Hanky Panky, Leo Zulueta – you could easily get lost following the ripples of influence from any one of them. But Modern Primitives also featured some younger personalities just getting their start in the world of body art; mostly notably Greg Kulz (a pioneer of black graphic industrial tattooing) and Bay Area piercer/tattooist Vaughn, who at the time of publication was trying to make a name in the industry. Thirty years later, and Vaughn’s legacy – the opening of Body Manipulations and the shift to a more diverse clientele – is easily worthy of inclusion with the best of the industry.

In honor of his birthday, BSTA’s Ari Pimsler interviewed Vaughn, along with friends, former employees, and clients for the new issue of our print project NODAL POINTS. The supporting interviews – Melissa & Joey from Body Ms, Greg Kulz, Duncan Van Luyt, and Blake Perlingieri – are available exclusively in the zine, which can be ordered here:

https://www.blurb.com/b/9773006-volume-3-nodal-points

-SP

(special thanks to Bobby Neel Adams for the amazing outtake photos from his Modern Primitives shoot with Vaughn! http://bobbyneeladams.com)


 

Ari – For an introduction let’s start with where you started piercing, be it business or just experimentation

Vaughn – Probably about 1985. I moved to San Francisco in 1984. What I wanted to do was pierce my lip and I couldn’t find any outlet to do that. I had been pierced down in LA by Jim Ward at The Gauntlet originally because I was living down there. When I got up to San Francisco there was really no one there doing anything. I wanted to pierce my lip, couldn’t find anybody to do it, so eventually I did it myself. But as far as taking on clients I would say, 1986? I just printed up business cards that said, “Vaughn” and had my phone number on it. That was it. If I saw people who had their own piercings I’d approach them like, “hey I can do noses, I can do navels, I can do this kinda deal.” I would have people over to my apartment and pierce them there. I also would set up a little portable kit and go over to peoples houses pierce people in their homes or businesses or wherever. I did that for a couple of years. I can’t remember exactly when I met Esther but she was a big influence as far as pushing me to make it happen as a business. One of the driving forces behind that was we had heard a rumor that Gauntlet was going to try and open up in San Francisco and I wanted to break away from the stigma that Gauntlet had. That stigma was very much in the West Hollywood gay community. I wanted to see piercing move out more into the underground, like the punk scene and the music scenes. That was my main drive. Esther was kind of in the same mindset that drove me – she wasn’t really oriented on the sexual aspect of it but rather the aesthetic orientation. For about three or four years I just pierced privately and did in-home visits and portable visits. In 1989 I ended up getting a little bit of inheritance. I opened Body Manipulations with seven thousand dollars. Rent on the space was like $300 a month – it was super cheap. That all worked out because I knew the tattoo people who were in the space originally – Erno tattoo. They moved upstairs and then I rented from Erno because he still had a lease on the space for a short time. We just sublet it from Erno and turned it into a piercing studio.

Continue reading