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Author Archives: James Weber

  1. Camp APP 2017

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    October 3-7 of this year was the third annual Camp APP members retreat. Started in 2015 by former APP President Bethrah Szumski, Camp APP is a members-only retreat in the mountains of Hard Labor Creek State Park, in Rutledge, Georgia, about an hour outside of Atlanta. It was started as an alternative to the grandeur of APP’s annual conference in las Vegas, and to provide a space where APP members can learn and compare notes in a more intimate, personal environment.

    This is the first time members of the Infinite staff have attended. This year we sent our piercers Andru Rogge and Zach Fitzgerald down South to check things out.

    Andru and Zach both volunteer their time for the week at the annual APP Conference in Las Vegas, giving back their time to the community that has given us all so much. Unfortunately, this means that they don’t always get to attend all of the classes they want to because they are covering shifts, and the Conference, usually a good balance of work and fun, becomes much more about work. Camp APP promised a different experience to the intensity of the annual APP Conference and Expo, so we got their shifts covered and sent Andru and Zach off into the mountains of Georgia. Here is their report:

    Andru Rogge at Camp APP 2017I had a wonderful educational and relaxing time at the third annual Camp APP members retreat. This was my first time at camp. I found it relaxing and really fun to have the summer camp experience I never had as a youth—but mixed in with the Association of Professional Piercers mini-conference educational vibe.

    A couple things that stood out as really remarkable was the ability to have a techniques class where you could actually show on someone’s anatomy where you would mark and what piercings they were suited for. This was especially awesome in regards to genital piercings and unique anatomies—with attendees who were comfortable being naked!

    Genital Beading class at Camp APP 2017Aside from the workshop techniques class,” The Rise of Artisan Jewelry,” taught by Cale Belford, was incredibly interesting and brought up a lot of conversation about to the resurgence of artisan jewelry within our industry. “Bumps, the Good Kind: Intro to Genital Beading” by Ryan Ouellette was the most simple and straightforward walkthrough of methods and techniques for genital beading, and all the pros and cons from someone who has done plenty of them. I found it gave me insight and increased confidence in techniques I already had in my toolbox. I found the first aid Narcan training very informative and eye-opening to the major issues some of our colleagues are dealing with in their hometowns.

    I was able to meet new APP members I didn’t already know and I got to spend some quality time with my fellow conference volunteers hiking, swimming and enjoying the beautiful and quiet nature. My first experience at camp was a great one.

    — Andru Rogge

    Zach Fitzgerald at Camp APP 2017Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah. Here I am at Camp APP 2017.

    Camp was fun. I found out after we got there that our particular campsite is where one of the Friday the 13th movies was filmed. Go Camp Crystal Lake!

    They called it “Advanced Curriculum.” It was refreshing to learn in an environment that didn’t include all the “hustle and bustle” of Las Vegas. It was like those movies where the “cool teacher” takes students outside for class. The entirety of Camp was only about forty-five APP members, making for much smaller, more intimate classes. Classes covered such diverse topics as STATIM repair and Narcan training, in addition to piercing techniques workshops. My favorite talk was “Extra-terrestrial Origins of Body Jewelry,” a presentation by John Johnson from California. He talked about the stuff that makes the stuff that makes your jewelry. Turns out it all starts in outer space—which is one of my favorite topics of conversation!

    The techniques workshop was less restricted than at the annual APP Conference, particularly the genital piercing section that was taught in part by our good friend Elayne Angel. It was excellent seeing Elayne outside of a studio and getting the chance to just hang out with other folks who I typically only see once a year in Las Vegas. (A few of the people in our cabin were fellow Conference volunteers, and it was great spending time with them without having to rush off to our next shift like at other APP events.) It was great to be in such a different social environment with the people who have become some of my closest friends over the years.

