From the Black Lodge series of portraits, thanks so much to Kateryna Koshevoy for modelling!
Anonymous asked: Which is more permanent and/or the safer option: skin divers or microdermals? I want to have my back dimples done. Also, what signs do I have to look out for that might mean the piercer can't be trusted with doing this kind of piercing?
Short answer: We do microdermal/surface-anchor piercing. We have never installed a skin diver in our studio.
Slightly longer answer: There just doesn’t seem to be anything about the design of a “skin diver” that makes any sense to us. Why would you want something pointy/sharp that is going to get pushed/pressed down into the underlying tissue when the jewelry gets bumped, pressed, snagged, squished etc? Our answer: you wouldn’t! Also, we have never heard of a single studio/piercer that we trust/respect using a skin diver on a client. A few piercers we trust have installed them on themselves or other piercers as an experiment in how easily they can be installed or removed. In our opinion, any piercer using skin divers is probably not the kind of piercer you want to entrust your body to.
As for signs of a “shady” piercer…there are many, and we certainly can’t cover them all. We will mention a few, but you should check out the “Picking Your Piercer” page, and all the other great information, over at the the Association of Professional Piercers web site:
Picking Your Piercer
As for some things you can keep an eye out for:
1) Price: While more expensive doesn’t mean the best 100% of the time, when it comes to piercing and jewelry, cheap almost always means you are going to get subpar piercing skills and supper quality jewelry. if the price every seems “too good to be true”, it probably is.
2) Attitude: If a piercer gives you attitude, especially if you are asking questions in a respectful manner, that should be a clue that they may not have your best interests in man. While everybody has the occasional bad day, and not every piercer can be at the top of their customer-service game at every moment of every day, you should never be made to feel bad for asking questions. In many cases, a crappy attitude about answering questions may be the result of the pierer having “something to hide”.
3) How the shop looks: It’s certainly true that you could go to a shop that is sparkly, shiny and clean as can be and still get a bad piercing and/or low-quality jewelry. But, a shop that is poorly-lit (we aren’t talking nice lighting designed to evoke a certain vibe), unorganized, messy, outright dirty etc should be avoided. If a studio, and it’s employees, don’t care enough to keep their workspace clean and nice-working, chances are good that your health, safety and well-being aren’t going to be at the top of their list of concerns.
4) Spore tests: You should alway ask to a see shop’s most recent spore tests. A spore is the only way that a studio can ensure their autoclave sterilizer is working appropriately. It is a test conducted by an independent lab and the results are then sent to the studio. In our opinion, spore tests should be conducted at least weekly on each of a studio’s sterilizer. We would consider doing spore tests once per month to be an absolute minimum Any studio/piercer that spore tests are necessary is either actively lying to you or they aren’t as educated as they should be; either way, don’t get pierced there.