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Labret Posts – Simple Right?

Neometal Threadless Labret
A photo of the Neometal threadless labret available here

Labret posts seem like humble little pieces of metal but they are the true workhorses of the piercing world. This week we will be looking at the importance of labret posts, why they are the shape they are and why we love them so much!

So to start with lets refresh on what a labret is. It is a Post with a disc on one end. The disc can be fixed or removable and they post can be threaded or threadless. The labret post is the part which passes through your body and the part that holds all the beautiful ends in place. Many different manufacturers make labrets but sadly not all are made equal. For a refresh on all of the different aspects of high quality jewellery then take a look back at our High Quality? Series of Blogs here.

Importance

Labret posts are one of the key reasons we have so many piercing and jewellery options available to us. Before labret studs the only options were rings and barbells. By changing the ball on a barbell to a disc, piercers were able to offer piercings in much smaller placements e.g. forward helix, with less space at the back e.g the labret piercing and for more comfort e.g. sleeping on lobe piercings.

Design

A CAD drawing of a threadless labret by Aiden

While they may seem simple there are a lot of design constraints. A labret must be sized correctly in post length and gauge, connection choice and disc diameter and thickness.

Length

NeoMetal: Threadless Titanium Labret Post - POST ONLY (16g and 14g posts  for 16g and 14g ends) - Body Jewelry
Labrets are available in an array of sizes, gauges, disc size and style

The length of the post for a jewellery maker is more than the piercer approach of ensuring the jewellery is long enough to not embed and not too long so it snags. The gauge of the post must be thick enough that a suitable thread can be placed inside with enough metal left to support the thread without breaking. 1.6mm/14g barbells were already around when labrets were invented but as demand grew for 1.2mm/16g and 1.0mm/16g jewellery the labret was ready to take the top spot.

Connection

Press-fit Jewelry
Threadless example from Neometal

Connection choice might seem simple. Just drill a hole either small enough for threadless or large enough to tap a thread. But threadless has been under patent since the early 90’s and has only just entered public license so this wasn’t an option for most manufacturers. For threaded pieces large taps could easily break the labret and smaller thread patterns can be weak and easily stripped. The solution was to settle on an unusual thread pattern for the smaller bars. 000-120 for 1.2mm/16g and 1.0mm/18g. For the larger 1.6mm/14g and 2.0mm/12g a much more readily available thread pattern of M1.2 is used. To top all of this off if the labret has got a removable disc then the post has to be long enough the the holes drilled for threadless of threaded don’t meet in the middle. Since threadless has become public domain we have seen a lot of advancement in the miniaturisation of jewellery and a rise in the popularity of smaller piercing sites such as forward helixes.

Disc Size

M&M Ends
An M&M Disc by Anatometal shown here

The Disc on a labret has 3 main dimensions; diameter, thickness and angle.

The diameter is important because it is used to balance the weight of the end placed on the labret. If the disc doesn’t balance then gravity will pull the jewellery down and the edge of the disc will start to irritate the piercing site. Diameter is also especially important during the initial healing phase as it prevents the body swelling over and embedding the jewellery. Conversely a disc that is too large will be pulled down by gravity and can pull the end into the body. It is all a balancing act.

Thickness of the disc can help to minimise any irritation of the jewellery in the body. If the disc is too thin it will essentially be knife edge scraping and cutting the piercing site all day. If it is too thick then it creates a corner that acts the same as a thin disc. The key here is ti find the balance in the middle and then polish the edges so that there are no sharp points that could hurt the piercing.

By angle of the disc we mean the angle from the post to the edge of the disc. We don not mean the angle of the post coming out of the disc. An easy visual of this is a Flat Disc compared to an M&M Disc. The reason for different angles is to allow space between the piercing and jewellery for drainage, to minimise sharp edges in soft tissue e.g. tongue piercings and to give more weight to balance larger ends.

When your piercer selects the labret post for your piercing they are taking all of this and more into consideration. No two bodies are alike and so our body jewellery has to be as unique as we are. Just remember that your piercer will pierce you with initial size and for comfort and a happy, healthy piercing you will need to go back for a downsize.

So hopefully we’ve shown you that we love labret posts. Without this humble piece of jewellery the world of piercing would be a much duller place! We’ll be back next week with another lockdown blog. Stay safe everyone!

