Thursday, 7 August 2014

Our stay at Strontian, Scotland

On our travels to the Hebridean islands we stopped at a wee village called Strontian (Srón an t-Sithein), on the shores of Loch Sunart, Argyllshire, Scotland. It is the main village in Sunart, an area in western Lochaber,Highland, Scotland, on the A861 road. It lies on the north shore of Loch Sunart, close to the head of the loch.

We were heading for the Sunart camp site , run by Tim and Lynn originally from Huddersfield , Yorkshire. Tim runs the camp site , Lynn runs her own crafty gallery shop / workshop. 

As soon as we entered the village I saw the sign that the chemical element strontium was named after the village. Me being a scientist at heart had to find out more.  I didn't see any more reference to it in the village so I did a little research on line
view from the village pub
This is what I found- 
Adair Crawford who was trained as a physician was also interested in chemical research. For a period of time, he was on the staff at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, England, and a professor of chemistry at Woolwich University.
In 1790. He was studying barium minerals and found a new (not barium) element in minerals found in the lead mines at Strontia. He called the element strontia from which the samples came. Strontia was later found to be a compound of strontium and oxygen. In 1808, Davy found a way to produce pure strontium metal. He passed an electric current through molten (melted) strontium chloride. The electric current broke the compound into its two elements:

Strontium and its compounds have relatively few commercial uses. Interestingly compounds of strontium are sometimes used to colour glass and ceramics. They give a beautiful red colour to these materials. Strontium compounds also provide the brilliant red colour of certain kinds of fireworks.

That evening , being a little fascinated by the subject , I was trying to come up with a new fair isle design. 

Don't you think it looks rather like a chemical element , electrons circling the inner neutron. I thought I might call it the "strontium" pattern.

I will be incorporating this design into my fair isle work in the next few weeks. I'll post here when I do.

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