Body Jewellery Blog – Advice, interviews, entertainment & more!


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Advice: Piercing Measuring Guide

Are you thinking of buying new body jewellery but are unsure of what size to buy and how to find out? Below is a guide that will help you measure your jewellery at home.
The gauge of the jewellery is the thickness, the diameter is the width across, the length is how long the bar of the jewellery is and the ball size is how large the ball is.

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Measuring your piece of body jewellery is very important, as using a piece that is too large can tug at your piercing and cause irritation and swelling, while a piece of jewellery too small can have a similar result. To make sure you are purchasing the right size, use this guide and a measuring device, such as a ruler or a measuring caliper, to get that perfect fit!

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Vernier Caliper used to measure piercing jewellery.

If you are still unsure how to measure your piercing, as it can be quite a fumbling and awkward task, most reputable piercing studios will be more than happy to check for you with a professional vernier measuring caliper. (See image on the left!)

Last but not least, make sure your hands are clean when touching your piercing and the area around it! This is always important as it will reduce the risk of infection and irritation when handling your piercing jewellery.


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Featured Tattoo: Paula Vidal’s Brazil

Name: Paula Vidal
Profession: Professional Make-up Artist
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Brazil outline tattoo on Paula Vidal's side.

Brazil outline tattoo on Paula Vidal’s side.

Q. Tell us what your tattoo is and what it represents for you:

A. Well, I spent a couple of months living abroad and it made me realise how much I cared about my own country and its culture. When I came back I was really into Brazil and I just thought “maybe I want to get the map of Brazil tattooed on me” and just did it.

Q. When did you get it?

A. About three years ago.

Q. Where did you get the tattoo done?

A. In a studio in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, called Jack Tattoo Studio.

Q. Any regrets?

A. I don’t regret it at all.

Q. Why is the tattoo important for you?

A. It reminds me about who I am and where I came from, no matter where I am or what  I’m doing in that moment.

Q. Would you get another tattoo? If so, what will you get done?

A. Probably, I’ve got four more tattoos and all of them are really meaningful to me. I’d need to have a really strong feeling about it first.

Thanks Paula! It’s an awesome idea for a tattoo.


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Advice – Piercing Materials: Bioplast/Bioflex

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A glittery bioplast curved barbell.

Bioplast is a bio-compatible, flexible material that can be cut to any length, is self threading and can even help reduce swelling and infection. The material is becoming more and more popular in the piercing industry, popping up from more manufacturers every day. It’s a great alternative to metallic body jewellery (Surgical Steel and Titanium) and it’s extremely light weight and therefore does not pull on a piercing.

It’s very popular for naval piercings, as the Bioplast can be heated to 121 degrees Celcius, killing any bacteria and ensuring the jewellery is clean and safe to wear.

Bioplast is also less likely to be rejected by the body in surface piercings such as eyebrow and naval, reducing the risk of infection and irregular healing.

Bioflex is similar in composition to Bioplast, developed in the UK and tested and certified for use in body piercings. There are differences in how Bioflex and Bioplast jewellery looks, for example the discs of a Bioplast labret are thicker than that of a Bioflex labret, however the benefits remain the same.

I personally switched to Bioplast when all other jewellery caused my belly piercing to become irritated, within days it had cooled down and completely settled into the material so I would definitely recommend this type of jewellery!


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Entertainment: Urban Exploration Photography

This week, before the rain made its unwelcome return to England, the Piercing Pirate crew packed their cameras and went out into the countryside for some Urbex adventures!

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Abandoned car in West Lulworth. Credit: Cissa Rego

Urban Exploration, also known as Urbex or UE, is the exploration of buildings and other man-made structures that are abandoned and/or in a state of ruins. It may sometimes involve trespassing on private property, but respected photographers will stick to the rule of no breaking and entering. Structures explored by Urbex photographers include factories, catacombs, sewers, storm drains, transit and utility tunnels and bunkers. Basically, you go anywhere you are not necessarily ‘supposed’ to go!

The unspoken rule of urban exploring is “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”, but it can sometimes be a dangerous hobby. Those exploring storm drains are at risk of flash floods and poor ventilation, while many old buildings can be rather fragile and unstable. The UE community also urges people to respect the places they visit, leaving them in the same condition for the next person who might stumble upon its eroded beauty. Never steal, vandalise or litter!

