Buy Elayne Angel's book:
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
The first and only comprehensive and authoritative book exclusively on the subject of body piercing.
Yes, Angel is piercer to Lenny Kravitz. Click his name to see them together.
Master Piercer, Elayne Angel ~
Check out Angel's other sites: Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga, A Small Store for Dinky Dogs
Dog clothing, costumes, furniture, collectibles and more!
And www.piercingbible.com about her upcoming book!
Former Staff Bios > > >
Piercers Angel has trained > > >
Referrals to other piercers > > >
Angel's Body Art > > >
Elayne Angel was President and founder of Rings of Desire, Inc., in New Orleans--The French Quarter's ONLY body art studio for over 12 years! She is the former Manager and Vice President of Southern California Operations for Gauntlet, in West Hollywood. In prior years she worked as a Sign Language Interpreter, Peep Show Stripper, Script Supervisor, and in the Medical Field as well as in the Fashion Industry.Angel is renowned both for her lengthy professional piercing career and expertise in body piercing as well as for her own extensive collection of body art.
At last count Angel figures she has done over 40,000 piercings! (And has about 40 of her own.)
Angel was the manager of Gauntlet in Los Angeles in the 1980's, when it was the first and only Body Piercing specialty studio in the United States. At times she also worked at the Gauntlet branches in San Francisco, and New York.
She received her Master Piercer Certificate from Gauntlet Founder, Jim Ward, in December of 1992. It was the first such certificate issued by Gauntlet, and all the more an honor that it was granted after announcing her upcoming departure from Gauntlet.
A native of Southern California, then resident of French Quarter in New Orleans; she ran Rings of Desire piercing specialty studio there for over 12 years. Angel now resides in Merida, Mexico, in the Yucatan. Ever the innovator, she planned to operates what might have been the world's first "B & B & P" (Bed & Breakfast & Piercing) venture.
Angel has been a tremendous contributor to the profession of body piercing and is personally credited with inventing, naming, and popularizing a number of specific piercing placements, (Tongue, Fourchette, and Lorum among others) and also techniques.
She is a long-standing member of
the Association of Professsional Piercers (APP)
Angel is known for being a pioneer in the field, for piercing techniques, and after care as well as placements. She is credited (by Gauntlet, and others) with the popularity of the tongue piercing.
In her continued involvement to advance the field of professional piercing and to promote piercing safety, she served a three-year volunteer term as the Outreach Coordinator for the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). Following that she was elected to a second three-year term with the organization as Medical Liaison.
While working for the APP, Angel
produced a number of brochures for the organization that have helped to professionalize
the field. These include the Aftercare
Guidelines for Facial and Body Piercings and Aftercare
Guidelines for Oral Piercings,
Yet another important brochure she
produced is Oral
Piercing Risks and Safety Measures,
She also re-wrote/edited the APP
Angel undertook additional volunteer
duties with the APP by being the Editor of the APP's
quarterly newsletter (THE POINT)
Further, in her capacity as a Board Member for the APP she has attended Quarterly Board meetings, and the APP conferences in Las Vegas and Amsterdam. At Conference, she has taught classes to piercers on topics such as Grounding and Bedside Manner, Anatomy, Aftercare and Healing, Basic Techniques, and Advanced Techniques.
She has appeared to speak for groups of medical professionals about body piercing, such as Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN), and HIV/AIDS Health Educators of Louisiana. She has also presented to both students and staff at Student Health Centers in Colleges and Universities.
In addition to efforts in her own studio, and the community of piercing professionals, Angel has contributed to the state of Louisiana by assisting in the promulgation of the laws regarding Body Art for the state, and also by assisting in training the health inspectors who enforce the laws she helped to create.
Angel has also participated with
Doctors at the University of South Alabama in a fascinating new research study,
specifically about the Vertical
Clitoral Hood piercing (VCH)
She is renowned throughout the industry as a pioneer and as a consummate professional, revered for knowledge, skill, and ethics on the job.
To quote August, 2003, body art industry magazine Pain Magazine, featured artist section: "Elayne is not only credited with bringing piercing to the mainstream, she is also responsible for developing much of the industry that's now taken for granted--including tongue piercing."
Angel was featured in the 2003 MTV special, "A Social History of Body Piercing" in which she spoke extensively about genital and oral piercings.
Creating a new chapter in her series of "firsts" in November 2002, Ms. Angel became the first wearer of body art to receive a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. For details see: Angel's tattoo page
Angel's picture has appeared in a numerous books such as The Illustrated Woman, and Modern Primitives. Her image has also appeared in virtually every tattoo magazine published in recent history. She has been interviewed in many varied publications from The National Enquirer and Sun, to Rolling Stone and Us magazines. She has appeared on many television shows including news broadcasts like CNN, shows such as Inside Report and After Hours and various cable television shows as well. She has even been interviewed about piercing on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
Angel has also received press for being the piercer to popular rock star, Lenny Kravitz. She has been his piercer for years, and even went on tour with him, and pierced his entire band and crew!
