Over spring break I was able to walk past numerous artists painting pictures of the lovely scenery that is Mexico. Artists painting landscapes is a regular occurrence in many tourist towns. They can be seen on street corners, in small and large villages and squares, or in shops painting pictures that are able to immediately bring to life and the wonderful adventures that were had while visiting a new destination. Photos and pictures are the perfect souvenir from vacations, whether they are made on paper, canvas, wood or metal. Metal etching is probably less common, but its popularity is growing, as are the methods in which the desired design can be achieved.
In Mexico, the artists were able to create magnificent pictures without even touching a brush using only their fingers. It looked so easy, yet you knew you could never do it yourself. Another unique method of design is photoengraving on metals. This method is slightly more complex and can be dangerous due to its use of acids and chemicals, but like the elegant finger and brush paintings, can create a masterful work of artistry. Personally, I will always prefer the bright, colorful works of art, but there is not denying that some of the metal crafted works are intriguing as well as unique and as a result, preferred by many.
While many artists still prefer to use their hands to carve metals, photoengraving is a more accurate and precise way of designing an object. The process can be done cleanly, leaving a smooth, burr-free finish to the product. As with all methods and mediums of art, the beauty of the finished piece will always depend on the beholder. For many, it is the human error and mistakes that make the piece unique and individual. Giving it a quality no other piece has. But for other methods, such as jewelry, it is the precise lines and expertise that make the piece worth having.