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Apprentice Piercings!

Learning how to pierce is definitely a key part of a piercing apprenticeship, but how do we ensure that these piercings are going to be safe and viable for the piercee, and why is it a good idea to trust an apprentice with your new piercing?

Learning the Basics

Lets discuss the lead up to the piercing first. When an apprentice does their first ever piercing on the public, they are not going into it blind. In Jay’s case, they spent a long time watching and learning how the studio runs. Talking through the different types of piercings, the anatomy of the body, the healing times. They became a shadow, watching their mentor (Aiden) and other members of the team pierce their clients. Jay was talked through different piercing methods, and how each one worked, and which ones would be the most suitable to start with.

They then had to practice getting hands-on with piercing foam, paper, and fruit such as oranges and bananas. This was all done to have a feel of how the needles worked, and talk through more technical ideas in a 3D space. The fruit also helped Jay get a ‘feel’ of what piercing skin would feel like. This was how the first 6 months of Jays apprenticeship ran!

Jay practicing needle work on an orange.

In February 2022, Jay got to pick up their first needle, and do their first piercing. They started with a mid helix on Aiden (their mentor), which came out pretty good. The entire process was watched and directed by Aiden. Jay then got to do a classic Helix on their manager, Kat, which was also directed and watched over by Aiden. This was then also followed by a conch piercing on Gemma. After a lot of hands-on practice, we then started opening Jays apprentice piercings to the public. We knew they were ready!

Why Choose an Apprentice Piercing?

Booking a piercing with an apprentice can be a little nerve wracking. You’re trusting a ‘trainee’ to alter your body. Its okay to be nervous or have questions! To say ‘thank you’ for your trust, we offer a 50% discount on the piercing fee.

We always have to expect minor flaws with first piercings, and that they might not always be 100% perfect, however no matter what, we will never let you leave the studio with a piercing that we are not 100% happy with.

It’s so important that people are willing to trust an apprentice with their body. Without you guys, they would never learn! Sure, they can definitely learn some skills piercing fruit and cardboard, or even sillicone, but it’s just not the same.

Every apprentice piercing done by Jay is directed by a head piercer. Aiden, as Jay’s mentor, has been present for most of these. Other piercers have kindly gifted their time to help Jay learn! Breo, Gemma, David Angeles, and Andre Nalin have all spent some of their time at Rogue helping Jay learn the skills they need. This means that every apprentice piercing Jay has completed, has been completely supervised by a well experienced piercer. This means there are always two piercers working together on your piercing, while also building up Jay’s skillset and confidence to be an excellent piercer when working independently.

If you’re questioning wether or not to trust an apprentice piercer, check out their portfolio! Have a look at the work they are already producing. Go in for a chat with them, and discuss their work. Ask questions. Get a piercing that they are already fully capable of performing independently. It’s important that you can establish a good relationship with your piercer, and that you can trust them.

If you wish to book in with Jay for any of their apprentice deals, you can book here. You can also contact Jay via email to discuss any ideas for piercings or discuss what they are currently offering, or are planning to learn.

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Interview with a Rogue – Jay Abell

Tell us about your first experience with piercing?

My first ever experience with piercing was when I got my lobes pierced, but I was too young to remember, so my first actual experience was when I got my helix pierced. I think I was around 14, and my mum had got her daith pierced, and I begged her to let me have my ear done. Knowing what I know now, it probably wasn’t the safest piercing I ever had, but it was a new experience and I kind of just didn’t stop from there.

What’s your favorite piercing you have?

My favorite piercing I have currently is the one in my chin, probably because it’s more of a “fun” piercing, very short term and not viable. It’s a fun challenge to see if I can heal it, but in the meantime it’s just really cute! I love watching people’s reactions when they see I have a piercing in my chin! 

How did you get into the industry?

I got into the industry through gaining my apprenticeship with Rogue. To be honest, I was extremely lucky with how I landed it. I left university and came home to Nottingham, got a local bar job, followed by a second job at a cafe. During this time I started visiting Rogue and slowly started to upgrade my jewellery to brands like neometal. (I was wearing a lot of odd sizes, and different materials like plastic). Upon talking to Kat and Aiden, I told them I was wanting to become a piercer, but I was working other jobs. I interacted with the studio online, but I also did a lot of home research. I started learning more about the APP and UK APP, and how they work and things like that.

