zondag 6 maart 2016

Interview Lucas Verheijen


Name: Lucas Verheijen
Owner Pirate Piercing studio Antwerp and Turnhout (BE)

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
A family man with a passion for body modification.

How long have you been a piercer?

I started experimenting when I was 15 years old.

First I pierced myself, then friends and eventually got hired in 2002-2003, based on myself placed piercings by leading Tattoo & Piercing shop Wildcat Belgium.

In 2006, my wife and I left Wildcat to pursue our own dream, launched our own shop and been the owners and managers at Pirate Piercing, Tattoo & Mods ever since. So, if you are counting from the first moment I played with a needle, 18 years. But on a professional basis 14 years.

Why this profession?
Because of several reasons actually. First of all, I live, eat, sleep, breath piercing! ☺I've dedicated every free moment to piercing from get go and been intrigued by every aspect around body modification and what you can do with your own body to change your appearance.

Another reason is the satisfaction you get from the smile on the customer's face, when he/she takes a look in the mirror. As piercer you let people feel good about themselves every day.

How or from who did you learn your skills?I am autodidact and learned most myself. But at Wildcat, I also had the chance to learn from great piercers as James Glover (the first officially registered piecer ever from the UK and now owner of Happy Sailor tattoo & Piercing) and Olivier LaizĂ© (known for his Tribal Act shows, Empreinte Corpstech and body art)


The first piercing you did was a?
The first piercing I ever did was my own belly button.

Who or what inspires you?
Everyone around me, one way or the other .

But body-modification related are/were James Glover (Happy Sailor Tattoo & Piercing), Olivier LaizĂ© (Empreinte Body Art), Roland Zwicknapp & Ralf Feez (Visavajara Freiburg), Shannon Larratt (RIP) of BMEzine.com and the person who I met my wife through. We knew each other by the social network IAM, that was linked to BMEzine.com. The only non body modification related person is Steve Jobs.

Can you tell me something about your workplace/studio? Pirate Piercing started with one display case from Ikea with some jewelry and over the years has grown into a company with two locations, a huge range of quality jewelry, wholesale and where you can get custom made jewelry done in different materials. You can also contact us for piercing, tattoo, laser tattoo removal and body-modification.

Which piercing do you prefer to do?
I really like to do every piercing, but the daith piercing is one of my favorites.

The great thing about this piercing is difficulty level. You need to bend your needle several times and really need some skills in order to preform this into a successful piercing. Love it!

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other starters in this industry?
I'll mention just one. To be a good piercer, you'll need several years of hard work, listen to your teacher, follow every procedure your teacher does, show respect to the people and you want to spend every spare moment to piercing related things and have interest in jewelry.

Do you have a nice or weird experience as a piercer you want to share with us?Funny things happen on a regular basis, but we have to maintain our professionalism. But a fun experience that I would like to share, is of a Russian family who moved to Belgium years ago.

I pierced their first daughter when she was six years old. We do pierce children who can understand what's going to happen, when we explain things to them in a fun way. That Russian girl was really tuff, not a single peep came out of her.

Six years later I got a call of the father, asking if I wanted to pierce his second daughter, who also turned six and wanted earrings. She was also tuff as nails, and his first daughter, now twelve years old, was still very satisfied with her pierced ears.

Does your work involve more then just piercing? 
Haha, good question! Yes, my work involves more than piercing. It's helping customers, solve problems, inventory management and keeping our webshops up to date, keeping the work areas clean and sterilizing the piercing tools, place orders, keeping up to date with the latest jewelry, create our own jewelry, accounting, body modifications and a hundred other things I not mention ☺

How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully the same, more or less as I just love what I do! Maybe a little better organized would be nice, so I can spend some more time with my family. But we are working on that.

Do you have a tip or do you want to add something to this interview? 
Piercing is something beautiful and should always be a positive experience. Always inform yourself and choose someone who gives you quality piercings and you feel most comfortable with.


