One of the rare earths, neodymium makes a VERY strong magnet. It’s also used in lenses, where it causes a magenta cast. Because of the abbreviation, I couldn’t resist representing the magenta with a map of ND.

Unun etc.

According to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry,  “Elements with atomic numbers 112 and above have been reported but not fully authenticated.”

Actually, they need to update: 112 is now Copernecium.

My table shows them on the bottom row, labeled ununtrium, ununquadium, etc. through ununoctium. Basically, “no name 13” through “no name18.”

I chose to represent them with a series of hand-dyed solids, graded from light through dark, featuring only the atomic numbers.

numbers stenciled with Lumiere

hand dyed fabrics 

114 may eventually be named for Japan--if so, I am ready with an addition!


Being a word lover, I ‘m always interested in where the names come from. Nickel (little Nick) was the name of a mountain spirit in Germany. He lived in the copper mines, and sometimes played tricks on the miners. For instance, some copper ore would not yield any copper, so the miners blamed that on the spirit and called it “nickel copper.”

Eventually, another metal was found in that ore, and of course, it became nickel.

It’s used in stainless steel.


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