About the Element
Barium (Greek "barys" meaning "heavy") was first identified in 1774 by Carl Scheele and extracted in 1808 by Sir Humphry Davy in England. Barium is a metallic element, soft, and when pure is silvery white; it belongs to the alkaline earth group, chemically resembling calcium. The metal oxidizes very easily and should be kept under petroleum or other suitable oxygen-free liquids to exclude air. It is decomposed by water or alcohol.

It is found only in combination with other elements, chiefly with sulfate and carbonate and is prepared by electrolysis of the chloride.

The metal is used as a "getter" in vacuum tubes. The sulfate is also used in paint, in X-ray diagnostic work, and in glassmaking. Barite is extensively used as a weighing agent in oil well drilling fluids, and is used in making rubber. The carbonate has been used as a rat poison, while the nitrate and chlorate give colors in pyrotechnics. The impure sulfide phosphoresces after exposure to the light. All barium compounds that are water or acid soluble are poisonous. Naturally occurring barium is a mixture of seven stable isotopes. Twenty two other radioactive isotopes are known to exist.

About the Print
This is a two color print. The Silver background coat was laid down using a plexiglass plate. The second plate was a carved linoleum block print inked in black. I used oil-based inks on Rives paper. It is a limited edition of 11.

About the Printmaker
I've been carving linoleum for 5 years now. I find the whole process to extremely satisfying, from the design, to carving, to inking and pulling prints. I am a member of the City Art Collective in San Francisco, a worker owned and operated gallery for local artists. That is where you can see my art in person, or you can check out my flickr site.


by Brad Robinson

Symbol: Ba
Atomic number: 56
Atomic weight: 137.327