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High Quality? Part 20 – Gem Settings

Gem settings are how jewellery manufacturers make sure the gems in jewellery don’t fall out. There are different types of gem settings and each has its pros and cons as well as bringing a different style to the final piece. This week we will show some of the different settings and their pros and cons.

Bezel

An Industrial Strength Bezel Set Synthetic Pink Opal – available here

Bezel settings give one of the simplest and cleanest styles of all the gem settings but don’t let their simple look hide their hidden complexities. Simply put a bezel setting is a cup or box that a gem sits inside, and the top lip of the cup or box is rolled over to hold the gem in place. This could be something as simple as a standard round gem or something more complex like an asymmetric piece. Bezel settings are great for initial piercings as they have less snag risk than other options and, when well-made, will have nowhere for crusties to build up and dull the gems shine. As the gem is enclosed in the setting, bezel set gems don’t shine as much as other options. When mass manufactured bezel settings require calibrated gems (gems cut to tight measurement tolerances) and a high level of quality control to ensure gems do not move or spin.

Pros

  • Minimal snag risk
  • Can hold asymmetric gems
  • Cleaner for initial piercing

Cons

  • Gems can spin if not set correctly
  • Gems aren’t as bright due to being enclosed
  • Jewellery has to be deeper to enclose the gem

Prong/Claw

A Neometal Prong Set Ocean Grey Swarovski – Available here

Prong and Claw settings are two names for holding a gem in place using small pieces of metal around the gem like claws. Prong and Claw are interchangeable terms. These settings are perfect for making gems shine and sparkle as the light can enter the gem from all sides. Prong/Claw settings are capable of holding both large and small gems but at smaller sizes the gem can get obscured by the setting or not have enough metal for a strong setting. Due to requiring less metal to hold the gem securely, prong set jewellery can be made smaller so are perfect for daintier options.

Pros

  • Lots of light play
  • Can hold asymmetric gems
  • Gives a lighter and daintier look due to less metal

Cons

  • More attentive cleaning regime required
  • Can obscure smaller stones
  • More expensive due to highly skilled practitioner required

Pavé

A BVLA Pavé set Swarovski Snowflake – available here

Pavé settings are pure decadence as an entire surface is covered with gemstones. To achieve this lots of small settings halfway between a bezel and a claw must be made. This is the setting choice for those that really want their jewellery to stand out and to show off the gemstones more than the metal. By embedding the gemstones into the jewellery the jewellery will need to be slightly deeper. Snag risk is low to medium with this setting as the settings are low to the metal surface, but there are lots of them.

Pros

  • Lots of gems can be placed tight together to create a unique style
  • Minimal metal is visible for a more gem based style

Cons

  • An extremely skilled stone setter is required
  • If the setting becomes damaged multiple gems can be lost

Channel

An Industrial Strength Channel Set Clear Swarovski End – Available here

Channel settings involve cutting grooves into a channel so that multiple stones share the same setting. This is a very secure method of holding gems but requires very accurately made gemstones and jewellery. As the gems and setting are completely enclosed the snag risk is very low with these. Due to the open space between the gems channel settings allow a fair amount of light play and sparkle but can allow build up of crusties so require careful cleaning.

Pros

  • Lots of sparkle
  • Minimal snag risk
  • Durable design for high friction areas

Cons

  • Cleaning can be tricky if crusties build up
  • Not many manufacturers available for body jewellery
  • Calibrated gems are required

There are many variations on these settings and some jewellery will contain multiple different types of setting. If you are unsure about which settings will work well for you and your piercings then get in touch and let us know what you’re thinking. We will be glad to help you find the jewellery of your dreams.

That’s all for this week but we’ll be back next week with more piercing and jewellery knowledge.

