Passion for Piercing

SkillsOne heads to Polymorph, a piercing studio in Sydney, to chat to Robert Valenti, master piercer. While one of SkillsOne's new video journalists gets his initiation with a piercing, we find out from Robert what's involved in the art of piercing and how he got started in the industry.
Robert Valenti is passionate about piercing. As a child, he loved looking at National Geographic magazines, seeing pictures of traditional tribes people from around the world with different body art. The aesthetic and the beauty of piercing has been Robert’s continuing drive to be one of the most respected piercers in Australia.

Robert says there are a few accredited TAFE courses that anyone thinking of becoming a piercer should do like ‘Sterilisation’ and ‘Defence and Disease’. Other than that, there are no government recognised courses for piercers. Interested people need to gain an apprenticeship on the job, which is what Rob persisted in doing - he spent two years with an experienced piercer getting trained.

In the first year you cover the health and safety and watch how all the different body parts get ‘poked’. Then when it comes to your turn you have to convince friends and family to be your first clients!

Rob feels that to be a good piercer you need to have a good sense of responsibility towards people and have their best interests at heart. You also need an excellent ‘bed-side manner’ to calm down the nervous people.

Polymorph is the first Australian shop to be a member of the Association of Professional Piercers. This is an international non-profit educational health and safety organisation dedicated to the dissemination of critical information about body piercing.

All piercers are highly trained in placement and aesthetics and all aspects of preventing cross contamination. There is a lot of social responsibility, health and safety and communicating with people that goes into being a good piercer.

You have to read body language well because even the people who look tough get nervous. The people skills are paramount when advising and educating all different types of people about their post- pierce care. Achieving an infection free healing process is achievable if they listen to the important advice. This is where Robert’s skills really come into play when educating people about looking after their piercings.

VJ Corinne Walsh