Additionally, but less happily, Angel's photos have been used extensively without permission in print media ads for music CDs, computer products, cars and more.
She is currently a regular paid contributor to the industry publication Pain Magazine.
Angel's Personal History
Growing up in California's San Fernando Valley (where "Valley Girls" come from!) Angel's M.D. father would bring her to the hospital and his medical offices in her early youth. Her fascination with things medical is life long. She can recall assisting nurses (usually with paperwork) in the Hospital Emergency Room as far back as the mid 1960's!
After two years of relentless begging and pleading with her parents, she got her first ear lobe piercings in 1967. They were performed by her father, the doctor, via stud gun, with Frankenstein-esque steel studs. She was hooked!
She began to pierce additional holes in her own ears and held piercing parties with her friends starting in 1972. Back then she was using sharpened earrings and various and sundry mostly inappropriate instruments acquired from her father's medical offices. (Ok, so maybe she isn't proud of all of it, but it's the truth, and you can benefit from her prior experimentation, mistakes, and later successes!)
During High School, desiring body piercings, but not knowing the possibilities, she pierced a pinch of tissue just below the prominent bone of her left wrist. In it she placed a small gold hoop (yes, an earring). Afraid her family would see it and have her committed, she removed the tiny ring after a few weeks, but continued to experience the desire to wear piercings and jewelry in places other than her ears.
In 1981 she met a pierced couple at the Southern California Renaissance Faire. Her fascination was piqued at the provocative sight of a pierced nipple. This was what she had been waiting for! They told her about Gauntlet, the first (established in 1975) and only (at the time) professional body piercing studio in the United States.
She rushed home, locked herself in the bathroom, and pierced her own right nipple with a sharpened small gold hoop earring. She knew it wasn't quite right, but was certain this was what she had always wanted. She removed the askew little earring from her nipple, and resolved to have it done professionally.
The next day she went to the Gauntlet, and had both nipples pierced. The rest, as they say, is history. She continued to return regularly over the years for a wide variety of piercings on herself. Ever the piercing advocate, Angel brought in multitudes of her friends and associates to have piercings done with her support and encouragement (while she learned as much as possible through observation and asking annoying questions). Over the years she enjoyed piercing friends in the privacy of her home.
Angel is the proud bearer of an Associate of Arts Degree in Sign Language Interpreting from: (no kidding!) Pierce College, in Woodland Hills, California. (She decided against hanging the diploma in Rings of Desire, thinking folks might mistake it for a specious piercing certification of some type).
Following a serious bout of tendinitis in both forearms from her five-year career as an Interpreter at California State University, in Northridge, Angel returned to school. In the late 80's she studied Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
Subsequent to her Summa Cum Laude graduation she donned a business suit and with great anticipation applied for the position of Manager at Gauntlet's original (and at the time, still only) Southern California location. After an interview with Gauntlet founder, Jim Ward, he pronounced her hired. Following that he inquired, "By the way, how are your piercing skills?"
"Better than most," was her clever, and accurate reply. Jim returned to San Francisco, and she used her natural affinity, prior medical background, and some luck to continue building her skills and experience.
During her tenure at Gauntlet the company grew from its single, small L.A. shop, to a larger location, and added stores in San Francisco, and New York. A separate Mail Order Location opened, as well as a jewelry Manufacturing Department, and finally, Corporate Offices.
Angel's open, enthusiastic, and joyful attitude about piercing helped to bring the subject before the public eye, and to truly diverse populations of ultimately interested parties. She has been instrumental in the field blossoming from a single modest studio to the bona fide industry that is now part of our modern culture.
After living for thirty-something years in Los Angeles, Angel decided to travel for a year, and then move from Southern California. She toured and pierced around the country and New Orleans selected her! She opened Rings of Desire in December of 1993 in the French Quarter, and lived there happily for over 12 years. Following Hurricane Katrina the next chapter is unfolding as she moved to Merida, Mexico, in the Yucatan with the intention of opening a B & B & P (Bed & Breakfast & Piercing)! See Information.
She is currently writing a comprehensive book about piercing that is directed to consumers of piercing services, and those who deal with them. If you would like to be notified when the book is ready and have not yet signed up for her mailing list, you can do so here. If you are interested in watching Angel perform piercings, clips are available here. Piercers may also be interested in her monthly "Ask Angel" column in Pain Magazine.
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