About the Element
Francium was discovered by Marguerite Catherine Perey, a French chemist, in 1939 while analyzing actinium's decay sequence. Although considered a natural element, scientists estimate that there is no more than one ounce of francium in the earth's crust at one time. Since there is so little naturally occurring francium on earth, scientists must produce francium in order to study it. Francium can be produced by bombarding thorium with protons or by bombarding radium with neutrons. Due to the small amounts produced and its short half-life, there are currently no uses for francium outside of basic scientific research.

About the Print
Three color silkscreen. The background colors were printed using paper stencils taped to a screen; the detailed outline layer was burned into photographic emulsion. Printed with acrylic paints and acrylic printmaking medium, onto white 180gsm BFK rives printmaking paper.

The image itself was drawn without too much scientific fact in mind. I wanted to base these on what words like ‘radioactive’ immediately bring to mind. For me, comic books, super heroes and radiation! This scene could possibly be set in the very distant future, but for the moment there are no practical uses for francium due to the small amounts so far produced and its short half-life.

About the Printmaker
I am an artist from NSW, Australia. I’ve always been a keen drawer, and love processes that are an extension of that – like printmaking. Silkscreen in particular seems to suit my drawing style well – being able to keep the detail of line work, but also add different qualities to lines and add more depth to a work with use of color and layers.

I'm still studying at university and hope to eventually emerge with a degree in fine art [what I'll do with it is another story] but until then I'm happy to use the schools equipment to my full advantage. I also have a nice little silk screen set up in my nice little apartment, because although the university does close sometimes, my imagination never does.


by Lisa Kirkpatrick

see also: Krypton

Symbol: Fr
Atomic number: 87
Atomic weight: 223