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Apprentice Progression

While we’ve been in lockdown we’ve been taking a look back at how our apprentice Jess (Instagram) is progressing. Jess has got lobe, helix, conch and nipple signed off already and once lockdown is over she will be continuing to work through all the piercing options. Here are our top 5 piercings by Jess so far:

Perfectly executed spacing for this Triple Helix using custom anodised basic Titanium balls. Anodised to the colours of the Trans flag by Jess too!
Paired Upper Lobes using Neometal Bezel Set Swarovski Gems set into Implant Grade Titanium. Jess matched the piercings across the ears and kept the flow created by previous piercings.
A Nipple piercing using Neometal Bezel Set Synthetic Blue Opals set into Implant Grade Titanium. You can faintly see Jess’s markings here and can see how well she hit her marks.
A neatly tucked in Helix Piercing using Neometal Prong Set Swarovski set into Implant Grade Titanium. Working with the anatomy is vitally important to piercing. using little nooks and valleys can help protect a piercing from snags and knocks.
A Conch Piercing using a Rose anodised Neometal Swarovski and Implant Grade Titanium Flower. The conch was the piercing Jess starter her apprenticeship with. Due to mask wearing conch become a super technical piercing but Jess rose to challenge of piercing avoiding mask straps.

As well as the skill Jess is showing in piercing, her approach to aftercare and bedside manner is top notch. We are all enjoying see Jess grow and flourish and look forward to a bright future for her.

Jess will be available for bookings in her new piercing room at a mix of apprentice rate (for learning) and full rate (already learnt) when lockdown is lifted. Keep an eye on our Instagram and Google page for updates about reopening.

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COVID-19 Update 4/08/2020

COVID Update - A fresh Nose piercing featuring nose rings
COVID Update – A fresh Nose piercing featuring nose rings

COVID-19 restrictions have changed and the time has come! We are able to offer facial piercings again! This includes nose, tongue, eyebrows etc.

Our store protocols were already higher than Government COVID-19 recommendations and we will continue to go above and beyond. As a reminder here are just some of the protocols we are currently following:

  • All Customers must wear a mask upon entry to the store. For facial piercings the mask will be removed at the last possible moment and replaced as soon as possible.
  • Piercers will wear a medical face mask and a visor as well as gloves or sterile gloves.
  • Piercers will wash their hands and arms at the start and end of every procedure.
  • The piercing room will be decontaminated between every customer using medical grade surface disinfectants.
  • The shop will have all door handles decontaminated between customers using medical grade surface disinfectants.
  • Consent forms will be filled in on customers phones to prevent contaminating the shop tablet.
  • Our waiting area is closed and we ask clients to come alone (apart from minor’s piercing and intimate piercing where a chaperone is required)
  • We will be operating by appointment only but you can book an appointment online as little as 1 minute before your appointment time!

As usual we will be using single use sterile needles, sterilising every piece of jewellery before use and keeping the highest hygiene protocols.

Bookings for facial piercings will be open from 5pm Friday 14th August 2020 and facial piercings can begin from Saturday 15th August 2020. To book head to roguepiercing.co.uk/book-now

Thanks!

Love from Rogue x

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Famous Piercing Enthusiasts

It might seem today like piercings are commonplace on a lot of people, but that is a relatively modern development. Piercings being seen on celebrities has really driven that change so this week we’re going to look at some famous piercing enthusiasts.

Famous Piercing Enthusiasts - Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman shows the attitude he’s famous for

Dennis Rodman

Whether it’s his piercings, tattoos or brightly coloured hair, Dennis Rodman always makes an impression. Famous for his time in the NBA playing basketball for the Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers and Detroit Pistons in the late 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Noted piercings on Dennis are paired nostrils, labret, earlobes and nipples. His unusual style and attitude made piercings visible to large groups of people who may never have come across them before.

Famous Piercing Enthusiasts - Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu has been called the Queen of Neo-Soul. She is a Singer, Songwriter and Actress. With her main influences being R&B, 70’s soul and 80’s hip-hop. She is just as comfortable on stage as she is in front of the camera and has an unmissable style. As jewellery she has worn many different “fake” piercings but is currently rocking a bridge and some cheek piercings that are a personal favourite of mine. I’ve posted a video below of one of my favourite songs by Erykah.

Scarlett Johansson

Famous Piercing Enthusiasts - Scarlett Johansson
Young Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson today

Scarlett is a world famous Actress and Singer and is the world’s highest-paid actress since 2018 but she has always had her wild side too. She has always been at the cutting edge of style and this shows in her piercing and jewellery choices too, from her younger days where she had an eyebrow and septum piercing to today where she has a curated ear and enviable jewellery collection. I was unaware that she has a septum piercing before writing this blog and I think that makes her even cooler.

