Salt Shaker Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Salt Shaker Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Oddly appealing, and certainly not ‘run of the mill’(unless you mean the Salt mill), Salt shaker tattoos are a delight even if they sometimes seem a little quirky! Salt is one of our oldest symbols and the salt-shaker is certainly recognized worldwide, so it’s only natural to wonder what exactly is behind this art subject.

Read on and we’ll tell you about it’s history, symbolism, and more and you can see the true appeal for yourself! Let’s take a look at Salt shaker tattoos and the range of meaning that these little vessels… ahem… bring to the table.


What is the History of Salt Shaker Tattoos?

You might be wondering why Salt shaker tattoos are appearing in skin-art galleries from time to time but it’s really not all that surprising. We’ve been using salt shakers for quite some time now, and there’s a lot of history and recognition behind the convenient little conveyors of spices.

Take salt itself, for instance. In numerous cultures around the world, salt has always been considered to be protection from all things unholy. Used to both purify and protect, it was apparently handy to have around, even once lunch or dinnertime was well over.

Salt shakers themselves first made their entrance in history in 1858 and before this, everybody was dishing their salt out of a small bowl with a tiny spoon designed for this purpose. Unfortunately, salt shakers didn’t quite catch on yet, because salt had a nasty habit of clumping.

Morton Salt company solved this in 1911 by adding an anti-clumping agent, Magnesium Carbonate, to their table salt and after that salt shakers became a commonplace thing on every dinner table and even as a collectible item for travelers to acquire. With that much history, it’s only natural that someone who get one inked eventually and here we are!


What Do Salt Shaker Tattoos Symbolize?

While the salt itself is certainly still considered a holy thing, Salt shaker tattoos are generally not used to depict that (although there are certainly exceptions out there). Instead, they tend more to symbolize the value of ‘spicing things up’.

Some even take this motif a little further, by adding some writing to put a specific name or even a term, such as ‘hater’ to give you an idea of whom the tattoo’s owner is symbolically ‘salting up’, though in this case it’s intended more as derision rather than spicing something to make it more palatable.

It’s really going to depend on what’s around it and any text that you might be adding, unless your intent is to use the final most common symbolism – a salt shaker simply representing a quirky and interesting soul!


What Do Salt Shaker Tattoos Mean?

The meaning is going to be up to you. If you don’t like a particular concept, person, or group, then your Salt shaker tattoo might be a shaker salting that unwanted aspect of life, but if you are looking to show the world that you’re a bit eccentric, then your Salt shaker tattoos might have cartoonish eyes, arms, and legs!

The style of salt shaker will say a lot about you as well. A standard, everyday salt shaker is something that everyone is familiar with, but what if your tattoo has fancy Victorian salt shakers? This could indicate a fascination with that era or even a preference for its style and good graces.

Finally, is there actual salt depicted in it, or is your salt shaker empty, as if to say you’ve run out of spices to improve the flavor of this distasteful or simply bland world which is all around us.

Get creative with your design and you can certainly say a lot of things with these deceptively simple, everyday items!


Where Do Salt Shaker Tattoos Usually Go?

Salt shaker tattoos can go just about anywhere and there is a good reason for this. They’re uncommon and quirky! With some tattoo designs, people are inclined to put them in a place that is public or easily hidden, but placements of Salt shaker tattoos seem to be all over the place.

We think that part of it is the delight in seeing how the viewer receives your unique little skin-art message. Nobody is expecting to see a Salt shaker tattoo, so putting it on your arm can get a lot of fun attention, though hiding it can really get a puzzled look or two in a more intimate setting.

This definitely makes Salt shaker tattoos more fun than your usual, run-of-the-mill designs, and while they might not be for everyone, this odd choice is a perfect fit for the right type of person.

Could that be you?!


Characteristics and Styles of Salt Shaker Tattoos

Salt shaker tattoos come in a variety of styles and shapes. Sometimes you’ll see photorealistic designs, especially when the salt shaker in question is an antique or a really surreal design. At other times, you might see an Americana style salt shaker complete with a kid straight out of history salting away!

New School Salt shaker tattoos can make for highly amusing and colorful pieces of skin art, anthropomorphizing the little shaker and giving it a personality all its own – you might even be tempted to name the little guy or gal later.

Since this is one of the more amusing and oddball options out there, we really recommend that you carefully review the styles that your favorite artist is best in before committing to implement your intended design. Watercolor, Americana, New School… sometimes the style really perfects the design!

In closing

If you are looking for a tattoo that you won’t be seeing repeated everywhere, Salt shaker tattoos might well be worth your while! These quirky little spice-vessels have a lot of symbolism behind them and they’re also definitely not your ‘everyday tattoo’ and this is always a perk when you are conceiving your next skin art expression.

Just prepare your design carefully and before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful and unique bit of art that the world will take some delight from… ‘with a grain of salt’, of course!

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