About the Element
Lutetium (pronounced: loo-tee-shee-uhm) is a silvery white corrosion-resistant trivalent metal that is relatively stable in air. It is the heaviest and hardest of the rare earth elements. It has the highest melting point of any lanthanide, probably related to the lanthanide contraction.

Lutetium is one of the most expensive metals, costing about six times as much as gold, therefore it has very few commercial uses. However, stable it can be used as catalysts in petroleum cracking in refineries and can also be used in alkylation, hydrogenation, and polymerization applications.

About the Print
I based my print design on the Lutetium usage as catalyst cracking in petroleum refineries. The smoke coming out of the stacks is a molecular model of this type of catalyst. I used silver metallic ink and fine mica powder to simulate the color and appearance of Lutetium and to emphasize the toxic environmental pollution caused by refineries.

-Moku hanga woodblock: Water-based Japanese method.
-Hand-rubbed with a Murasaki baren (burnishing tool).
-One Block with two impressions: shina plywood.
-Two-colors of ink: Black is neri-zumi concentrate sumi paste and
Silver metallic ink mixed with fine mica powder.
-Paper: White shin-torinoko (made in Japan)

About the Printmaker

by Bette Norcross Wappner

Symbol: Lu
Atomic number: 71
Atomic weight: 174.967