Rusted and unused chains. Credit: Cissa Rego

Rusted and unused chains. Credit: Cissa Rego

Urbex is now becoming one of the most popular styles of photography, partly due to its increased media attention, including numerous television shows. Check out Urban Explorers on the Discovery Channel for a great insight into the practise.

If you are planing to enter this derelict world, you must always research the risks. Get yourself trained by an experienced professional and listen to their advice on the subject. After that, jump in!

Some great resources for Urban Exploration on the web:

Forbidden Places – All about Urban Exploration.
Infiltration – The zine about going places you’re not supposed to go.
Urban Explorers – A friendly network of Urban photographers.
Silent UK – A great blog for UE photography.


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Featured Piercing: Gemma’s Stretched Ear Lobes

Name: Gemma Hawkins M.A.
Profession: International website support at Lush
Location: Parkstone, UK

gemma earQ. When did you decide to get this piercing?

A. I had my ears pierced when I was nine but never wore any jewellery in them really. But when I was around about 16 or 17 I started to stretch my ears. It took me about a year to stretch up to 20mm, and then when I was 25 I started stretching again, up to a 28mm. But now I float between 24 and 26mm.

Q. What motivated you to get it done?

A. When I was around about 15 my brother started to stretch his ears and I thought it looked amazing so I copied him!

Q. Where did you get pierced?

A. I had my ears pierced in a little place down Poole Quay called Doctor Feel Good’s. But got all of my stretching stuff from Paradox down Old Christchurch Road in Bournemouth.

Q. Were there any problems with healing afterwards?

A. Initially no. But when I started stretching I went too quickly and blew out one ear at about 6mm. It’s never been the same since and struggled with being stretched all the way up to 28mm. So I can’t stress enough how important it is to stretch your ears slowly! Once the damage is done there’s no going back.

Q. What kind of jewellery do you like to wear in it?

A. I like natural pieces, so wood, bone, ceramics, or glass. No funk!

Q. Any regrets?

A. Only that I went too fast and ruined one ear, which meant that when I got to 28mm the ear was very fragile and I couldn’t go any bigger. In fact I had to downsize slightly.

Q. Would you get another piercing? If so, where?

A. I’d like some more cartilage piercings and I would also like my micro dermal redone on my neck as it fell out after a year!

Thanks Gemma! We think your tunnels look fantastic!


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Entertainment: Orange Is The New Black

Piercing Pirate got Netflix!

And what better way to celebrate than watch a Netflix original series? We all sat down this weekend to enjoy a marathon run of the US comedy-drama series Orange Is The New Black. All 13 episodes of it!

Credit: Netflix

(Left to Right) Pornstache, Red, Morello, Nicky, Piper, Crazy Eyes, Taystee and Alex. Credit: Netflix

Created by Jenji Kohan, (creator of the hit TV series Weeds) OITNB follows the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and her Fiance Larry (Jason Biggs) as she begins a 15 month sentence in a woman’s federal prison for transporting illegal drug money for her former lover in her more adventurous youth. The series is actually based on the real life story of Piper Kerman, and also serves as an interesting reflection on prison life and conditions inside. The drama is understandably pumped up for the show, but according to Kerman’s memoir (of the same name), the conditions of the prison itself were very similar.

Being in prison can be tough. Credit: Netflix

Being in prison can be tough. Credit: Netflix

After the first episode you learn that the show is not only telling Chapman’s story, but exploring the unfortunate, and sometimes cruel, events that led to the imprisonment of some of the other women. The flashbacks were a particularly nice touch and even though it’s been done several times before, this just feels so unique.

Piper embarks on a journey of self discovery, making friends (and enemies) while adapting to everyday life and finding her place in the prison hierarchy throughout the series. It’s a beautiful transformation that sees a naive, well educated middle class woman become a more thoughtful, empathetic person. In prison no less!

The balance of humour and drama is both delicate and genius as well, keeping the tone light enough for repeated viewings while making sure you become emotionally invested with quite a few unexpected twists and turns along the way.

None of us were particularly excited or held high hopes for the show, as we’d never even heard of it before selecting it to watch. But, saying we were pleasantly surprised would be the understatement of the year! It’s funny, it’s engrossing, and best of all every single member of the cast is fantastic and gives a truly outstanding performance. Orange Is The New Black genuinely leaves you craving for more!

We all agreed that it deserved 5 stars, and challenge you to try to watch just one episode without getting yourself hooked!

5 of 5 stars.