    Volunteers at Camp APP 2017We spent a lot of time on the lake, as there was a nice dock and a little boat that we had access too. Every evening, as soon as the sun was behind the trees, we were out on that boat. John and Shorty spent a lot of time fishing (not so much catching). Paulie couldn’t get enough of that boat. We all got on that boat and stormed an island on the lake at two in the morning—just to make sure all those thorny vines could really cut us up.

    Ryan Clark set the pace for naked dock diving, and Andru and I joined in shortly after. We also tromped through the woods and found a geocache location on the far side of the lake! While we walked back, we came across what I described as a “glass graveyard,” a field of bottles of all shapes and sizes. Some of them were half buried with stuff growing in them like a terrarium, others were fully intact, including a Mountain Dew bottle I picked up that I would later Google and find dated back to 1965. I had no idea that Mountain Dew’s slogan was once “It’ll tickle your innards.” Kind of pervy, if you ask me.

    Andru and Zach from Infinite Body Piercing at Camp APP 2017There were late nights, most of which I spent laying on the dock looking at the sky. It was a full moon that week, and nearly every night was cloudless and clear. While there, they fed me breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day—a luxury I don’t even get at home—and the food was really good! I’ve been working so hard keeping track of my weight lately, and while I was at Camp I friggin’ gained seven pounds that I still haven’t lost.

    All in all, it was a great experience. It was my first time in Georgia, and I spent it with great friends, took advantage of serious learning opportunities, and my surroundings were a nice change from the city living I’ve grown so accustomed to in Philadelphia. The only thing that would’ve made it better was if my dog was there. Maybe next time.

    — Zach Fitzgerald

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  2. Jay McColm Visits

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    Jay McColm kissing John Logger in front of Infinite Body Piercing

    While Andru is away traveling through Europe—getting tattooed and sightseeing with Infinite counterstaff member Dustin—we’ll be hosting Infinite alum Jay McColm for a two-week guest spot September 11-25.

    Jay joined Infinite back in 2011, only leaving in 2014 to pursue horticultural studies while working at Longwood Gardens. We’ve had Jay back a few times over the past few years, twice to cover shifts during the APP Conference and Exposition, and several times during other staff vacations. This trip comes right as Jay makes his return to full-time piercing, now working at Tattoo Galaxy in Ambler, PA. We’ll actually be hosting him for another short guest spot next month alongside other frequent Infinite guest, Johnross Switz of Mean Street Tattoos & Piercing in Bensalem, PA. Both will be here October 6 and 7 while Andru and Zach are away at Camp APP.

    Camp APP FlyerCamp APP is a retreat for members of the Association of Professional Piercers. Put on by former APP President and Secretary Bethrah Szumski, it is now in it’s third year. Camp APP takes place over four days, from October 3-7, 2017, in Hard Labor Creek State Park, in Rutledge, GA—about an hour east of Atlanta. While the annual APP Conference and Exposition has classes and events for everyone, from veteran piercers to first time attendees, health inspectors, and even non-industry folks, Camp APP focuses on small classes and workshops specifically for piercers. This is the first year that we’re sending employees from Infinite, so stay tuned for a full report following Andru and Zach’s return.

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  3. Back from APP 2017

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    We’re back from APP 2017! Two weeks ago Infinite piercers John, Andru, Robert and Zach, along with Jes and I, left for Las Vegas to attend the 22nd annual Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Exposition. It’s five days of classes, hands-on workshops, and lectures specifically for piercers and piercing studio employees. It’s also home to the APP jewelry exposition, the biggest gathering of body jewelry vendors anywhere. It’s taken us a week to catch up on our sleep and check in, photograph, and get all of the new jewelry into our in-store point-of-sale system and up for sale in our online store. Here’s our report on this year’s incredible event.

    What is the APP Conference and Exposition?

    Jessica Rae and Kellan Smith at APP 2017The Association of Professional Piercers is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers, health care professionals, legislators, and the general public. The organization was formed by piercers from several different studios in California in 1994 (the same year Infinite was founded) in response to proposed body art legislation in that state. The organization has grown from that small group of dedicated piercers on the west coast of the U.S. to an organization with members all over the globe.

