About the Element
Iodine is a shiny blue-black solid element. The French scientist Bernard Courtois discovered it in 1811 in seaweed when he treated seaweed ash with sulfuric acid. Dried seaweeds, particularly those of the Liminaria family, contain as much as 0.45% iodine. Iodine is primarily used in medicine, photography and dyes. It naturally occurs in the environment chiefly as a dissolved substance in sea water, although it is also found in some minerals and soils. (Source: www.mii.org/Minerals/photoiodine.html)

I was inspired to use images of the sea and kelp in my print design because of the strong iodine content in this particular seaweed. I didn't know about iodine in seaweed until I lived in Japan where people eat many different kinds of seaweed every day. I've grown to love eating seaweed through nori, kombu, hijiki and wakame in Japanese food.

About the Print
This print was made using the traditional Japanese woodblock printing method. First a woodblock was carved with the design and then watercolour inks were applied to the block. Then Japanese paper (pre-dampened) was carefully placed over this and a baren (a small, round, flat disc covered in a bamboo leaf) was used to rub across the back of the paper. The paper is then taken off the block and placed flat to dry between dry sheets of newspaper.

About the Printmaker

by Kylie Budge

Symbol: I
Atomic number: 53
Atomic weight: 126.904