About 8 years ago, while calling on distributors in Europe, I stumbled across a manufacturer of printmaking equipment that you should all get to know....Hugo Bos from Polymetaal in Holland.
I was in Antwerp, Belgium, calling on an art supply store - Papermill on Lombardenstrasse, right in the heart of the old city. The owner of the store, Jacob Bentjes, was giving us a tour when we stumbled across three etching presses in the rear of the store. Wishing only to be polite (my wife says I need to work on that), I asked Jacob if he manufactured the presses.
His response was brief and to the point," No, Hugo does." He walked to the telephone, dialed a number, spoke briefly and handed me the phone saying," Here's Hugo." In all fairness, I really didn't want to talk to him. I wasn't looking for a new press line, I already sold two of the best between the Sturges and the Conrad presses.
Hugo invited us to visit his shop the next day on our way to Amsterdam, which we did. Polymetaal had an interesting plant - quite spread out, but seemingly efficient. There were a number of really unique products there, including rosin boxes and rim-exhaust tray systems. I was taken by the quality of all of their products, and the fact that they offered things not available elsewhere. Obviously a lot of thought had gone into products and customers' needs.
Graphic Chemical and our sister company Printmakers Machine arranged a distributor agreement with Polymetaal, with Printmakers selling the presses, while Graphic Chemical sells the other equipment. As I write this, the Euro is hovering near all-time highs, but even so, the products from Polymetaal are affordable, and in many cases in stock in Villa Park.
Polymetaal presses and equipment may not be as well known here in the U.S. as they are in Europe and the Middle East, but they are rapidly gaining recognition for both quality and affordability in this country. Between Graphic Chemical and Printmakers Machine there is a huge range of presses, trays, rim exhaust vent systems and rosin boxes. This line perfectly compliments our own lines of equipment. Check it out!
For additional information on this or other topics, go to www.graphicchemical.com