Experience alone does not make you an expert, but having pierced for over two decades now, Dave Gillstrap has honed his craft to a considerable edge. A member of the Association of Professional Piercers and former instructor for the Professional Piercing Information Systems, Dave began his journey as a professional piercer 24 years ago in Kansas City, MO. By 1999 he made his way to San Francisco where he worked alongside several master piercers from The Gauntlet, a famous studio that has a rich history in the body piercing industry. Aside from piercing, Dave’s other passions also include painting and championing sustainable living practices.
Even before his stint in San Francisco, he had been attending the APP’s annual conference to gain as much insight and inspiration as possible. This drive helped him become a lead instructor for the PPIS in the early 2000s, where he taught advanced piercing techniques and cleanliness standards to piercers from around the world. The early 2000s were also a time for fun, as Dave had the opportunity to pierce at Ozzfest. From what I can remember about those chaotic times when seas of people were able to congregate together, it must have been a challenging feat.
With all he’s done over the years, Dave’s piercing preferences are as varied as the requests from his customers. As far as his favorite procedures to do, any that you may consider to be “outside of the box” are what get his attention nowadays. It’s a broad response, but you have to admire the confidence of anyone that enjoys a good challenge. That said, Dave still thinks ears are fantastic as there are “infinite variations to ear cartilage.” Similar to the canvases he uses for his paintings, ears give Dave the opportunity to help people express themselves through his work.
Dave Gillstrap has been at Deep Roots since 2016 and looks forward to being your guide on your next piercing adventure.