The Samarium Chronicles–Chapter 1

A picture of the Rare Earth metal Samarium, or Sm, courtesy of Wikipedia.

As many of you know, I recently applied to be a part of the Studio Art Quilt Associates‘ Radical Elements exhibition.  The exhibition will be seen only in galleries and museums (not quilt shows) and is designed to highlight SAQA’s new definition of a quilt:  The art quilt is a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.  

It was an honor to be accepted with such prestigious company as Wen Redmond, Pam RuBert, Elin Noble, and 36 other artists (see full list of participating artists here).    I had researched the Periodic Table and found out there was an element called Samarium.  I thought I would submit the next planned work from my Samaras series and leave it at that.  My application was accepted.  

Then I read the fine print.

It turns out I have to incorporate materials OTHER THAN fabric and thread.  Hence the RADICAL ELEMENTS theme.  Is that curator Jill Rumoshosky Werner clever or what????

First, some background information for those of us who are are not chemical engineers.  Samarium is a white, shiny rare earth metal.  It is used in nuclear reactor rods to absorb radiation, cancer treatments, and is magnetic.   It is not particularly toxic, nor is it required to support life.  Our bodies contain small amounts of Samarium.

I am in the process of collecting all suggestions for the requisite alternate materials.  This is the brainstorming phase, so nothing is too crazy.  Please leave your comments/suggestions below.  My next post will include the full list of suggestions and future posts will show my experiments as I develop the work for this exhibition.  The final work is due in September, and you will have to see it in person.  The curator has asked that no pictures of finished work appear online.

4 thoughts on “The Samarium Chronicles–Chapter 1

  1. Why not use rare earth magnets? You might even be able to find samarium-cobalt magnets that actually contain samarium. And then you could attach all sorts of metal objects as well.

  2. Wow, Mary, Heavy Company, Heavy Stuff! Sort of looks like Christmas Tinsel compacted. Appreciate the Scientific explanation of what it is actually. Something disparate would be appropriate in my humble, unskilled and not particularly creative mind. I did jokingly suggest “ostrich feathers” on FB. I dont think this is what you seek. Very impressive Artiste You have evolved into.

    1. I like the idea of ostrich feathers. They are WAY out of the box. They are on the list, though I give you no promises that they will make the cut!)

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