-Answers and Photos: Lucas Verheijen
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 107/March 2016

Expo Body Art

Body Art Expo Antwerpen (BE)
MAS Museum, 18 februari tot 17 april 2016

An exhibition on body modification. Why people change their body? Culture and contemporary about tattoos, skull deformation, scars, personal expression and more... the meanings and why. Beauty or extreme, find out yourself and visit

                                                                         Purei,age 96                                                                                         Borneo,Indonesia

Taurewa's moko
Tattoos based on
origin and personality
Painted face at festival

Textile patterns


Karo-Batak, Sumatra



-Text and photo's Angie
Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 107/March 2016

Type 4

Type 4

F.G.M (female genital mutilation), is a subject much discussed lately in the English piercing industry.

FGM is described in 4 types.

The first 3 types combined are a complete or partial removal of the clitores and labia minora and can also be done in combination with constricting the outer lips. This surgery is extremely painful and cruel. It's a mutilation for life, which can cost many health problems later in life.

Type 4 are harmful actions to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, such as pricking, piercing, notching, scraping and burning and is seen as mild form of FGM.

Of course, the first 3 types we can all agree on. We must stand against mutilation to young and older girls, like circumcision, which is done by culture and religion.

But type 4, think about these harmful actions, such as laser hair removal, waxing, shaving, vaginal reconstruction etc. We all do for non-medical reasons, for adornment and hygiene.

Intimate piercings are voluntarily chosen by adults, as adornment and/or for sexual pleasure and they can choose to remove the piercings if they want to, without any trauma.

Why is this a much discussed topic?
Since March 2015, there is a legal ban on intimate piercings for women in Great Britain. Women, who now have an intimate piercing are now seen as victims of genital mutilation.

Personnel working in the health care sector are now required to report it at first sight, or suspicion of intimate piercing, to the British Government. And piercers can now be prosecuted and even go to jail.

Because the UN/WHO (World Health Organisation) started identifying this with female genital mutilation of immigrated ethnic women groups from 28 African countries, as well as 9 countries with large Muslim populations and without considering what impact it will have on the Western groups.

Not only are Western women now seen as victims of mutilation, but also deprived of their rights as a woman and their free choice. Each culture has its own tradition and we're used to Western culture with our Western emancipation!

This happened in Great Britain, but what happens if other European countries will take the same stand? Will it also be banned in Europe, or can we prevent this?

Because in my personal and humble opinion, one word can make a difference while describing Type 4:

Mild form of FGM, for non medical reasons. Possible damage by decorate (flatter/cosmetic, embellish) the genitals by pricking, piercing, notching, scraping and burning.

Source: www.pharos.nl & Paul King

-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 107/March 2016


Funky Funky

Piercings are fun body jewelry, but how come those holes smell so funky?

The scent is a mix of skin cells, bacterial and natural oils that accumulate there. Smells like rotten cheese, some call it ear funk! Luckily there is a simple way to prevent this. Just wash your piercing while showering and rinse warm water over your piercing hole.

You could also occasionally clean your tunnel / plug with antibacterial soap, as skin cells can also gather on your tunnel/plug.

If you have an infection or itchy feeling with a fully healed piercing, you might be allergic or sensitive to the material in the piercing jewelry. Nickel is the most common material many people have a reaction from, without knowing!

So, if it's red around your piercing, sensitive and itches like crazy, remove your jewelry and choose stainless steel, titanium or a hypoallergenic jewelry.

Redness, swelling and light scabs are normal in the healing of a fresh piercing. But if you need to touch the piercing, make sure you do this with clean hands!

Some piercings, in the healing phase, can be protected with a bandaid. When you do sports or on your belly button piercing before bed, if you know that you are a restless sleeper. But don't forget to take it off afterwards! This is just to prevent irritation at too much friction.

Also be careful in your healing phase with lotion, hairspray etc and avoid your piercing spot.

Irritation? Try saline soak, clean regularly, but don't over do it! Is your  skin swollen, or is there a bump forming around the piercing and it will not cure? This is your body telling you it's not happy with your new addition and in order to avoid re-growth or scaring, it's better to get the piercing out.

Most importantly, follow the aftercare instructions you get from your piercer. Every piercing needs time to heal, some take longer than others and divers per person. When in doubt, you can always contact your piercer, and he/she will take a look at your piercing and advise you if necessary.

