Issue 69 editorial
Some of the most fundamental ideas about piercing are those that are most intriguing and still relevant to question. What materials are available now to make jewelry for initial healing and prolonged wear in the body safe? How does one accurately direct an edge while traversing a body part to get consistent results? What can be done to minimize harm to the client and risk to the worker?
Part of what we can delight in as piercing practitioners is the potential for continued qualitative improvement in our work. Rumination upon these questions that can incite change, coupled with a willingness to progress and try new options opens us to the possibility that each procedure, each interaction and connection made with patrons can be our best to date. We have in our hands the means to find persuasive science and novel approaches to the challenges that we face, through access to libraries and communication with colleagues worldwide.
The constant flow of information among our peers engages this and advances our desire for better outcomes based on both understanding and inspiration. You are welcome to join in the conversation, add to it what you can offer, and benefit from the advantages of persistent educational opportunities. This organization exists to act as a crucible for bringing our ideas and skills together to make something more versatile, robust, complete, healthier, and easier to disseminate for the betterment of our craft and our society.
One of the aspects of this trade that I cherish most is the occasion to share with others what fascinates me about our work, and to learn from them in exchange. Whether that may be in written correspondence, a phone call, video conference, in person (or in a studio), or at an event. It is encouraging to observe that virtually every one of you seems to partake in them as often as possible—and this is evidenced by the many thousands of professional conversations logged online and the outstanding international attendance at several major educational events this year, including over twenty countries represented at our Conference.
Since the 2014 APP Conference, volunteer members working with the organization have traveled as educators to share ideas related to safety, theory, technique, technology, and history to conferences held by APP associate corporate members in Germany, Mexico, and Italy. As a participant at each, I can say they have exemplified and improved upon some of the best aspects of our event, and at the same time were quite different and unique from one another, apart from geographic location and language.
From October 2-5, the annualBMXnet event took place in Essen, Germany, and our business membersAna Paula Escalante,Christiane Löfblad, and Ryan Ouellette were welcomed back to the creative Unperfekthaus space to provide both informative lectures and hands-on demonstrations in technical skills workshops. The event is equipped to allow procedures to be performed live, and I had the privilege of demonstrating how to lose a connection and reconnect during a nostril piercing. (Sorry, David!)
Former APP Presidents Elayne Angel and Bethra Szumski (Secretary), Paul King (Treasurer), and I collectively taught a dozen classes and workshops during the event. An important element of our participation was to introduce the ideals and mission of the APP organization to new people. To that end we held a panel discussion with Ryan on how to continue our work to help fellow organizations such as BMXnet, ASAP,APTPI and LBP.
As an event that draws more international attendees than ever before, it seemed that this year English-speaking classes filled the schedule (38 in English/9 in German), and this was one of the topics discussed during the Future of BMXnet roundtable, led by one of the organizers, Stephan Strestik. They seem to have great potential, with their strong mix of educators and open exchange of ideas. The inclusion of an “all-you-can-eat” buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and all-day soft drinks, coffee, and tea was very helpful, especially for those who might have skipped a meal or had to eat on the run at other events due to a full schedule.
A few short weeks later, a voyage to Mexico City followed for the LBP 2do Congreso: La Asociación Latinoamericana de Body Piercing. Along with board member Jef Saunders and officers Bethra and Paul, we reunited with Ana Paula, serving as LBP Secretary, and LBP PresidentDanny Yerna, who was previously APP International Liaison. Registration and entry to the provided transportation was fluid, and the participants who filled the meeting place quickly made it into their seats with their necessities and a binder full of all of the lecture handouts, which was provided as reading material for the road trip. Even the APP materials and class details were translated into Spanish! This allowed for in-depth discussion en route, and prepared everyone to ask informed questions—and cut down considerably on live translation time. The translation of materials in advance was first rate, and gave me peace of mind as a non-native presenter, since my competence in Spanish is not yet what I aspire to. (Aprendo español, pero yo no hablo con fluidez.)
We traveled with a large group of the attendees to the Centro Vacacional y de Convenciones IMSS Metepec, near Puebla, at the base of the Iztaccíhuatl – Popocatépetl National Park and namesake volcanoes. We drove through a beautiful nature reserve part of the park on the way. When we arrived, we toured the grounds and got a sense of the harmonious combination of natural and professional spaces the organizers found so attractive.
This event follows several successful APP Mexico conferences, and has evolved in a significantly different format in an all-inclusive setting—where transportation, lodging, and meals were all covered together with the event. Everyone was invited to take part in every class and workshop, and the planned social events, as well as to dine together. Even special guest Fakir Musafar and his partner Cleo Dubois spent a great deal of time mingling with the group outside of the auditorium.
The next week transported me to Venice, Italy where I met Paul and long-time APP conference participant Ron Garza for the Body Art Development International Piercing Class and Workshop event. This was a new offering by the APTPI affiliated organizers, with technique and theory lectures, coupled with hands-on supervised training. The format was punctual and could be repeated for focus on specifics with expert direction.
Our 20th Conference is in production now, with plenty of new ideas for you! See you at Bally’s in Las Vegas (June 7-12, 2015).
I have a number of pictures from each of the conferences here:
Visit the event website.
20th Annual Conference 2015 Dates Announced!
June 7 — June 12, 2015, Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino – save the date!