About the Element
Americium is a radioactive metallic element made by bombarding plutonium with neutrons. It is used in very small amounts in smoke detectors and whilst there is a very low risk of exposure to radiation this is greatly outweighed by the benefits to health of fire prevention.

I wanted to show how this element helps us in our daily life but to not be too morbid about it which is why I chose the blue for smoke instead of red for flames. I worked on the smoke/flames for quite a while as they looked too much like clouds or stones in the first few drafts!

About the Print
For this print I used separate lino block for each colour. I usually work on reduction prints so it was interesting to be able to develop each block individually. The print is 6"x6" and hand-printed on 300gsm paper using Speedball water-based inks.

About the Printmaker
I am a theatre designer and printmaker living in London, UK. I discovered the joys of printmaking from a very enthusiastic art teacher at school and so I've been involved in printmaking off and on for twenty years. I have been experimenting with different intaglio and relief methods and enjoy the way the physical process and the design grow together.

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Americium
by Dinah England

see also: Meitnerium

Symbol: Am
Atomic number: 95
Atomic weight: 243