06 December, 2011

Tattoo Tuesday: Salty Dog

Yay! Get excited, it's time for some more ink and unlike the last couple of weeks, this is one you haven't already seen!


This tattoo has a number of meanings interwoven into one big life lesson and is also a bit of an homage to the very early and traditional roots of the tattooing craft. This one is one my left inner bicep and yeah, it was a little sensitive in there! Also done by Mark (Suicide Beatnik) of Voodoo Tattoo, it combines iconic imagery of sailor lore.


Back in the day, sailors stumbled across indigenous peoples who had been ritually tattooing themselves for years. Using tattoos as a way of documenting where they had been, this started the tradition of tattooing as we now know it. Not just a souvenir from the places they had travelled, sailors were also a very superstitious lot and much of the tattoos that were born from that period held strong meanings for luck and protection.

The anchor was the most stable thing in a sailor's life and was often emblazoned with 'Mom' or their sweetheart's name as these were the people that kept them grounded. The anchor has become a popular image in modern tattoo culture and is a reminder of what keeps you 'steady.

The nautical star (also sometimes known as the north star) is a symbol of navigation and represented a safe guide home or to keep a sailor on course.

Hold Fast is one of the most traditional sailor tattoos and was generally tattooed across a sailor's knuckles as a symbol of luck and strength to prevent a sailor's hands from slipping on lines or to secure themselves to the rigging when working in rough weather.

Put these all together and you have my tattoo - a reminder to stay grounded, heading in the right direction and strong, no matter what life's stormy seas send your way.

It was then I realised, just like sailors, tattoos tell your story and mark you with where you have been in life.

12 comments (+add yours?)

Zoe said...

I love the old sailor tattoo's. I have swallows on my back which have a nice sailor story to them :)

Sheri Bomb said...

Very cool. Swallows I do not have, but I love them :)

Tony said...

Thanks For the education :) Nice tattoo, its very
Clear and colourful.
Do you know if scar tissue can be successfully
tattooed over

Sheri Bomb said...

Thanks Tony :)Scar tissue can be successfully tattooed over but it is a far more painful process than tattooing on virgin skin

Amy@MyLifeasaCake said...

Very neat. I like this one.

And weee, I'm commenting on sheri bomb dot com!

Sheri Bomb said...

Thanks Amy, and YAAAAY!! haha :)

Mrs BC said...

You have the loveliest tattoos, Sheri. Everytime I read about them I am inspired to get one of my own...
x

Sheri Bomb said...

Nawww thanks Mrs BC :) Be warned, it's quite addictive! xx

Hayley said...

I really love reading about the stories behind each of them! It's like I am living my tattoo dreams through you :) Oh and I am still waiting for you to tell me how much it hurts on your upper ribs :P

Sheri Bomb said...

Haha aww Hayls glad I can make all of your tattoo dreams come true :P Well except for the upper ribs...no plans for a tattoo there anytime soon

Melissa {Suger} said...

LOVE. It's beautiful. yes. And the story. The history adds so much for me. Not that it really matters but I adore it. Hold Strong indeed. Sound advice.

Sheri Bomb said...

Thanks, that's what makes my tattoos mean so much to me. Not only are they amazing artworks, but they have a story...and help to tell mine

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