About the Element
I've been working with a lot of heavy topics in my printmaking lately: the war in Iraq, global warming, Darfur. I chose chlorine for the Periodic Table Printmaking Project because my immediate mental picture was a swimming pool, which I thought would be a nice light topic to work with. As I researched chlorine a bit more, I found out that chlorine gas is highly poisonous and has been used as a chemical weapon, most notably during World War I, so I had to restrain myself from jumping back into dark topics. I looked at some David Hockney paintings for inspiration, Hockney's work being the gold standard for swimming pool art, and I took it from there.

About the Print
I work in the Japanese method of woodblock printing, called moku hanga. This method uses water-based pigments and a hand-held device called a baren rather than a press and it is known for multiple blocks and rich velvety color. For the chlorine print I used five blocks and took 12 impressions, ending up with an edition of 10 prints on Rives lightweight paper. My weblog, Woodblock Dreams, details the entire process.

About the Printmaker
An illustrator for over 20 years, I took up printmaking in 2005 inspired by a workshop with New Hampshire based moku hanga artist Matt Brown. I love moku hanga because it's non-toxic, requires no press or chemicals, and takes up very little space, so it can be done almost anywhere. It's easy to do, requiring just wood, water, pigment, paper, a knife, a brush and something to rub the paper with. But it's also an extremely difficult technique to master. I love that combination.

Woodblock Dreams

by Annie Bissett

Symbol: Cl
Atomic number: 17
Atomic weight: 35.453