Express Your Creativity With Body Jewelry By You

Jewelry-making has become more and more popular. If you are looking for something unique and truly “you” in body jewelry, consider creating your own.

There are so many creative people and so many ways to show off your artsy side. If you are into body jewelry such as belly button, nose, or eyebrow rings, did you know you could make your own? Because this type of accessory is already very affordable, you may not save money in doing so but sometimes it is more about being unique and showing the world who you are. After all, isn’t that why you got your navel or nose pierced in the first place?

Here are some ideas for getting started:

1. Take a class at your local community college. Most continuing education programs include a jewelry-making class or two. Some people learn better when they can do things hands-on but with the guidance an expert instructor can provide. Oftentimes, the cost of the class includes supplies but pay attention to the fine print when signing up.

2. Take a class at a local craft store or boutique. The craft store chains are starting to pick up on this “do-it-yourself” trend by carrying jewelry-making supplies. They often offer classes for items they carry in the store so check the schedule at the locations in your area. They also usually offer a discount on supplies for those who are taking the courses they offer. Don’t forget the small boutiques too! We have a locally owned bead store in our city that offers classes on body jewelry. You may have something like that near you.

3. Search the internet for how-to videos. If you can’t find anything local or your prefer to learn at your own pace, you can be sure there is something on the web to help you out: videos, articles, etc. You can also find supplies online.

Once you get started, you should be able to make your own barbells, posts studded with jewels or gems that you like and more. There is no end to the body jewelry you can create!

What is the Best Metal For Body Jewelry?

Two of the most common issues with body piercings are allergic reactions and infection. Correct care and cleaning of piercings are crucial, but the type of metal in the piercing jewelry you choose is also very important. The following are the top 3 best metals for body jewelry, and two choices that you should stay away from.

THE 3 BEST METALS FOR BODY JEWELRY:

#1 Implant Grade Titanium

Titanium is by far the metal of choice for body piercing jewelry, and can be safely used for initial piercings. Implant grade titanium G23 (Ti6al4v-ELI) is the type of titanium used in surgical implants, is biocompatible, resistant to body fluids and nickel free. Titanium is also stronger and lighter than steel, which gives us body piercing jewelry that is both durable, comfortable and nearly without scratches. Titanium is an expensive metal, but well worth the slightly higher price. Titanium body jewelry is beautiful, it lasts, and will look (just the same after many years of wear.

#2 Surgical Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the most common metal for body piercing jewelry, and is just behind titanium when it comes to biocompatibility. 316L or 316LVM are the only two grades of stainless steel that are considered safe for wearing in healed piercings. Keep in mind that even the best grades of stainless steel do contain nickel and may cause problems for those who are allergic to nickel. Some countries have banned the use of stainless steel for initial piercings, and it is best to steer clear of stainless steel altogether until after your piercing is completely.

#3 Gold

Although it is beautiful, gold is not the best choice for body jewelry, especially for initial piercings or long term wear. Because gold is a softer metal and is made with metal alloys, there is a somewhat higher risk of irritation or infection. Gold jewelry is beautiful, but should only be worn in healed piercings, and with care. Replace gold body jewelry with titanium at the first sign of irritation.

NOT RECOMMENDED:

Sterling Silver: Do not purchase any body jewelry where the part that threads under your skin (barbell, banana, ring) is made of silver. Sterling silver tarnishes when it comes in contact with body fluids, can easily harbor bacterial growth, and can contain allergy-causing metals such as nickel. Body jewelry where a sterling silver “charm” that is attached to or dangles from the end of the steel or titanium bar is perfectly fine, so long as you aren’t allergic to silver jewelry. Just make sure that the part that is inside your body is made from a more biocompatible metal.

Mystery Metal: Scary. Any “costume” or “plated” body jewelry is a bad idea, and so is poor quality stainless steel. Stick with the top 3 choices above to be sure your piercing stays irritation and infection-free.

Remember that a body piercing jewelry is placed inside you, and should be treated more like a surgical implant than a piece of costume jewelry. Although it may be tempting to buy cheaper body jewelry, spending a little more on higher quality jewelry is definitely a better way to go in the long run.

