Graphic Chemical & Ink Company is a world leader in the fine art field of printmaking. We manufacture our own time-tested inks for etching, litho and relief printing, as well as sell screen print inks, papers, tools, chemistry, plates and supplies for all of a printmaker's needs
- Name: Dean Clark
- Location: Villa Park, Illinois, United States
I have worked for Graphic Chemical & Ink Company since 1968 - with a brief hiatus(almost 4 years) to travel the World courtesy of my uncle. Sadly it turns out it was my Uncle Sam, and I wasn't too thrilled about the places that he chose to send me. My wife and I have run Graphic Chemical for many years, and have enjoyed the travel that comes with the position. We get to meet our customers (and the occasional vendor) from all over the World
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
FRANCISCO MENDOZA 1958-2012
Francisco Mendoza was one of the most interesting personalities that I have ever come across, in or out of the art field. For 25 years, Francisco taught at what is now the Orozco Community Academy in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. I met Francisco many years ago when he came into Graphic as a customer. His humor was fantastic, and he did uncanny imitations of notable personalities.
I had the honor of going to visit the Orozco Academy back in 2004 or so, as part of my other life - education. The State Board of Education in Illinois had scheduled a meeting at the Mexican Fine Arts Museum (now the National Museum of Mexican Art) in Chicago, and as part of the two day meeting, we visited some local schools , including Orozco. I was totally blown away with the incredible mosaics on display at the school. About 2 months after my visit, I was speaking with Francisco and mentioned that visit. That's when I learned that Orozco was where he taught. I began waxing poetic (well poetic for me anyway) about the mosaics, and Francisco said that he had done them. My immediate reaction was cynical given his sense of humor.
It turns out that not only had he done them, but that he was sought out to do them by one of Chicago's top art patrons - Maggie Daley, the wife of the former mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley.
Francisco passed away on March 12 from complications from multiple myeloma. His murals are well known in a city that treasures art like few others. In addition to the mosaics at Orozco, Francisco had installations at the South Chicago YMCA, the Chicago Transit Authority's 18th Street L station, and numerous other places.
Francisco Mendoza is survived by his sister, Juanita, a brother Vicente, and a nephew James Larralde. His passing leaves a void in the Chicago artists' community and he will be missed by all.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
EMERGENCIES ARE RELATIVE
The e-mail is bogus, and I've deleted my friend's name, because I suspect that even he doesn't know that I received this, and while e-mails are somewhat interchangeable around here, I'm pretty sure that this particular friend likely doesn't have my personal e-mail address (the one that this "emergency" missive came to).
I am really sorry to bother you with this email but i just want you to know what i am going through right now. I am sorry i didn't inform you about my traveling to Spain for a Seminar,i am presently in Spain but unfortunately for me i lost my wallet and other valuables in a taxi. I can easily access the internet for now but i do not have access to phone and i also cannot afford the pay phone simply because i do not have a dime on me at the moment. I want you to please assist me urgently with a loan of €1,800 to sort out my hotel bills and to get myself back home. I have tried the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively,i want you to know that i will pay you back as soon as i return,so kindly let me know if you can be of help so that i can send you the details you will use to send the money to me and i think the best way i can receive the money is via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER since i still have my passport with me.
There are a lot of this type of e-mail floating around these days. Most of them are from people we don't know, but every now and again they stumble across a real printmaker to use in the scam. So Bill (or Tom or Frank), if you are really in Spain and really lost your wallet, and are waiting at the American Express office for my wire transfer, I'll quote my sainted mother as a response - you are so screwed!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
PEOPLE YOU SHOULD KNOW
In printmaking, I would argue that the number is more like two degrees! I've rarely met a printmaker that didn't share a common acquaintance with me. I would like, however to introduce you to someone that you don't know probably...Florence. Like Cher or Madonna, she needs only one name. Her given last name is probably "the Milk Float".
Shown above, Florence is a refugee from the Dairy industry. In this picture she is toting two heavy hitters in the printmaking world. Well, they're both heavy at least! In the command seat - yours truly, and closest to the camera is Martin Lawrence - the chief cook and bottle washer at T.N. Lawrence & Sons of Hove, England. In a fit of insanity, I allowed myself to be intimidated into driving Florence down the street from her home to the Lawrence warehouse and back. It was a nerve racking distance of almost 50 yards round trip....all on the wrong side of the street. Fortunately it was Sunday morning and all of the intelligent nearby residents were still asleep, or cowering behind their drawn curtains!