I actually had a folder at home, with lots of their stuff printed out!

From there I got offered an interview with the studio, spoke about Harry Styles and One Direction a lot, and was just honest the entire time about what I  liked, what I knew and didn’t know and fortunately, got offered the apprenticeship.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Rogue?

Probably the environment. The clients are absolutely lovely and always make you so excited to work with them. There’s no pressure to wear anything I’m uncomfortable with, I can be myself, I can also have a couple of biscuits with my tea if I want to. There’s the right level of pressure, do your job and do it well, make sure your stuff is done, keep moving forward and working and aspiring harder. 

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

To be honest right now I’m just proud of making it this far. Every single day I learn something new, or I do something new and it’s all so exciting. Honestly, I’m just super proud of how far I’ve come since a year ago. 

Jay’s first ever piercing, performed on Aiden

What does the future hold for Jay?

The future probably holds a lot for me but to be honest I hate thinking about it! I find if I make any sort of long term plans it always changes by time I get there! Plus I just really struggle to think that far in advance. I like to take every day, and every week as it comes by, and I just work with what I’ve got and what’s coming.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a modded person?

To be honest, I’ve been extremely lucky when facing any challenges. I wouldn’t say I’m heavily modded or anything like that, although I suppose I might stand out a bit more in a crowd than your average person. I’ve been extremely lucky with working jobs where heavy makeup, and short dyed hair, and piercings were never an issue. They’ve also been a great conversation starter for people as well! My biggest issue has been with people asking if there’s other places I have pierced that they can’t immediately see, or purposely pointing out tattoos on my legs and chest which can be quite uncomfortable. Either that, or remarks from family, or people slightly older telling me I’d look much nicer without it all.

How did your family/friends react when you became a piercer?

I first wanted to be a piercer when I was 17 and was going to leave sixth form. My mum was really supportive and was behind me pursuing what I wanted to do. She’d just make sure that I knew what I was doing and that I had back up plans! For example, I was working a part time job as well. And then when I told my family I was dropping out of university to pursue it, again everyone was really supportive and happy that I was doing what I wanted to do. They’ve been really proud of me every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Top 3 movies?

That’s such a nightmare question, I don’t watch movies a lot, and when I do I can never remember them afterwards! 

What’s on your playlist?

The song I’m obsessed with rightnow is ‘Friendly Sex’ by Caity Baser. But overall it’s a really weird mix of 80s, 90s, and early 2000/2010 love songs. Although if you ask me again in about a week it’ll probably be something completely different!

What advice can you offer to aspiring and established apprentices?

Be yourself, and work hard. When wanting to be a part of a world that thrives on ‘being yourself’ it can be really easy to be swept up with trends, or what other people might be doing. It can be really easy to lose yourself when trying to fit in, and in the long run it doesn’t benefit anyone. You’ve got to stick to your guns, and be unapologetically yourself.

You’ve also got to work hard, whether that’s at your apprenticeship or the other stuff you’re doing. I worked two jobs before I gained my apprenticeship, and dropped out of uni when truly realizing it’s what I wanted to do, but every step of the way I continued to work hard. I finished my year at uni, taking every last exam and meeting, even though I knew I was leaving. Working hard is a really good way to prove your commitment to things, but also if and when you do eventually leave, it’s always good to keep those connections in life.

What’s some of the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far?

“It’s amazing what you can learn when you stop talking and start listening”

What’s your favorite snack?

I really struggle with having favorite things, I just normally fixate on something for a few weeks and then never touch it again! My latest one is probably magic stars. wonderful.

Favorite drink?

Obviously redbull.

If you weren’t a piercer, what would you be doing? 

That’s a tricky one. I think if I’d never had realized I wanted to do piercing, I’d probably still be at university studying acting. However, if I’d never have gotten my apprenticeship when I did, I don’t think much would be different. I’d still be working in the pub and the cafe, still trying to gain one!