Keith Flint

Famous Piercing Enthusiasts - Keith Flint

Braintree’s very own firestarter, Keith Flint was the frontman for the band The Prodigy and brought piercings to every household in the UK in 1996 with the release of the song Firestarter. Famously wearing tongue, septum and various ear piercings, Keith is cited as the reason for many peoples tongue and septum piercings ever since. Sadly Keith took his own life in 2019 but continued to release music upto 2018 and was still a staple of British radio. RIP Keith.

It was fun writing this weeks blog and I could have easily listed many more people and will return to this subject in the future. Thanks for reading everyone!

Aiden

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COVID-19 Plans

Hi Folks!

COVID-19 has caused a wave of messages from our lovely clients asking when we will be able to reopen. At the time of writing this (28/05/2020) we only know that we won’t be in the first wave of businesses reopening. and that we may be allowed to reopen in July. We thought we would help put your minds at ease about safety at Rogue by letting you know what changes we are implementing in store for reopening time.

COVID-19 - Appointment Only

Longer Appointment Only – We work mainly by appointment but to allow time to clean more of the studio before and after each client we will be solely appointment based. Each appointment will also be longer than normal.

Single Client – To minimise contamination we will only be allowing one client per staff member. For piercings on minors and intimate we will allow a parent/legal guardian or a chaperone. Make sure to select which staff member you want to visit on our booking screen.

No Waiting Area – We will temporarily close our waiting area. Our comfy sofa will be back soon!

COVID-19 - Gloves and Masks

Mask and Gloves For Clients – Each client will be given a face mask and nitrile gloves as well as having access to hand sanitiser when they enter the store. This will help us create a clean bubble.

Cashless Payments – By paying with card you help us not having to hand cash and change between ourselves and our clients.

Webstore – If you know exactly what you want you can use our webstore here or contact us at hello@roguepiercing.co.uk

Remote Consent Forms – When you book your appointment you will be emailed a link to where you can fill out your consent form. We will check the info on our shop PC so we aren’t sharing tablets or pens.

Masks and Visors for Staff – Our staff will be wearing more PPE than usual. We understand it can look scary but we promise we’ll do our best to ease the tension with bad humour and even worse dancing.

COVID-19 Social Distancing

Social Distancing Markers in Store – We will create zones around the store so it’s easier to keep distance between everyone.

Front Desk Screen – A perspex screen will create a barrier at our front desk to protect us while we serve you.

Increased Cleaning Schedules – We already use medical grade disinfectants regularly throughout the store but we have increased how often we clean public surfaces such as door handles etc.

Limited Piercing Range – We will be holding off on Oral and Nasal piercings for a short while. This takes away some of our favourite piercings but we’ll bring them back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Training – As well as all of these changes we have also been working on our knowledge behind the scenes and taking WHO courses in Infection Control, Decontamination, Hygiene and COVID-19.

Thanks to the UKAPP for putting out some great guidelines that can be seen here

We love what we do and we love sharing it with you. As soon as we know when we can reopen we will post on our social medias and open our booking system again. Thank you to everyone that has locked down, quarantined or continued an essential service. We will do our very best to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 at Rogue when we are allowed to reopen. But for now Stay Safe everyone!

Aiden x

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High Quality? Part 19 – Education

Piercing Education comes in many different shapes and sizes. As there is no qualification to be a piercer all of your knowledge is passed from one piercer to another. Historically piercers would learn everything they can during their apprenticeship and then continuously learn from the day to day experiences of piercing. Piercing used to be an environment where information and knowledge was not shared with other piercers for “Fear of training my competition”. In the modern world, high quality piercers understand that by sharing our good information we can minimise the damage caused by low quality piercing.

Apprenticeships

The best way to get into the piercing industry is to take an apprenticeship. As there is no qualification it is important to research into the piercer you want to mentor from to ensure they are a reputable piercer. Looking for UKAPP and APP members is a great place to start.

An apprenticeship normally lasts anywhere from 1 to 3 years. A lot of the time apprenticeships are unpaid roles (some studios even charge for an apprenticeship) so the apprentice has to show dedication. As being a piercer is more of a lifestyle than a career this is to ensure that the apprentice really wants this life. Piercing is a job that can take you around the world and allow you to be whoever you want to be and look however you want. The payoff for that freedom is a volatile pay cheque and a job that has very little progression once trained.

