Last weekend, The Salt Palace Convention center was host of the Salt Lake International Tattoo Convention.
Piercing specialists, tattoo artists and the tattooed alike joined together to share their art and passion. Body art no longer equates to just tattoos anymore. Artists now specialize in scarification, a process where superficial incisions are made on the body to produce a three-dimensional image or design.
Another popular form of body modification is piercing. Most body parts can now be pierced and gender doesn’t seem to be an issue. Some of the most popular piercings tend to be the naval, nostril, tongue, lip and the traditional earlobe.
Stretching is a process that goes hand in hand with piercing. Traditional ear piercings measure to an approximate 20-gauge post. With special tools and care, one can stretch the lobes of their ear, cheek tissue or cartilage up to a couple of inches over time. The appeal behind this process is to decorate the body with thick posts usually carved from bone, shell or wood. These carvings are usually very intricate and often mimic tribal and swirl designs as well as detailed animals. Many “plugs” or jewelry for stretched ears are made from semi precious gems or glass. Many designs contain an insert of butterfly or moth wing, feathers or fossils.
Nick Lott is a piercer for Iris Piercing located at 2431 South Highland Drive. He has been piercing for eight years. Ciera Sims, who also works for Iris attended the convention. She has worked for Iris Piercing as a cashier for seven months. Both employees were more than happy to teach about different piercing techniques as well as inform attendees on the materials used to make jewelry.
The convention attracted out-of-town artists, such as Nate Lauerman, from Chalice Tattoo in Boise, Idaho. He has been tattooing since 2007 and was accompanied by his coworker Darcy Nut. Paying close attention to detail and form, Lauerman spent more than five hours tattooing a beautiful custom replica of a Sylvia Ji painting. Both Nut and Lauerman have an art style worth wearing. Their shop can be found at 10 North Latah Street in Boise, Idaho.