Q: Is there a piercing school? - William
A: It is hard to imagine a career these days that does not involve some kind of schooling or degree focused work study. Most people will associate schooling with an advancement in knowledge in a given subject, which is understandable, as it has become the norm. This, though, has not always been the case. One form of learning is the often forgotten is the humble apprenticeship. This form of learning was common place when one could only become professionally recognized by the community to perform a given task by learning from one who is already proficient through in-person and hands-on practice. Learning to do body piercing requires this kind of hands on learning.
Now, there are many variations and no set definition of a quality apprenticeship and this can make it more difficult to find a piercer who is trained well, or make it more difficult to find a piercer who is considered “educated.” Hopefully, this article will help you find a piercer that you can trust had taken the time and put in the effort needed to stay atop the information in the field of piercing.
Once an apprenticeship is completed, which could vary in duration, a piercer is then responsible for their education- usually outside the helpful guidance of their mentor. A piercer has many options available to help increase their understanding of the complexities of body piercing, but some are more efficient than others. The two best ways for a body piercer to become better at their craft is through shadowing other piercers or through the annual Association of Professional Piercers conference.
To shadow a piercer, one once again assume the task of an apprentice. A piercer will visit a studio, watch the piercer they wish to learn from practice their craft, and ask questions of said piercer to gain further insight into alternative ways of approaching body piercing. This one on one approach is very relaxed. Since the shadowing piercer is not really an apprentice, though that is not always the case, the process is open to deeper, more complex, conversations about the subject of piercing. The downside to this approach is there is no way of stating publically that these efforts have been made, so as a piercee, you must ask specifically if the piercer you are considering has taken the time to learn from others post apprenticeship.
The APP’s annual conference is the best learning opportunity as it brings together piercers from all over the world to advance the field of body piercing. A piercer who attends conference has the opportunity to take classes that cover a multitude of subjects relating to the field, taught by piercers with a certain expertise in the subject. The conference is very similar to educational conferences for a number of fields. This form of group education garners a certain respect, as the organizers exert a great deal of effort to insure the conference provides a genuine service for those in attendance.
Piercers who attend conference- which is an expense that serves only to better the piercer so that they can better serve their clients- are given a certificate that displays the classes they took or taught. This is often proudly displayed in their studios so a piercee can see this accomplishment.
Educated piercers are also, generally, very passionate about their field, and this can be seen in the way they discuss it with someone who is interested in getting pierced by them. Asking questions of these passionate pierces is not only welcomed, but encouraged. The piercer will be excited to answer andy and all questions that you have, so ask away.
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