Education - Not this guy please
When we say The Apprentice we’re not talking about Lord Sugar’s gang.

An apprenticeship would ideally cover the following subjects in a high level of detail:

  • Anatomy
  • Hygiene
  • Sterilisation
  • Sharps handling
  • Chemical handling
  • Customer management
  • Stock management
  • Bloodborne Pathogen training
  • First Aid training
  • Jewellery design
  • Materials technology
  • Troubleshooting piercings
  • How to pierce safely

Each of these subjects needs to be understood inside out before a piercer should be let loose on the public. Once an apprentice has shown they understand all of these key areas then they will be able to progress to junior piercer and begin working with the public until they have compounded their knowledge enough that they are a fully fledged piercer.

An apprenticeship given by a reputable piercer will open doors in the industry for an apprentice that will affect their lifetime as a piercer. It is important to find the best piercer possible to learn from to ensure the information gleaned is good and that the apprenticeship will be validated by other piercers for future work.

Piercing Schools

Education - No Schools
Piercing Schools are not recommended or respected by the piercing industry

Piercing schools are frowned upon by the piercing industry. The reason for this is that it is not possible to learn all the aspects of piercing in a 1 or 2 week course. The act of pushing a needle through someone can be learnt but all of the safety cannot. Aiden has worked with many different piercers around the world and has yet to find a piercing school that covers all the safety aspects adequately, let alone how to pierce straight and select appropriately jewellery. The vast majority of piercers see piercing schools as a way to take money of unsuspecting people. Piercing schools are expensive and will leave you with a “qualification” that is not respected or valued by the industry and may even go against you as a reputable piercer would have to train bad habits out rather than start from fresh.

Conferences

Education - UKAPP.org.uk

Piercing conferences have started to pop up all over the world in the last 5 years. Piercing conferences are for trained piercers to go and brush up on their education to ensure they are staying up to date. As piercing in the UK is an unregulated industry, the UKAPP conference is the best way to stay on top of any new techniques, jewellery options and legislation changes that can occur.

Networking is also an important part of piercing conferences as this is how piercers get invited to visit other studios to shadow more experienced piercers, find new jobs and find reputable piercers for when clients are visiting a different town or city.

Shadowing

Another way to stay on top of your education as a piercer is to visit other studios and shadow more experienced piercers. This is recommended as the best way to fill any gaps in a piercers knowledge. A piercer should never use the public as guinea pigs but instead should watch another piercer carry out the piercing so they can learn and ask questions.

Shadowing commonly leads to new employment opportunities for both full time and guest spots.

Piercing Forums

Piercing forums are a great way to view lots of piercing education. Groups such as the UK Piercing Professionals group on Facebook are a prime example. Groups like this help piercers to peer review and techniques and new jewellery, discuss oddities from studio life and ask for advice if required. These groups tend to be moderated by reputable piercers to keep the information good but as with everything on the internet it is always best to fact check. Learning online is no replacement for hands on learning from a reputable piercer. Aiden has been as admin on the UK Piercing Professionals group since it was formed and is proud to have supported the growth of many piercers across the UK, Europe and the world.

Education - https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKPiercingProfessionals/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKPiercingProfessionals/ – A group for professional piercers. Proof of work must be given before access to the group is given.

Self Taught

In the early 90’s when the piercing industry was still in its infancy, self teaching through trial and error on our own bodies was an acceptable way to learn to pierce. As you can imagine a lot of lessons both good and bad were learnt during this time. Piercers have learnt everything they can from self teaching so this is not an acceptable method to learn to pierce anymore. Reputable piercers will advise people against self piercing for their own safety. We have been there already and we don’t need to go back.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to gain education about piercing but the best way is to go through an apprenticeship. A reputable piercer will use aspects from all of these different ways of learning to gain their initial knowledge and skills and then stay on top of their education. Every day is a school day!

That’s it for this week. Hopefully you know a little more about how your piercer learnt what they do. We will be back next week to discuss Mill Certificates for jewellery. This has been a popular request and we are happy to listen. Have a good week everyone!

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High Quality? Part 18 – Studio Design

Good studio design is essential to keeping you and your piercer safe. If a studio is designed badly then there is a high risk of cross contamination which can lead to infections. This week we will explain how to spot a well designed studio. UKAPP and APP members have their studios vetted before they can become members so choosing a UKAPP or APP studio is a great way to ensure you are in a safe and clean environment.