While our plans had some last minute changes which necessitated canceling a couple of stops on our grand tour - most notably an art fair in Oxford, England, and one of our distributors, it was still a successful, albeit damp trip. Successful, if you can forget about being run over by an Amsterdam taxi that I was in at the time, and a decidedly unpleasant gate crew for Continental Airlines who tried to put our 8 year old granddaughter on a different flight than Susan and I. But that's a story for another day. Hopefully by then I'll have forgotten about it.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
INT'L PRINT EXCHANGE & EXHIBITION
Hope you are doing well, I am sending you a call: La Calaca Press International Print Exchange that I am organizing in conjunction with Expressions Graphics in Oak Park, IL for the Day of the Dead celebration in Nov. I would love to count with your participation on this project, please feel free to spread the word!!!
Thanks, have a great day!
La Calaca Press and Expressions Graphics invite you to participate in the first LA CALACA PRESS International Print Exchange and Exhibition. This exchange is open to printmakers from the USA and abroad. The purpose of this exchange is to promote printmaking and create connection with artists around the world.
• Deadline date: Prints must be received by September 15, 2011
• Please RSVP by e-mail to: Carlos Barberena at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Theme: “CALACAS” Day of the Dead / Open to your own interpretation.
• Media: Any traditional Printmaking process: Relief, Linocuts, Woodcuts, Intaglio, Lithography, Serigraphy, Collograph, etc. - NO DIGITAL PRINTS OR PHOTOCOPIES -
• Paper Size: 7 inches by 9 inches. Print/image size is open. *Please use any Archival Paper or Hand made Paper. (No Exception)
• Edition: 15 identical hand-pulled, original prints, include glassine sheets or tissue paper between each print, cut to match paper size.
•Each Print must be Signed and Numbered on the front.
• Fee: $15 US or $20 International paid via PayPal to:email@example.com or a Check made out to: Carlos Barberena (Checks from US Banks only) This Fee covers the costs of postage and promotion of the project and Exhibits. *Fee is non-refundable.
• A Portfolio of 12 randomly selected prints will be mailed to each participant early November 2011. We will keep 3 Prints from each edition submitted to the exchange: 1 print will remain at Expressions Graphics and 2 at La Calaca Press for traveling exhibitions and promotional purposes.
• All prints submitted will be put in a web gallery and may be reproduced to promote this project. Please visit http://calacapress.blogspot.com for more info.
• IMPORTANT: All prints must conform to the guidelines. Any prints that do not fit the guidelines will be returned to the artist. *Fee is not refundable.
• Please RSVP by e-mail to Carlos at firstname.lastname@example.org and mail submission to:
324 Washington Blvd.
Apt 3G Oak Park, IL, 60302
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
WATER SOLUBLE RELIEF INKS, THEY'RE BAAACCCCK!!
The redevelopment thing, however, has been on the front burner for quite a long time. In all of the years that I've been at Graphic I've never had an issue that was so universally concerning to our customers. We've been very proud of the Water Soluble Relief Inks. We believe that they are the best on the market, but it doesn't matter what we think, it's what you think that matters. A number of years ago, there was a bulletin board post from someone who mentioned another manufacturer had come out with the first professional quality water soluble relief ink. It implied that ours, not mentioned by name were less than professional in quality. We were concerned that people would believe that claim, so we offered members of the bbs a free sample of our ink to try. No strings attached....and we crossed our fingers that those who sampled ours would have a positive comment or two for the board.
Almost every artist that received a sample wrote in to say it was the best that they'd ever tried. O.K. I'm editorializing a little bit, but the comments were very positive. You can imagine how upset we were (not to mention how upset many of you were) when without notice, the specialized vehicle that we used just disappeared! We'd even been buying 20 drums of the old vehicle at a time to insure that they'd make it for us, but with the economy the way it was, the manufacturer chose to discontinue the product. (20 drums, by the way, is one heck of a lot of water soluble vehicle - about 1100 gallons worth!)
The process that led to our new product was long, convoluted and arduous. We began by begging for one more kettle of the vehicle, and were told no - we could use their new product instead. If you'd seen the MSDS you'd understand why we couldn't do that. Next, we tracked down former employees of the vendor. Several of them had left to start their own businesses or to work elsewhere. That didn't pan out the way we'd hoped. We even went to a distributor that I swore I'd never do business with again. Ironically, our last effort that resulted in the new vehicle actually turned out to have a connection to a former employee of the old supplier, but we didn't know about it until we'd found the new product and learned that the salesperson that we'd would work with was our former salesperson with the old company.
The ink field is very much like printmaking in some ways. Everybody knows everybody else, within reason. The people are very close and generally are happy to help. And sometimes you just get lucky. I'll always take lucky over good...always!
What's next? Look for new colors...some Earth colors, a few bolder colors, and perhaps a couple of new modifiers. Keep looking here, we'll try to make it interesting.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Best of luck to all interested in the position - and don't forget Graphic Chemical when your back-to-school orders are being sent next Fall.