Body Modification – Body Piercing

Body piercing has become a significant trend in Western culture. Ear piercing came into practice in the early 1980’s when modern piercing techniques were invented and became hygienic. Western culture has no known history or tradition of body piercing but is seen by many as teenage rebellion and by the teens as significant, ritualistic body modification with a cult following, contributing to a sense of belonging. The body art scene started on the West Coast and now many kids and adults can be seen all over the world with nose rings, eyebrow and lip piercings and stretched ear loops. Another facet of body piercing called play piercing is performed purely for the sensation of being pierced, the holes made in the body are not permanent and done purely for adornment and aesthetics.

Piercing has its origins 4,000 years ago in the Middle East and mentions of ‘Shanf’ (nose ring) are recorded in the body. Traditionally, this practice is seen in the nomadic African Beja and Berber tribes and among the Middle Eastern Bedouins, denoting wealth and status upon a woman at the time of marriage. In 16th century India, nose piercing became fashionable as a trend from the Middle East and the Moghul emperors. The woman’s nose is most commonly pierced in the left nostril in association with Ayurvedic medicinal principles relating to the female’s reproductive organs, enabling an easier childbirth and easing menstrual pain. Western nose piercing came from hippies traveling to India during the 1960’s fascination with Indian culture and saw a further popularity in the late 1970’s Punk movement as a counter-culture, anti-conservative statement.

The ancient Aztecs, Mayans and American Northwest Native tribes used tongue piercing to offer blood and mollify the gods, often producing an altered state in the pierced priest or shaman to more effectively communicate with the gods. Pierced ears and earlobes are the earliest recorded examples of body piercing. Pierced ears in a body of a mummified man found in an Austrian Glacier in 1991 was found to be dated over 5,000 years old. Ear piercing has protective symbology in primitive cultures for averting evil spirits from entering the body through the ears. Ear piercing was not restricted to women’s adornment, “As the Roman Republic grew more effeminate with wealth and luxury, earrings were more popular among men than women; no less a he-man than Julius Caesar brought back to repute and fashion the use of rings in the ears of men.” “Jewels & Women; The Romance, Magic and Art of Feminine Adornment” Marianne Ostier, Horizon Press, New York, 1958

The Dogon tribe of Mali and the Nuba of Ethiopia pierce their lips for religious implications. In Central Africa and South American native tribes, lip or Labret piercing is performed with wooden or clay plates, stretching the lower and upper lips to large proportions. Aztec and Mayan ancients used labret piercings to signify weath and higher caste with gold serpent-shaped discs often decorated with brilliant stones, jade or obsidion. Walrus ivy, bone, wood or abalone shell were used for labrets in Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest as well as the Inuit of northern Canada and Alaska. Some of the most extreme examples of ritual lip piercing and stretching can be seen in the Djinja women in the Chari river area of the Central African Republic and Chad. Tribesmen stretch the lips of their prospective wives as part of a marriage ritual whereby the young woman’s lip is stretched up to 24cm by adulthood.

Warrior cultures of the Iranian Jaya, New Gunea and the Solomon Islands pierce the septum with pig tusks, feathers, wood and bone.

The Asmat tribe of the Jaya pierce the septum up to 25mm using leg bones from a pig or a tibia bone from a slain enemy for ornamentation and prestige. Aztecs, Mayas and Incas pierced the septum with gold and jade and this custom can be seen in the Panamanian tribe of Cuna Indians using thick gold rings. India and Nepal native tribes also practice septum piercing. The nose and septum piercings in Northern Indian nomadic tribespeople of Himichal Pradesh and Rajasthan called ‘bulak’ are the largest known nose-rings. The bulak are sometimes decorated with stones and large enough to cover most of the mouth and cheek and must be lifted while eating. Pendants are added to the septum piercing in Tibet.

In more civilized and traditionally sophisticated cultures, nipple piercing was created to accentuate the breasts. In the mid 14th century, Queen Isabella of Bavaria wore dresses with a neckline extending to the navel, exposing the breasts. This style of dress led to nipple adornment with diamond studded rings and piercing both nipples, extending a chain through both. This style of piercing appeared again in the 1890’s in Paris where ‘bosom rings’ were sold and became fashionable in upper class social circles.