Extreme body modifications- Implants
Tattoos and piercings, once reserved for criminals and subcultures are now being sported by business people,
lawyers, politicians, and other fine, upstanding members of the community.
So whats a freak to do to retain the edge without looking like a Yakuza poseur (amputation), or Mayan (trepannation)?
A lot of buzz has recently been created within the body modification community
with regards to the latest modifications walking out of Arizona. After a "Metal Mohawk"
article appeared in Newsweek magazine (August 12, 1996) in which Jim Rose Circus founder Jim Rose mentionned a "basement surgery show", British media
embraced the topic spreading wild stories of freaks with tails and antlers touring England.
In fact, only Rose was touring, promoting a gin drink and the UK release of his book
"Freak Like Me" without any of the freaks mentinoned, but truth
never stood in the way of the tabloids! So what's next? Be on the watch for subdermal and transdermal implants!
|"I'm an artist. What I do in the flesh is my art form. Flesh is my medium."|
|--- Steve Hayworth, September 3, 1996
Steve Hayworth is a medical device designer, working since 1984 designing and manufacturing equipment for plastic surgery at
Hayworth Tech Company. When he sees need for new procedures or custom-made
tools, Steve makes them himself, then does the deed. No plastic surgeon can
claim that honour. As a matter of fact, the instruments designed to create
the metal mohawk are not even available to the plastic surgery community.
Hayworth is the man behind the modifications that make some APP (Association of Professional
Piercers) members uncomfortable, although they are largely unfamiliar with his background.
Steve was a piercer for some years, and has generated many innovatinos in the
piercing and branding fields, but insists that what he's doing does not, and
should not have anything to do with body piercing. Piercers thinking about
imitating his performances should reconsider- the techniques are completely
different, and imitators may end up inadvertantly lacerating an unfortunate
guinea pig. Piercing has given him some background on controlling
cross-contamination, he concedes, but he is no longer a body piercer. Steve
carefully researches each procedure and its implications and runs his findings
by doctors in the medical community.
I recently called up pioneer Steve Hayworth, the man behind the modifications to
discuss what he calls Three-Dimensional Modification. In his portfolio of
note: the Metal Mohawk of Joe Aylward, Mr Lifto's forehead implants,
and the Enigma's horns.
According to Hanky Panky and other artists around the world, Steve Hayworth is
pioneering these procedures, and noone else has stepped up to imitate.
Apparently, there is a "great deal of demand", but Hayworth is choosy with his
clientele- a lifestyle commitment must be made, as well as commitment to
aftercare, particularly in the case of transdermal implants- healing can be
tricky. Steve is always interested in generating creative solutions and new
3-D modifications- who knows, maybe I may go for that unicorn look afterall, or take him up on his offer of a third eye! I can hardly wait for the next Jim Rose Circus tour (early 1997, promises Rose) to see whats growing!
- Joe Aylward is thirty two years old and is from Arizona, and is reported to be apprenticing
under Steve at HTC. He had surgical steel implants installed on his head, transdermally (through the skin, rather than completely under it). Photos of his healing head can be found in Tattoo Savage and accompanying an
excellent article in Body Art magazine:
- "We had a registered nurse apply local anaesthesia, and once the area was numb we made one horizontal incision about an inch long at the back of the crown. At that point Steve inserted a skin elevator that lifted the epidermal layer, and ran one long channel from the back of my head to where the front-most implant would be... Then once the channel was made he removed that instrument, slipped a base implant in, and with another tool that was also shaped to my head, pushed the implants to where they needed to be seated. With a dremel he took out a small core of skin that lined up with the threaded base of each implant. Two small stitches at the back and it was closed! The whole procedure took an hour and fifteen minutes..."
- Mr Lifto is the longest-standing member of the Jim Rose Circus (besides Rose and his French wife, Bebe). His act is notorious
for making piercing fans and the uninitiated cringe by lifting weights with his pierced septum, tongue, nipples and penis. In March of 1996 at the
Houston Tattoo convention he had beads implanted in his forehead to match his tattoos. He says that the procedure only took half an hour.
- Enigma, well-known for his appearance on the "X-files" Humbug episode as the Conundrum, as well as is membership of the Jim Rose Circus as a sword-swallowing, keyboard-playing insectivore is quite easily recognized for his tattooed and shaven appearance. People can't help but wonder "Why?" when they look at him, so now he is an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle: dozens of tattoo artists worldwide have been inking the Enigma for years, covering him in blue ink in the form of jigsaw-puzzle-pieces.
This opus was started by Ashleigh (formerly of Seattle, designer of the Jim Rose Logos) and taken over largely by Katzen, the Enigma's stunning wife, who herself is covered in black stripes.
Just last week Enigma had his fourth generation of horn implants installed. A generation is basically equivalent to the gauge system used in wire, gradually getting thicker.
The plan for the Enigma's horns is for seven generations, or stages, of teflon of increasingly larger size, allowing for the skin to stretch. Currently they are 3/4" long. By the end of one year (early 1997), he'll be ready to have the teflon implants removed when they're an inch long (sixth generation) and replaced with the seventh generation coral. Coral was chosen since the body will recognize it as similar to bone and will disperse the coral whilst calcifying it, adhering the horns to Enigma's cranium.
Enigma had to be discouraged from his original plan of jewelled eyebrows due to the unacceptable risks associated with transdermal implants near hair follicles, but he has even more plans for body modification for the future. Perhaps British fans won't be disappointed and get the promised tail afterall!
trepannation (http://www.ambient.on.ca/bodmod/hole.html for article by Tim "Torture King" Cridland & other links)
implants, scrotal & other (http://www.freeq.com/underground/bme/extreme/exfaq4.html the genital implant is good, but other implants aren't well-dosumented yet)
Body Art #23: "Sculpting in Flesh" by Jan Seeger
Tattoo Savage Number 9: "Joe Aylward Mr Post Man" by Sinful Lin Yu
Jim Rose Official Pages: http://www.ambient.on.ca/jimrose/