Non-Porous

Studio Design - Non porous

This first thing you normally come to in any shop is the front desk. This desktop should be non-porous so that it can be cleaned. As lots of people touch the desk

and regularly place worn jewellery on the surface (Please don’t do this. It stresses us out) we need to disinfect it regularly to prevent cross contamination. As we don’t know what bacteria may be on a piece of jewellery and the desktop we us medical grade high level surface disinfectants and if the desktop is porous the disinfectant will not be effective.

The floor should be the next thing to take a look at. As rugs can trap lots of dust (skin cells are the main component of dust) they can be a hazard in the shop. The majority of the floor in the reception and waiting area should be non-porous and the piercing room room should be completely non-porous. Doormats and any rugs should be cleaned regularly and disposed off if they become contaminated with any body fluids. This way the floors can be disinfected daily and don’t harbour any potential risks. As jewellery can be dropped it is essential that the floor is cleaned daily. Also as piercings can sometimes involve blood we need to ensure that if blood gets on the floor that it can be cleaned off effectively.

Once you are in the piercing room almost everything should be non-porous. The bed, worktop, work table, cupboard doors, door handles, sink etc should all be non-porous. The piercing room will need to be washed down in disinfectant at the start and end of the day and after each customer. If these items are porous then they will be contaminated quickly and be unable to be disinfected.

Private Area

Studio Design - Private

The piercing room itself should be in a private area away from the front desk. No other procedures (tattooing, jewellery sales etc) outside of piercing should be carried out in this area to ensure that it stays clean and doesn’t become contaminated. A private area also means that your piercing isn’t a show for anyone in the shop or walking past and this will make the experience much more comfortable.

The walls of the piercing room should ideally go all the way to the ceiling but if not they must be at least 8 feet high. By being enclosed or having walls at this height the contamination from air is minimised. Dust, dirt and other particles in the air can contaminate surfaces. It is a recommendation by the UKAPP and APP to install HEPA filters to clean the air in the piercing room to minimise this contamination risk.

Clean and Dirty Sides

Studio Design - Clinical Waste Sign
Signs should be posted warning where clinical waste is stored

As piercing generates clinical waste it is important to set clean and dirty sides to the piercing room. This will prevent the clean items (needles, gloves, consumables etc) being contaminated before they are used. The ideal solution is to keep the clinical waste bin and used tool rinse tray near each other on the opposite side of the room to the sink and clean items. This same rule will apply in the sterilisation room but customers rarely get to see this part of a studio.

Sinks

Piercing studios need more sinks than you might expect. A good studio design requires the following sinks:

  • Bathroom – for washing hands after using the toilet
  • Piercing Room – for washing before and after a procedure
  • Sterilisation Room – for cleaning tools
Studio Design - Lever Operated Tap
Lever operated taps keep hands from being contaminated after washing

Each sink should only be used for the activities listed above. Hand should not be washed in the bathroom or sterilisation room before piercing as there is a risk of contamination in these areas. Tools should also not be washed in the piercing room sink to ensure that sink stays clean.

Each of these sinks will also need a hot and cold water feed and a tap that can be turned off without using your hands. This is to ensure that hands don’t get dirty again after washing. Some studios fit sensor taps whereas others go for lever taps that are operated with the elbow. Either are fine.

This is just scratching the surface of studio design but should give you an idea of what to look out for in a piercing studio. For more information on what a piercing studio should have inside check out the membership requirements for UKAPP or APP as they will go into more detail.

That’s it for this week! Next week we will be discussing training and education for piercers. Have a good week everyone!

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High Quality? Part 17 – Custom Orders

Custom Orders cover any time you want to order something that your piercer doesn’t stock. This could be something as simple as a size they don’t carry or it can go all the way into custom designing a new piece of jewellery just for you. A lot of the utterly stunning jewellery that you see on social media will have been custom ordered to the exact specification of the customer. This weeks blog will try to help you understand the process of custom ordering with your piercer as well as what happens once your piercer has placed your order. We will explain how we work at Rogue but other piercers may work in different ways.

