sometimes good is good enough
hi everyone! how was your manic monday? it’s that time of year when everyone’s running around with an endless ‘to do’ list. so many of us strive for a perfection that’s completely self-imposed. it got me thinking whether sometimes Good can be good enough? does it always have to be full throttle?
i ran around today, but didn’t take that romantic, picturesque stroll i’d envisioned since it was way too chilly. but in my travels i did pass a favorite store that’s still going strong, pageant, purveyors of maps, prints, and ephemera. i couldn’t resist this little plate i found outside in a bin titled, costumes parisiens. this particular style is from the genre ‘les incroyables et merveilleuses’.
the desire to learn more about the image led me down a path of discovery and i had a lovely realization. that it was ok not to wait for more stuff to gather before posting a blog, or do anything at all. that it’s not about amassing more information or matter. just this piece of paper was enough to send me off on a tangent, allowing me to get lost in something completely off the radar. so instead of all the things i did and places i went, i’d like to take time to focus on little things behind the things and delve into them more deeply.
for instance, have you ever wonderered how to tell an etching from an engraving? well, this couple parisien got me exploring just that tonight. it all starts with a metal plate. you’ll see its impression around the image.
according to wikipedia: engraving is done with a pen on metal and etching is done with acid on metal. a wax covers the acid and [then gets written or drawn into]. etching eventually came to challenge engraving as the most popular medium for artists in printmaking. Its great advantage was that, unlike engraving which requires special skill in metalworking, etching is relatively easy to learn for an artist trained in drawing. everything from great works of art to images on money began with these techniques. these were the artist tools for creating such exquisite masterpieces for centuries, since the middle ages:
depicting women has always been in style. in fact this is where the term ‘fashion plate’ comes from! the one we still use today when describing a fashionista. these were also known as ‘costume plates’ and were all the rage from london to paris to new york until the early part of the 1900s.
you can see the lines and dots that create the design in the metal. i’m still unsure how to tell completely the difference but i’m assuming the older ones are going to be engravings.
something newer like this above would be an etching. by 1906 they were getting a little looser with the design technique and engraving had probably faded out.
soon it could almost look like painting. above are new york fashions in autumn of 1872. (just had to thow that in since i’m in the city but geeze i despise the victorian era)! a great collection of plates can be found in the claremont library via the links below each image. if you love the history of fashion, spend a few minutes and check out your favorite styles.
by 1913 fashion was at a whole new level and about to change again to the modern way we’re living now…in pants! the above is one of the costume parisien plates from 120 years ago! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_artists#Eighteenth_century
last but not least, the book above is one i came across and thought interesting. besides being about a great topic, it’s been completly scanned, and it’s public domain. it made me realize how precious books like this are and how we all come across wonderful out of print books. wouldn’t it be nice to scan them like this to share?
so that’s it for my little diversion. this is of course an endless rabbit hole and just searching the term fashion plate opened up a brand new world with so much history and beauty! but it is getting late so i’m off to bed, sweet dreams!