-Text and photos Angie
-Published Tattoo Planet E magazine 106/ February 2016

donderdag 3 maart 2016

Story behind a known piercer/mod artist Paul King

Paul King
Story behind a known piercer/bodymod

My history with body piercing began in the Southern California Punk scene of the early 1980s, when having both ears pierced would get obscenities and beer bottles hurled at me out of car windows. My cohort and I would get drunk and shove pointy objects through our lobes, helices, and nostrils. Piercing signified our connection as outsiders, earned through a courageous act of overcoming the fear of the pain, parental punishment, and mainstream ostracization. Piercing wasn’t just fashion, it was a political action.

In 1983, I saw my first live pierced lip. It was nasty, swollen, and crusty, with a mass-produced ear stud pinching the wound. It was a turn off. In 1987, I flipped through a gay porno mag and landed on an image of a hot guy with both nipples pierced. The impact was electric; it was such a turn on! That image would nag at me over the next couple of years. Eventually, I dreamed of having pierced nipples and surrendered to the urge. Early in 1989, while on vacation, I watched a girlfriend get her nipple pierced at Body Manipulations in San Francisco, but I lived in Los Angeles and hadn’t a clue where to get it done.

I shared my desire with another girlfriend. A month later she had tracked down Gauntlet, the first storefront body piercing shop in the Western world. I called and made the earliest appointment I could, January of 1990. I walked in and 3 women behind the counter flashed me their tongue piercings. They giggled at my bewilderment; I had never seen a tongue piercing before, few people had. Dan Kopka performed my nipple piercings. Later he would start my training before leaving to open Gauntlet NYC.
Coincidently, just after my visit, I reconnected with a high school friend, Erik Niles. He was working in Gauntlet’s gold manufacturing department, located in the shop’s basement. While hanging out, I met everyone that worked for Gauntlet, including Elayne Angel, who would hire and apprentice me to pierce. After my 1 ½ year apprenticeship, Elayne left Gauntlet and I took over managing the store until November 1993, when I moved to San Francisco.

The 1990s were magic. I traveled extensively; guest pierced at shops such as Into You in London, 23 Rue Keller (then Gauntlet Paris), Gauntlet NYC, Cold Steel of London, and a dozen other cities without quality shops, but hungry for piercing. During that time, I used my piercing skills to create my own and to assist others with their performance art. As piercing transitioned from the deviant underground to a widely accepted practice, I appeared in a video that popularized navel piercing, did numerous interviews, and began my unwavering passion of lecturing for universities, social clubs, and body art conferences. In 1996, Jim Ward awarded me the title of Master Piercer. During this time, California legislators became concerned about potential health risks associated with the rising popularity of body alterations. I was part of the original team of unified body art practitioners that testified before state representatives. Later the body piercers splintered off to form the Association of Professional Piercers (APP).

I took a break from the early drama surrounding the formation of the APP. Gauntlet went out of business in 1998. In 1999, Grant Dempsey and I partnered to create Cold Steel America, 2 tattoo and piercing shops in San Francisco. The Castro location closed in November 2008, leaving the Haight Street location still open today. I have remained an active piercing member of the APP since 2001 and completed a three year elected position as Treasurer. In 2007, I received the APP's President's Award for Contributions to the Piercing Industry. Since 2008, I have been the APP’s board-appointed treasurer. I consider the trust of the board and membership a great honor. One of my greatest life accomplishments has been contributing to the organization’s mission of sharing history, health and safe information with body piercers around the world. My most recent undertaking is the preservation of our history and the formation of the Body Piercing Archive:

"The mission of the Body Piercing Archive is to select, collect, document, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the personal, social, and material evolving histories of Body Piercing to ensure these artifacts are available to present and  successive generations.”
Paul King
Cold Steel America
1783 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 933-7233

More information about my research, writing, and travel,
as well as the shop can be found at:


-Text and Photos: Paul King

-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 106/ February 2016

Paul & Me ( Essen'15)

Interview Aiden Johnson


Aiden Johnson
Name: Aiden Johnson
Adorn, Shrewsbury, (UK)

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Driven, passionate and technical minded.

How long have you been a piercer?

