Among the many uses for zinc, boosting the immune system to fight the common cold is possibly the most commonly known.
This bluish-silver metal is also used for rust protection, die-casting, and many other medical purposes. The use that was most compelling to me, however, was as a sustainable building material. A zinc roof can last 100 years (compared to a few decades for asphalt shingles) and is much less likely to wind up in a landfill compared to traditional roofing materials because zinc can be recycled indefinitely without loss of physical or chemical properties. As a nod to how eco-savvy zinc can be, this piece includes some recycled elements of its own, including scraps of old neckties and wrapping paper.
Sodium Sue – By Karla Rose Hanson
Combined with chlorine, sodium (Na / #11) forms sodium chloride – table salt. This piece is a nod to two classics – the Morton Salt canister and Sunbonnet Sue. It is machine appliqued, machine quilted, and beaded.
Antimony (Sb) – #51
By Karla Rose Hanson
When this metal is added to lead and tin, it creates an alloy that can be poured into molds to create crisp, hard, reusable letter forms for printing – a little invention that Johann Gutenberg liked to call movable type. I created this piece by doing a rubbing of my children’s wooden blocks with Shiva paintstiks to look like lines of type and using some fabrics with a metallic feel.
Xenon is a noble gas that gives off a lovely violet glow and is also the most expensive gas. So I gave this piece some royal flair.
Named after the continent of Europe, Europium gave the red color to phosphors in the cathode ray tubes used in old color television sets.