Cell popping is essentially a form of temporary branding, accomplished by dotting an outline or design with glowing red pokers, (called teasing needles, usually used for medical dissection). I assume it got it's name from the sizzle or "pop" sound that can be heard as the moisture is robbed from the skin from the touch of the red hot needle.
One of my dearest and most masochistic friends, Terry (aka The Screamer) drove a long way to offer me his body as my first canvas. In our love and respect for one another, we decided that my personalized emblem would be a aesthetically pleasing and meaningful brand. I placed my pattern on his upper back and adhered it with eyelash glue. From the information I have gathered, most cell popping artists tape a paper pattern onto the skin or use a tattoo transfer. Folks, I am telling you, when using a paper pattern, eyelash glue is the way to go. I heated my needles on a clean heat source (in this case, we used Sterno) and began to dot around the pattern, hearing a *POP* each time I touched the needle to his skin. How cool! src='Being the detail-oriented (and slightly anal retentive) artist that I am, I meticulously made sure the dots were evenly spaced and close together, going back over the design if necessary to ensure a smooth, even outline.Terry and I talked and joked as I proceeded along diligently, heating the needles and making my mark. Look how happy he is! src='Now, they say your cell popping design doesn't really "show" at first, and darkens over time (about 24 hours).
When I finished my design, it looked like this. src='
Within an hour, it looked like this.src='
And when he got in the car to leave, it looked like this. src='
So there it is, friends, my first cell popping. As it heals in the coming weeks, I will update this post with more photos. Terry and I intend on meeting again to re-do the design as it fades, as repeated cell popping will yield a more permanent mark.
Please note that this blog entry is in NO way intended to be a tutorial or lesson of any kind. I strongly suggest attending a workshop or demo before attempting this kind of play. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Play smart, play safe.
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