Placing Your Order

Image result for consultation
Custom Order – Your piercer will get as much information as possible from you about your order

The first step to custom ordering is getting in touch with your piercer. The best way to go about this is to have a face to face consultation. We offer free jewellery consultations at Rogue so that we have time to sit together and discuss what you want. You can book a free jewellery consultation here. In person is best so that your piercer can assess your anatomy, take any measurements required and check that the piece you are thinking of will work for that location. Your piercer may come up with some ideas that you hadn’t thought of too. As custom orders cannot be returned it is important to ensure that all sizing and colours are correct. Distance consultations can be carried out by email and/or messenger but your piercer will not be able to guarantee that the sizing is correct or that the jewellery is appropriate for the location. Here at Rogue we fill out a custom order form with you so that we can all check that the details are correct and that no information gets lost before your order arrives.

Deposit

Image result for deposit
Custom orders will not be placed without a deposit

Once you have finalised the piece of jewellery you require you will then need to place a deposit before your piercer will place the order. A deposit is required because custom orders may be made from colour or sizing combinations that suit your style well but may not sell well in store. As custom ordered jewellery cannot be returned to the supplier, a deposit ensures your piercer doesn’t lose out if you never pay off the balance and collect your jewellery. At Rogue we take a 50% deposit but we have been known to be flexible to help out our regulars who are working towards larger jewellery set ups. At Rogue you have 6 months from the date of order to pay off the total balance on your jewellery. If the total balance is not paid off in this time you may lose your deposit and your jewellery.

Ordering

Once you have had your consultation and paid your deposit your piercer will then add your order to their order list. Shipping on a single order costs an average of $75 plus VAT, because of this your piercer will group orders together to spread out the shipping cost over multiple pieces of jewellery. This means your order may not be placed straight away. At Rogue we place orders every other month with different suppliers. If you want your order to be rushed then you always have the option of paying the shipping fee in full.

Manufacture

Custom Order - Jewellery in production on a lathe
Custom Order – Jewellery in production on a lathe

Our body jewellery manufacturers are currently under a lot of strain and are doing their very best to keep up with demand but due to the explosion of popularity for high quality jewellery their wait times have increased. Some manufacturers currently have lead times of up to 4 months! YOur piercer will have given you an estimate of manufacture time during your consultation. Your piercer will do everything then can to get your jewellery to you ASAP but once it is with the manufacturer there is very little we can do other than wait. If you have a specific event you want your jewellery for e.g. a wedding, then let your piercer know as sometimes our jewellery manufacturers will be able to rush 1 or 2 pieces to help make your day extra special.

Shipping

Custom Orders - Most body jewellery is made in North America so will need to be shipped to the UK
Custom Orders – Most body jewellery is made in North America so will need to be shipped to the UK

Once your jewellery is complete it will packaged and sent via courier to your piercer. As most of our jewellery manufacturers are currently based in North America this means that import charges will occur. Your piercer will have already factored these in to the cost so don’t worry there won’t be anything extra to pay but there may be an extra delay if customs decide to hold the order. This has happened to us in the past at Rogue but it has only ever added 1 week maximum delay.

Arrival

Your jewellery will then arrive with your piercer. They will check that the order is correct and that there are no defects from the manufacture. Once Quality Control is complete your piercer will then process your jewellery so that it is sterile and ready to go into your piercing. Your piercer will then contact you to let you know that your jewellery has arrived! If you have any of your balance left to pay then your piercer will arrange for you to pay either in person when you collect your jewellery or via a different method e.g. via our webshop.

Installation

The final step! At this stage you head to your piercer and they install your brand new, custom ordered jewellery! This is a special moment as all of the work that has gone into custom ordering comes to fruition. Your piercer will probably be just as excited you are and want to take ALL of the photos.

Custom Orders - Ear Project Featuring Rose gold, Rainbow Moonstone, Anodised Titanium and Swarovski
Custom Orders – Ear Project Featuring Rose gold, Rainbow Moonstone, Anodised Titanium and Swarovski

Conclusion

So that’s how custom orders work! If you would like to custom order your own jewellery then head to our book now page and book a free jewellery consultation to get the ball rolling. What will you design for yourself! If you have any questions about today’s blog then leave a comment below.

That’s it for this week. We will be back next week to discuss studio design. A well designed studio can make the difference between a good and bad studio.

