Lanthanum

Yeah, what the h* is lanthanum? As my son immediately responded, it’s the first of the lanthanoids.

Why are we doing this scientific thing again?

Lanthanum is atomic number 57. Its name comes from the Greek for “to lie hidden” because it takes a complex process to isolate it from other minerals. I considered making a lanthanum block with a flap or cover, so the element would lie hidden. But who would know to lift the flap and look for it?

It’s a silvery white metallic element that burns with a lavender flame. It has a hexagonal crystal structure. So the obvious way to represent it would be piecing it from hexagons, and that’s what I did.

To get the proper colors, I stamped and painted some plain fabrics with silver or white paints and included silk duppioni for shine.

lanthanumdetail showing foil and paint

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