For this particular branding technique, a newer medical technology has been adapted. Fakir has developed a technique of branding where he uses a thermal cautery unit (shown at right) to burn the skin, like a heat version of a tattoo machine, drawing finer lines and more elaborate shapes than can be handled with shaped metal pieces used for conventional struck brands.

Fakir originally had another subject for this technique, and we were going to just strike my designs, but then when that person cancelled, he adapted my designs so that we would use cautery for the "I" character. This character was burnt last, with tiny strikes for the head and crotch.

This technique is more of what I had feared about branding: it BURNS massively compared to strikes, there is a fierce amount of smoke released due to vaporization of the skin, and there is a smell not unlike teeth being drilled, but exponential stronger in intensity.

I began to breath more strongly, higher up in my chest, and it took a lot more to manage the pain. If I looked up at the ceiling, I saw a dark plume of smoke and smelled myself being vaporized.

The tip of the thermal cautery unit has a temperature shut off if it gets too hot, and we had two breaks in the figure due to temperature shutdown. During the first cooldown, I asked Lynn, another friend, to hold my feet for me. Both they and my hands were tingling from my slight hyperventilation and trying to channel so much energy. That made all the difference in the world, and enabled me to get thought the rest of the cautery brand.

After having been nearly silent through most of the procedure, I could see how it shook people to hear me breathe and vocalize so much more during the electro-cautery. It was a very testing experience, and I feel wonderful for having endured it.

The head and the crotch of the "I" glyph were done a conventional strikes. Fakir mentioned that an alternate version for the head would have been to render it as a whole solid burn with a piece of incense, applied to the skin, and allowed to burn itself down and into it.

See the Healing and Scab Peeling Process here

Check out this body art!

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