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High Quality? Part 16 – Piercing Associations

Piercing Associations might not seem like an important part of high quality piercing but our associations are what drives progression and spreads health and safety knowledge to the industry. As piercing in the UK is currently unregulated and only governed by local bylaws, piercing associations are the main way to look for high quality and safe piercers. This week’s blog will give a little history to our associations, explain their importance to the industry and finally help you understand why you should look for a piercer who is an association member.

In the Beginning there was the APP

APP - Association of Professional Piercers

Many piercing associations have come and gone since the piercing industry started in the late 80’s, early 90s. Only 1 organisation has managed to stay the course and that is the APP (Association of Professional Piercers). The APP formed in California in 1995 to try and create some minimum safety standards for piercing. Since then the organisation has grown to a global entity that has a conference with over 1000 attendees in Las Vegas every year and members all over the world and has been instrumental into raising safety standards globally.

Aiden's Safe Metals Class at APP 2018
Aiden’s Safe Metals Class at APP 2018

The APP’s conference has classes and seminars that cover everything from best sterilisation practices, piercing techniques and discussion about new equipment to discussions about the direction of the industry, history classes from those that were there at the time and anthropology classes looking at the modern and tribal world.

Aiden is proud to have taught the Safe Metals Class at APP in Las Vegas in 2017 and 2018 alongside some of his piercing heroes.

For more information about the APP take a look at their website here.

UKAPP

The UKAPP (United Kingdom Association of Professional Piercers) formed in 2015 to carry on the APP’s health and safety message across the UK. As the APP is primarily based in the USA it was difficult to keep up with legislation changes around the world so sister organisations formed. The UKAPP is a stand alone organisation that works closely with the APP.

UKAPP - United Kingdom Association of Professional Piercers

The UKAPP also has its own conference every year that brings in teachers from across the UK and around the world as well as piercers from across the

UK, Europe and globally. As a health and safety organisation the UKAPP’s aim is to raise standards in the UK for the safety of the general public and piercers too.

UKAPP conference 2017
UKAPP conference 2017

As well as educating piercers the UKAPP also consults with the CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health) and over governmental bodies to make legislative change for the industry. This is a slow process but the UKAPP has been successful in making change as Wales is currently putting in higher standards for piercing after consulting with the UKAPP. The UKAPP also campaigned to have Female Genital Piercing reclassified so it is no longer considered to be Female Genital Mutilation.

Aiden was one of the founding members of the UKAPP and was the treasurer from 2015-2018 and has taught classes at the first 4 conferences. Rogue will be a UKAPP verified piercing studio in the near future as we are proud of our high standards. We are currently not members as our store is still to young to join.

For more information about the UKAPP or to find a member near you check their website here.

Other Organisations

Other sister organisations to the APP have formed across the world. Notable organisations are:

VPP – Germany
LBP – Latin America
APPe – Spain
RuAPP – Russia

Membership

Around the world piercing is generally an unregulated industry. This means that safety standards can sometimes be worryingly low. Piercing associations offer membership which shows that the piercer or studio meets minimum standards that are much higher than local legislation requires. To be a member of a piercing association means that your piercer or studio agrees to:

First Aid and CPR training are requirements for association membership
First Aid and CPR training are requirements for association membership

  • Use sterile equipment
  • Use implant grade or historically safe jewellery materials
  • Use safe designs of body jewellery
  • Test their sterilisation equipment
  • Have a studio design based around safety
  • Have First Aid and CPR certification
  • Carry our Blood Borne Pathogen training

It might seem like a lot of the membership requirements should be obvious but the vast majority of piercing studios do not meet these requirements. By choosing a piercer that is a member of piercing organisation you are choosing someone who has pledged to carry out piercings in the safest manner possible as well as someone who wants to progress the piercing industry for the good of the general public and piercers alike.

Aiden was a UKAPP member before travelling the globe to expand his piercing knowledge and now that he has settled back in the UK will be joining again once Rogue has collected all of the required paperwork. We are excited to be members again!

Conclusion

So hopefully now you have an understanding of why piercing associations are required for high quality piercing. If you are looking for a new piercer then we recommend heading the your local piercing association website and looking for a member as you will be supporting piercers who want the best for you and who support the piercing industry as a whole.

That’s it for this week! We will be back next week to discuss custom ordering jewellery. Have a good week everyone!