5 years

Why this profession?
I got my first piercing at 16 (Helix in right ear) and knew straight away that I wanted to be a piercer. It then took me 7 years to find a way into the industry.

How or from who did you learn your skills?
From my best friend and partner Anna Garvey

The first piercing you did was a?
High lobe on Anna Garvey

Who or what inspires you the most?
The history of how piercing came from tribal to modern industry inspires me to try to be the best I can be.

Can you tell me something about your workplace/studio?
We have a great team of people that all aim to give the best we can to our clients. That ranges from jewellery and procedure through to customer service and environment. We all strive to have a clean, pleasant and welcoming environment for anyone who comes through the door.

Which piercing do you prefer  to do?
I love piercing genitals. They are a very technical area to pierce and I love to be challenged.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other starters in this industry?
To make sure you get into piercing for the love of it. Expect to earn little money and to work long hours with minimal social life. Also to make sure to get an apprenticeship from a reputable piercer that can instill the importance and history of what we do in you.

Do you have a nice or weird experience as a piercer you want to share with us? 
I think my favourite ever piercing experience would be piercing a MTF transgender client. Their wife came in first to check out the studio and ensure that we would be nice people. Then when the client came in they told me how they had had extensive facial recontructive surgery and were worried that they wouldn't be able to get ear lobe piercings. After an anatomy check I was happy to do the piercings and the client was super happy with the finished result. They hugged me and thanked me for being such a nice person and making them feel comfortable and welcome. It is moments like that where I can help someone achieve so much happiness that makes my job.

Does your work involve more then just piercing?
As well as basic piercing I also offer scarification, magnet implants, NFC implants, microdermal anchors, genital piercing and large gauge punching. I am also the studio Manager and the Treasurer for the UKAPP so I am always very busy!

How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Living with Anna Garvey and our 2 dogs in the house we are currently building.
Still working at Adorn and still piercing.

Do you have any last words of advice or do you want to add to this interview?
Never have a 'That's good enough' attitude. Always strive to be better and do the best you can in all walks of life.


-Answers and Photos: Aiden Johnson
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 105/Januari 2016

Aiden & me APP2016 Las Vegas

Story behind a known piercer/mod artist Bethrah Szumski

Bethrah Szumski
Story behind a known piercer/ bodymod

I've been working full time since I was seventeen years old. My early jobs as a hostess and waitress taught me to work efficiently with a cordial attitude and an eye towards product consistency.
I received my tattoo apprenticeship from my former husband Cap Szumski. After moving with him to Atlanta in late 1994 I both apprenticed at and helped open Timeless Tattoo (www.timeless-tattoo.com) . 

My position in the studio evolved into a management roll including tattooing, front desk, paperwork, supply ordering and artist hiring. I devoted a great deal of time to keeping the studio current on health and safety related issues. I introduced Caretech products, air purifiers and autoclave spore testing to name just a few.  January 2000 brought the purchase of Pain and Wonder Tattoo (www.painandwonder.com) in Athens, GA.
I have been piercing since 1995. After completing my Gauntlet course work I was mentored by Elayne Angel (www.piercingbible.com) who has continued to provide both professional and personal support throughout my career.
I founded Virtue and Vice Body Piercing (www.virtueandvice.com) in 1995, which operated from the Timeless Tattoo location and then from Pain and Wonder after its acquisition.

In an effort to keep up with current piercing related information I became a member of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) (www.safepiercing.org) in 1996. My roll shortly switched from student to teacher when in 1998 I was appointed as Secretary of the APP. I immediately instituted the Association's first elections and was duly elected to the position. I served a full three year term during which (among other things)
I reviewed applications for membership from applicants world wide, giving me an eye for appropriate studio set-up. I was then elected to the position of President, I served an additional three year term in that position. 
During my tenure with the A.P.P. I helped organize 16 US conferences and two in Europe. My conference duties at various points included contract negotiation, attendee registration, promotion, literature distribution, financial officer, event scheduling, vendor relations and floor-plan and hotel and union relations just to name a few.  
I have also provided countless courses of education to piercers, health care providers and law-makers. I am the recipient of the Presidents Award,  the Associations Award of Appreciation and was voted Hardest Working Piercer in 2005.

