I attend a small college in Portland where some of my peers have more tattoos than articles of clothing. (Hey, don’t ask me how I know this.) Even some of our professors have ink swirling beneath their button-down shirts, amusing and esoteric nods to their studies — or so the rumors go. While I’m all for dedication — and utterly captivated by tattoos — I’ve always been too much of a commitment-phobe to consider assigning perpetual pictures to my own body.
That changed when I met a vegan chef who sports a tattoo of a single, perfect radish. Suddenly getting a tattoo — a kitchen-centric one — made perfect sense. From then on, I’ve peered more curiously than ever at highly decorated baristas and ogled glossy magazine pages with swarthy young chefs flaunting sexy tats of gleaming Cuisinart mixers or butcher’s meat cut diagrams.
I was obsessed.
What creative culinary tattoo could I get? A bundle of verdant herbs? A few tangerine segments peeking shyly out of the peel? A piece of buttered toast, my idea of quintessential comfort food? (Uh, something told me I might regret that last one in a couple of years.)
Fortunately for me — and indecisive tattoo connoisseurs the world over — artist Julia Rothman has designed whimsical temporary decals in the form of simple kitchen utensils, available at the eminently chic Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos. The Brooklyn-based artist has, by her own admission, been too afraid to get any body art herself—just like me—though she’s welcomed any chance she could get to pretend with artsy temporary designs. She enjoys drawing everyday objects, images that represent the things that people love to do. Naturally, she thought utilitarian kitchen utensils — a chef’s knife, whisk, grater, and wine opener — would make particularly compelling tattoos. As she explains, they’re icons that, when worn, express an interest or personality and hint at all manner of culinary hijinks. Don’t see your favorite tool? She’s promised us that there are more diminutive decals on the way, including a baking-themed set and designs for coffee and wine devotees.
Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoosare a far cry from the familiar Cracker Jack tattoos of childhood, which were made with cheap dye and prone to smudging shortly after application. By contrast, Tattly’s tattoos are non-toxic, simple and quick to apply, and last for days without fading or cracking. They even hold up fairly well to being doused with water —something that’s sort of inevitable for anyone who spends time in the kitchen — though the tats are easily scrubbed off, so even commitment-phobes like me can feel no qualms about sticking ‘em anywhere. As Tattly.com wisely professes, who said forever is better?
Kitchen Utensils by Julia Rothman are available at Tattly. The nifty little expressions of body art will set you back just $5 for two complete sets of four utensils each, including shipping (add $2 for international orders).