About the Element
From Encarta: "Germanium, symbol Ge, hard, brittle, grayish-white, crystalline semimetallic element. The atomic number of germanium is 32; it is in group 14 (of IVa) of the periodic table." Dmitry Mendeleyev predicted its existence and properties in 1871. Germanium was discovered by German chemist Clemens Alexander Winkler in 1886.

Germanium can pass electrical currents in a single direction and was used in transistors, diodes, and rectifiers from World War II through the early 1970s when it began to be replaced by silicon. Nowadays germanium is used in fiber optics, infrared night vision systems, wide angle camera lenses, microscope objective lenses, and polymerization catalysts. Oh, and it's really shiny.

About the Print
All the descriptions of semiconductors and solid state electronics made me picture the guts of a calculator--probably never an actual use for germanium. No circuit boards were harmed in the making of this block print. I used good old Speedball water soluble block printing inks and 2 linoleum blocks. The silver paper, which is lighter and more reflective in real life than in the scan, is some kind of scrapbooking paper that I found at Michaels. (Living in the boonies severely limits paper choices.) This was my first multicolor print, and I am pleased with the off-kilter results.

About the Printmaker
My name is Barbara B. Mowery, and I live in Ocean City, Maryland. I am primarily a painter, but have been dabbling in printmaking lately. I have a website of my artwork at www.bbmowery.com.

by Barbara B. Mowery

Symbol: Ge
Atomic number: 32
Atomic weight: 72.64