About the Element
Rubidium, the 37th element in the periodic table, was discovered by Robert Wilhem Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff at the University of Heidelberg in 1861. It is a soft, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali metal group. It reacts violently with water and can ignite spontaneously in air. The element gives a reddish-violet color to a flame, hence its name. Rubidium salts are used in fireworks, glasses, and ceramics to give them a purple colour. The metal is also used in atomic clocks, in the manufacture of photocells and in the removal of residual gases from vacuum tubes. Rubidium is named after the Latin "rubidus" which means "deepest red."

About the Print
My print is inspired by Rubidium's volatile nature, particularly in its reaction with water, and the reddish-violet color of its flame that gives it its name. I originally thought I'd incorporate a crimson red color in the design in homage to the element's name, but with further research, I came across a photo that showed that Rubidium actually looks more like a soft reddish-violet color when in water. In the end, I preferred the more harmonious interaction of the soft reddish-violet with the print's predominant blues. I guess in spite of its explosive interaction with water, it can still exist harmoniously with water, at least on a color level. The print comes from four birch plywood blocks. It's printed with Akua-Kolor water-based inks on Rives BFK paper.

About the Printmaker

by Hien Nguyen

Symbol: Rb
Atomic number: 37
Atomic weight: 85.467