    Likewise, the annual conference has grown just as much. The first APP get-together was held at the Luxor in Las Vegas in 1995, in Florida the following year, and then again in Las Vegas every year since. It’s grown from a small social gathering to an education-driven conference that draws attendees from all over the world. This year was the largest event ever, with over 1200 registered attendees.

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  4. Off to APP 2017

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    APP 2017 Conference and Expo ad

    It’s that time again! This coming weekend, Infinite piercers and select staff will be leaving for Las Vegas to attend the 22nd Annual Association of Professional Piercers Conference and Exposition, taking place from June 11 to 16, 2017. This year, all the Infinite piercers—John, Andru, Robert, and Zach—along with Jes and I will be headed out to the urban oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert.

    Pau lEspinoza at Infinite Body PiercingWhile we’re gone we’ll have the amazing Paul Espinoza piercing at Infinite. Paul is our go-to guest to cover shifts during Conference week—and the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He’ll be here covering from Saturday, June 10 to the following Saturday, June 17. We’ll also have retired Infinite piercer Jay McColm helping out on Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11 and Friday, June 16. Jay worked at Infinite for five years before leaving in 2014 to pursue horticultural studies while working at Longwood Gardens. We’re excited to have both of them at the shop, and we know our clients will be in good hands. Maddie, Dustin, Stephanie, and Raphea will be staying behind to make sure things keep running smoothly.

    The Infinite staff at APP 2016The Association of Professional Piercers is a California-based, international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers, health care professionals, legislators, and the general public. The annual APP conference is an important event for all of us in the industry, as it’s the biggest piercing-only event in the world. It brings body modification practitioners from not only all over the United States, but from all over the globe for five days of classes, lectures, roundtable discussions, meetings, and workshops. It’s the most extensive and intense week of continuing education our industry has to offer—and that’s why we take as many people from the studio as we can. We’re also there not just to learn, but to give back to a community that has given us so much. During the week, both Andru and Zach will again be working as volunteers. Zach will primarily be found manning classroom doors, while Andru will be spending a lot of his time this year overseeing the APP booth at the vendor exhibition.

    This week will be a lot of work, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun. For those of us in the piercing industry, the year begins and ends with the annual APP Conference, and most of us look forward to the next year’s event as soon as the week is over.

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  5. John Logger Rejoins the Staff

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    Sexy John LoggerAs we announced in last year’s Holiday postJohn Logger is coming back to Infinite to take the position of the irreplaceable Eduardo Chavarria. The time has finally come, and John Logger rejoins the staff officially on March 1, 2017!

    John has quite the piercing pedigree. He began working in the body piercing industry in 2004, and in 2008 completed his apprenticeship at High Priestess Piercing in Oregon. He has worked at many prestigious studios across the U.S., including Enigma and Apogee in Southern California, Nomad in San Francisco, and Iris Piercing in Salt Lake City.

    Kevin ump and John Logger bromantic embraceWhen he first joined the staff at Infinite (after doing numerous guest spots), John came to us from Apogee Body Piercing in San Diego. We had been attempting to lure John to the East Coast for several years, but between his time at Apogee and his trips to Kovalam, India to study yoga with David Garrigues, his dance card was already quite full. We finally convinced him to make the move to Philadelphia, and he joined the staff in September of 2014.

    Unfortunately, John’s nomadic ways got the better of him, and in March of 2016 he left Infinite (and Philly) to accept a job with HTC in Phoenix, Arizona. He’s worked there with Infinite alum Kevin Jump for the last year—until Philly called him back again. Almost exactly a year after heading west, John will be rejoining the Infinite staff. While we’re happy to be able to steal John back from Kevin, we’re a little sad to break up the incredible bromance we’ve seen blossom over Instagram between the two of them. They are kindred spirits, and I know as excited as we are to have John back, he will be missed in Phoenix.

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