In 2005 I obtained full ownership of Pain and Wonder Tattoo and Body Piercing and moved my Atlanta piercing location, Virtue and Vice Inc., three doors down from its original location within Timeless Tattoo and expanded my service range to include Permanent Cosmetics.
In May of 2008 I returned to service within the Association of Professional Piercers Board of Directors as its Secretary. Since her election she has, most notably, restructured the Association’s annual conference planning by establishing a Conference Committee and provided educational outreach courses in Italy, Germany and Mexico. 
I stepped down from the office of Secretary in June of 2015 and am in the process of organizing the APP's first ever member's retreat for advanced level curriculum.

Bethrah Szumski


-Photos and story: Bethrah Szumski
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 105/ Januari 2016

Me & Bethrah(Essen'15)

Interview Feri


Name: Feri
Tattoo Respect te Alkmaar (NL)

Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Straight forward, what you see is what you get.

How long have you been piercer?
For 20 years now! 

Why this profession?
I like to work with different people every day and every day is a new challenge.
Not one day is the same, just like every body.

How did you learn the trade?

When I was 18 years I apprentice as piercer, it just  interested me, why I don't know.. 

What was the first piercing you pierced?
The very first piercing I have ever pierced was a helix a piercing for a young lady.
It was pretty exciting, but all went well!

Who or what inspires you?

People who have many piercings I find them pretty interesting!
But my real inspiration, good question. I think especially the reaction of the clients after

Can you tell something about your studio/workplace?
I work at Tattoo Respect it's the second oldest tattoo shop in Alkmaar, and exists 10 years! (secretly advertise! ;)
We are a kind of family ☺

What kind of piercing do you prefer?

I actually don't  have a preference. 

What is the best advice you've ever received as a novice piercer, and want to give assistance to others who start in this industry?
The best advice is that you need to consider everything
Also after a piercing, the client can faint, for me it's just a piercing, but for the client it can be a real happening!

Do You  have a separate story or experience you'd like to share?
I remember a few years back. A young lady came by for a tongue piercing, and was very nervous. Together with her colleague we have reassured her and she felt nothing, at the end she burst into tears. ;) of joy!
The following day she came back along with 3 other people who wanted a tongue piercing!

Does  your work involves more than just piercing?
Piercing and piercings orders. Also watch the internet for research and bloopers Who doesn't :)

How do you see yourself in 5 years? 
On a desert island together with my girlfriend ;) but that will not happen haha.
No, still be piercer/floor manager in the shop here.

Do you have a tip or do you want to add something to this interview 
A burp is a fart, that doesn't know his way to the ass!

-Answers and Photo Feri
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 104/ december 2015

woensdag 2 maart 2016

Report Scarification class


I always want to learn more. At my studio, not only do I piercings but also provide tattoo removal, hair removal by IPL, permanent make-up and I have a freelance tattoo artist who comes in once or twice a month to tattoo for a day. And to expand my studio and knowledge, I signed up for Scarification seminar.

August 8th 2015, I attended the seminar for Scarification in Amsterdam and the seminar was given by Wayde Dunn. (I didn't meet the legend Ron due to cancelation unfortunately)

Here I was again at Classic Ink And Mods, with 2 other girls. Wayde is from Australia and did a great job teaching us. He took the time to explain the different aspects of scarification. It was very interesting, especially the parts on different types of healing, results and I was fascinated about the outcome of ones scarification.

After the theory, it was time to practice. One of the students, Jennifer, was our 'victim'. Because of my previous job, I was used to cut people, only deeper, so I like to say it again: I'm sorry Jennifer :) My first try out was a little to deep, but after a while I got the hang of it and Jennifer was pleased with the outcome of her new fish scar.

It really was great meeting Wayde and the other students and I'll be back for the advanced class for sure!

After I got all the gear for practice.
I found some friends, willing to be my victims. Before I wanted to offer this in my studio, I needed to master the skill.

So, I started on myself. It's a weird feeling, working on inside of my lower leg with a wolf print. My mom came by, and told me I was nuts, but in the end did like the outcome.

I wasn't pleased myself, some scars were too wide, others too thin. But hey, that's the point! To learn and keep practicing.

