Written By – Joseph Scaglione

I studied chemistry for all the wrong reasons. My relationship with chemistry lasted throughout grade 11, during Breaking Bad’s peak season. No, I wasn’t into THAT kind of chemistry. The periodic table’s elements coming together to form new substances fascinated me. I enrolled in high school chemistry, biology, and physics courses. Eventually, my relationship with science ended, and I went back to my art roots. Those science years hold a special place. I attended the One of a Kind Show and found The Chemist Tree, a company making collections of chemistry themed products including greeting cards, posters, pin-back buttons, tote bags, and more. The best part is, I didn’t need a science degree to use them.

Finding Chemistry

The Chemist Tree sprouted from the curious mind of Rovena Tey. Rovena studied to be a scientist, yet her calling is art. The Chemist Tree is a combination of Rovena’s passions and her chemical interpretation of life. The name itself is the spawn of a “eureka” moment. At craft shows, Rovena displays her cards on a metal rack resembling a tree. One day she looked at at her display and recognized the obvious: Chemistry cards on a tree, a chemist tree.

A card for the tea lover in your family, showing the chemistry of an antioxidant in oolong tea.
A card for the tea lover in your family, showing the chemical structure of an antioxidant in oolong tea.

Balancing Art & Science

Rovena spent her childhood in Singapore, eventually moving to Canada. She earned a Masters of Science from McMaster University in Hamilton. Paper crafting became her accidental love. She recycled a cover from one of her lab manuals by making it into a card, and voila, her business was born. She is self taught, and expresses her art through an elegant yet striking style. A visual learner, Rovena always appreciated teachers who drew chemical equations. This built her appreciation for the art buried in chemical structure. Her first chemistry card, the coffee card, debuted in 2008. It features the chemical structure of caffeine, inspired by her coffee-loving husband. People appreciated Rovena’s cards but they were only a hobby.

In addition to cards, The Chemist tree offers a line-up of notebooks as well.
In addition to cards, The Chemist tree offers a line-up of notebooks as well.

Fast-forward to today and The Chemist Tree offers over 100 different designs and more than 5 different products. There really is a card for everyone, featuring the chemical structure of popular products like cheese, beer, and pizza. Not to mention a chemistry card for every occasion. The Chemist Tree branches out into pencils, notebooks, calendars, pillows, and pouches, all with their own chemical twist. So if you can’t choose between chemistry and art, why not have both! Visit https://chemisttree.com/ for more info and a visual display of their stunning cards!

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