Roseville tattoo studio wants to pierce man 2,000 times

Abstract Ink hopes to break the Guinness World Record for most body piercings in one session
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Aryan Hopkins will soon be stabbed — 2,000 times. It may sound brutal, but it’s an accurate description of what will potentially happen when professional piercer Pauly Dunkleberger attempts to break the Guinness World Record for most body piercings in one session on Saturday, June 26, at Abstract Ink in Roseville. “It’ll be kinda cool to set a world record,” Hopkins said. “I’m not too worried about the pain. I’m worried about if I’ll pass out.” Ever since his wife Ashleigh Hopkins, a 22-year-old student and mother, opened the tattoo, piercing and body modification studio on Sunrise Avenue last October, she and her fellow artists bounced around the idea of setting the new record. “(Aryan) said he could do it,” she said. “We said, ‘Oh, yeah? So do it.’” The current record is 1,200 piercings completed in two hours and 53 minutes, set in August 2009. While Aryan Hopkins, 23, will “take on the stabbing role,” Dunkleberger will take on the slightly less-uncomfortable part of the deal, although he will be continuously piercing 18-gauage hollow needles — no jewelry allowed — into Hopkins’ back, legs and arms for between three and five hours. Rules limit him to only a 5-minute break every hour. Once the last needle goes in, Dunkleberger will start removing them, which will take an estimated additional three to five hours. Dunkleberger, 31, became a piercer about six years ago, after having worked as a tattoo artist for nearly six years. He got his first tattoo — of a skull and flames — at 18 years old. “I’d always drawn as a kid,” Dunkleberger said. “(And) I liked skulls when I was a kid.” He said tribal designs, pin-ups, nautical stars and koi fish are now popular tattoo requests, although he sees “everything and anything in here,” including one woman who keeps adding Dalmatians to her arms. Dunkleberger said he enjoys tattooing and piercing equally, although piercing has its drawbacks. “With piercings, you get up close and personal with the person,” he said. “(You) get up in their face and it can feel uncomfortable.” He’ll soon spend several hours up in Hopkins’ personal space. But it’s not only to break a record. It’s also for a good cause: A fixed dollar amount donated by individuals and local businesses for each piercing will be given to Shriners Hospital for Children. “A friend of mine has a Shriners baby,” Ashleigh Hopkins said. “I always said if I donated to something, it would be to Shriners.” She said the shop adheres to strict sterile practices to assure the health and safety of their customers. Because of the potential presence of blood-borne pathogens, the shop will not tattoo or pierce other customers during the event. But those in attendance will get a coupon to come back for a discounted session — a percentage of which will also go to Shriners Hospital. She is currently making sure everything is in accordance with the 40-page Guinness rulebook Abstract Ink must follow. The shop must videotape and photograph the whole session. An ambulance will be on standby. Artists will help unwrap needles, control crowds and count piercings. On the morning of the event, she plans to take the two men out for a hardy breakfast to ensure both guys are fully charged for the record-breaking attempt that awaits. “It’s going to be a big group effort,” she said. Sena Christian can be reached at ---------- To watch Abstract Ink piercer Pauly Dunkleberger attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most body piercings in one session, stop by Abstract Ink Tattoo between 12-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, 970 Sunrise Ave. Suite 105 in Roseville. Eligibility to watch the record-breaking attempt is limited to adults, ages 18 and over. Proceeds for each piercing session with go to Shriners Hospital for Children. Donations will also be accepted to help pay for the needles. For more information on how to donate, call (916) 504-6428.