So now it was my friends turn (evil grin). I did a chest piece of an eagle, swastika on a leg and hearts on an arm. I have to say, it wasn't bad. Not fully 100% satisfied but good enough. And now I keep track on all of them, to see how they heal up.

Special thanks to Cor, Tom and Nel, to be brave enough and be my victims! And since I'm really enjoy doing it, let's hope this small town is ready for it.

New hobby
It may sound weird, but because of the scarification, I found myself a new hobby. While studying scarification (online), you also see brandings popping up.  Very interesting and to see the different way it can be used, I got myself a 'Peter Brenn Junior' kit! Don't worry, it's not for the body, but for wood. But it is a craft I like to learn as hobby at home :)

done by me

Photos Angie

dinsdag 1 maart 2016

Story behind a Known piercer/mod artist Ryan Oulette

Story behind a known piercer

Ryan Ouelette
I don't think I ever really planned to become a professional piercer, it just kind of happened. I know it sounds cliche but I feel like this is the career I was meant to be in. I started piercing myself in my early teens, and had the my first piercing from someone else when I was 16. I knew what I was doing was dumb and sloppy, so I decided to learn all I could about piercing and see where it would take me. I started with books and websites. Back in the mid 90's there were very few resources. I found a little info online, but not much more than anatomy texts or pictures of other piercings. I found a video tapes through tattoo magazines. Not great information but I feel like I was starting to at least learn how things should not be done, that was a start. I got some tools and supplies and saved up to buy an older model sterilizer, and that is when I started feeling a little too prepared I think. I started piercing friends and got a job part time at a tattoo shop. Things started to grow faster for me then. I found the BMEZINE website and started learning from as many articles, interviews, and procedural pictures as possible. I eventually landed a full time job at a new tattoo shop when I was 20 and that was the biggest change for me. I worked for that place for about 6 months before they started having business troubles, in less than a year they ended up closing. I took the opportunity to open my own small studio in their old location. It was only one room for piercing, one for tattooing, and a lobby. Very small but it had potential. I did what I could with my resources and budget. Around this time I started attending the Association of Professional Piercers' conference in Las Vegas and that is where I really started to learn the most technical and safety data. I learned a lot abut techniques too, but more from casual chats with other piercers than in classes. I also became heavily involved in the BMEZINE website as both a piercer and scarification practitioner.  After 5 years in my original location I decided to expand and moved just across the street to about double the space in 2006. 

With the new space I increased to 3 tattoo rooms, one piercing room, and dedicated sterilization room planned with Association of Professional Piercers standards in mind. Things went well there. I expanded into better jewelry and always tried to improve small features around the shop when I could afford to. I also continued attending the APP conference and after awhile I started to get involved in the organization as a volunteer. Around 2009 I started submitting some ideas about a conference mentor program for new attendees and a new style of classes. Rather than standard lectures I felt a more hands on teaching approach could be beneficial so I worked out a proposal for the current workshop class system with my friend and fellow piercer Jesse Villemaire from Canada. Fast forward to 2015 and I have since moved again. I bought a two story building and made a huge expansion to the studio. I am currently the only member of the APP operating in my State, and we exclusively offer the highest quality body jewelry available. I have been instructing classes for the APP for several years now as well as the Boston Tattoo Convention, the BMXNET conference in Germany, and the new UK-APP group. I feel very lucky to have had these opportunities in my career. It took a lot of hard work and money, but every bit of it was worth it. 

I have seen the industry change from being an afterthought at tattoo shops to being a huge deal. A huge flood of piercers realizing that education and quality are important issues in the field. Every year the APP and it's conference grow by leaps and bounds. Clients are better educated through social media and really know the difference between quality piercings and jewelry, and low end work. I am excited to see what the future holds for this business. As someone who never intended or expected to be in the position of running a business or educating the next generation of piercers I am very pleasantly surprised with where piercing has taken me.

Ryan Ouellette
Precision Body Arts
3 Elm Street (new location)
Nashua, New Hampshire


-Photos and Story: Ryan Ouelette
-Published Tattoo Planet E Magazine 104/ december 2015

Ryan & Me (Essen2015)