It’s that time of year once again. Eggnog and rum, regrettable boxes of chocolates that never made it under the tree, divorce-causing games of Monopoly, and, of course, the panicked frenzy of last minute shopping. Some people are harder to buy for than others, and when we run across that person on our list, we tend to think about what interests them most, what they’re like, and what we think they might enjoy. If your hard to buy for person happens to have a lot of tattoos or an 8g hoop in their septum, you may be tempted to go in that direction. Here are a few tips.
DO! Buy gift certificates – I-Kandy sells them in any denomination you so desire, so you can pay for anything from a piece of jewelry to the price of a full back piece.
DON’T! Book them an actual tattoo appointment, unless they’ve already had a consultation, and you know the artist’s name and schedule. A lot of people change their minds, or want to discuss things, several times before actually getting tattooed, so forcing them to commit isn’t a great idea.
DO! Get them hoodies, toques, coffee mugs, or anything else that sports the logo of their favourite shop or tattoo/piercing company. We body mod enthusiasts love our gear, and we can never have too much of it!
DON’T! Guess about the size of their jewelry. The ideal is to buy them a gift certificate so that they can pick their own, but some people think that’s a bit of a cold gift, and would prefer giving an actual, physical present. If this is your case, try to bring in a piece of their old jewelry to compare it to, or buy something you’re sure you’ve seen them wear before. Guessing about the size is never a good idea – there isn’t just the gauge to worry about, but also length/diameter, and bead size. Everyone has their own preferences, and you may not know what they are.
DO! Buy them aftercare, such as Tattoo Goo or saline, particularly to go with their gift certificate. The fun part of a new mod is…well…the new mod. You providing them with their aftercare means they get to just sit back and enjoy the experience, knowing everything else has already been taken care of.
We all love (and I do mean LOVE) to receive mod-related gifts at this time of year. Hopefully these tips help everyone give, and get, something that will be truly appreciated.
The holiday season is always a good time to reflect on the past, and look to the year ahead. I-Kandy is no exception; we’re excited about how far we’ve come in the last few years – a new location, new furniture and décor, new additions to our crew, and an ever-growing and truly awesome clientele. We are bigger and better than we’ve ever been, and have even bigger plans for the future!
2014 will see a brand-spankin’-new website for us, with tons of new pictures, a more interactive blog, and something our clients near and far have been waiting patiently for – an online store! You’ll soon be able to buy our newest t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry, and other assorted goodies from the comfort of your living room.
We’re also very excited to announce our involvement in the Amanda Todd Legacy project, promoting awareness of, and an end to, bullying. We will be featuring a series of blog posts about the effects of bullying, facts and stats, myths and misconceptions, and how our passion for body modification relates to this very sensitive issue. But you needn’t wait until the new year to get involved – I-Kandy has “Stay Strong” bracelets available by donation at the shop now, with all proceeds going to Amanda Todd Legacy!
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 2014 is going to be a huge year for us, and we are stoked for all that’s in store. Thank you to all of our clients, supporters, and friends, for making us what we are today, and inspiring us to just keep getting better.
Happy Holidays from all of us, to all of you.
Like any other industry or artistic medium, body modification has its own, unique language – terms that are used pretty well exclusively within our community, and words that take on a new meaning in regards to our work. Below is a small “dictionary” of body mod terms.
BODY MODIFICATION : This is the all-encompassing term for tattoos, piercings, scarification, branding, dermal implants, stretching/gauging, and even several procedures that have nothing to do with an average tattoo shop, including plastic surgery, cosmetic tattooing, tooth shaping, and tightlacing. Body modification is, essentially, the deliberate alteration of one’s body and appearance.
BRANDING : Branding is a form of modification that uses high heat to effectively burn a design into your skin. There are a few different branding techniques, creating various styles.
CBB/CBR : When you get a new piercing, your piercer is likely to ask you what type of jewelry you would like. Many opt for studs or barbells to begin with, but you can often choose a CBB or a CBR as well. So, what are they? A CBB is a curved barbell – the horseshoe shaped pieces with a ball on each end. A CBR is a captive bead ring – the hoops with a ball connecting the ends.
DERMAL/SUB-DERMAL/TRANSDERMAL IMPLANTS : “Dermal” means, quite simply, “of the skin”. More specifically, the dermis is the layer of skin between the epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue. A dermal implant, then, is the insertion of a foreign object beneath it – generally semi-permanent jewelry, such as microdermals or dermal anchors, or silicone and Teflon implants, used to create designs under the skin.
GAUGE : “Gauge” refers to the thickness of your piercing needle and jewelry. The bigger the number, the thinner the jewelry. For example, someone wanting to stretch their lobes would likely start at 10g; the average navel piercing is 14g; and a standard earring or nostril piercing is between 16-18g. While we certainly don’t expect you to memorise all these numbers, if you are planning to stretch your piercing, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the sizes.
INFECTION/IRRITATION : In both tattooing and piercing, there is concern of infection and irritation, but many people do not know the difference between the two. Most often, when you think you have an infection, what you really have is irritation, which is much less severe, and much easier to remedy. Irritation can be caused by many things – too small jewelry, fabric rubbing against your new piece, not keeping it clean, or touching it too much are just a few common reasons. Most of the time, irritation can be treated by simply keeping it clean, and otherwise leaving it alone. An infection is more serious, and needs to be dealt with quickly. In both tattoos and piercings, infections have visible signs – dark colouring around your piece, foul odor coming from it, pain or severe bruising, and dark green or yellow discharge coming from it (white or light yellow discharge, however, is completely normal and not a sign of infection). If you fear you may have an infection, please see your artist or a doctor immediately.
PLUG : A plug is a usually cylindrical piece of jewelry most often used in stretched lobes. They differ from tunnels in that they are solid.
RIM : While it’s tempting to define each and every piercing there is, that would be a post or two unto itself. The rim is a very common piercing that is rarely called by its proper name, so addressing this one specifically seemed like a good idea. Most people wanting their rim pierced will ask for a “cartilage piercing”, but cartilage is common to several parts of your body – most of your outer ear, your back, your ribcage, and all of your joints, to name just a few. If you are wanting the cartilage at the top of your ear pierced, what you actually want is a rim piercing.
SCARIFICATION : Scarification is the creation of scars, usually via scalpels, to design the skin. There are several forms of scarification, resulting in different types of scars, giving the client and artist a wide range of creative possibilities.
ULTRASONIC & AUTOCLAVE : Two machines that no shop should be without. The ultrasonic uses high frequency waves to clean equipment much more thoroughly than could be done by hand. The autoclave uses extreme heat to sterilize equipment. The combination of methods ensures that any piece of equipment or jewelry that touches you is as clean as it is possible for something to be.
These are just a few common terms that you will hear around the shop – if there are more you have wondered about, leave a comment on our Facebook page.