About the Element
This is a man-made element, created by bombarding bismuth-209 with accelerated nuclei of iron-58. The most stable isotope of this highly radioactive metal has only a 720 millisecond half-life and so only a few atoms have ever been made. It was named in honour of Lise Meitner (1878 - 1968), the Austrian physicist and mathematician who first suggested spontaneous nuclear fission.

About the Print
I hadn’t heard about Meitnerium nor Lise Meitner before this project and so researching it was the first hurdle. Although the element itself is short-lived the idea that a woman had been honoured in this way made using her portrait the inspiration for the print. I love the finality of a reduction print; the knowledge that if the later colours print badly then the run is lost can make the whole process a little more nerve-wracking! The print is 6"x6" printed in Speedball water-based inks and on 300gsm paper.

About the Printmaker
I am a theatre designer and printmaker living in London, UK. I discovered the joys of printmaking from a very enthusiastic art teacher at school and so I've been involved in printmaking off and on for twenty years. I have been experimenting with different intaglio and relief methods and enjoy the way the physical process and the design grow together.


by Dinah England

see also: Americium

Symbol: Mt
Atomic number: 109
Atomic weight: 268