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

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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

Monday, March 13, 2006


One of the truly great innovations in printmaking over the recent years is the water based etching/intaglio ink. Actually, this isn't a new product, Graphic and several other manufacturers had water based intaglio inks back in the 1950's..! The problem is that you needed a $100,000+ Die Stamping press in order to use them.

Several years ago, numerous players began experimenting with water based inks, with differing levels of success. The best of those currently on the market is the Akua-Intaglio inks. These inks have proven to be a great addition to the printmaking studio.

Now, in collaboration with a friend of mine, Graphic is pleased to introduce a new type of product, the Caligo Safe Wash Etching Inks! (Not much of an acyronym there.) These inks are unique in that they are oil based inks with all of the qualities that you've come to expect and love in that type of ink. Like almost all etching inks there are, in and of themselves, non-toxic. Unlike most inks, however, they clean up with soap and water. Standard packaging will be in 75 ml tubes and 250 gr cans which translate roughly to 1/2 pound cans and 1/4 pound tubes. The blacks, sepia, white and extender will also be available in 500 gr cans (just a little over a pound).

We are excited about this new venture, and believe that you will be too, once you've tried them. The color range is limited but very usable, and the Brown Black is very much like two of our more popular new inks: Renaissance Black for intaglio, and Antiquarian Black for relief printing.

The following colors are currently available:
BK1943 Carbon Black
BK1944 Brown Black
BK1945 Blue Black
BL24911 Process Cyan
BL24914 Ultramarine
BL24915 Prussian Blue
BR32284 Sepia
GR43171 Phthalo Green
RD63599 Naphthol Red
RD63601 Process Magenta
RD63602 Rubine Red
VL71204 Carbazole Violet
WT83838 Opaque White
WT83840 Extender
YL91779 Process Yellow
YL91780 Warm Yellow
YL91782 Yellow Ochre

Caligo Safe Wash Etching Inks are lightfast, use many of the same modifiers as your traditional oil based inks (specifically things like Easy Wipe, Whiting and Graphic Gelled Varnish). When it comes to extenders, it is advisable to use the Caligo Safe Wash Extender to insure the ease of cleanup. It is always advisable, when printing on dampened paper, that you insure that paper isn't overly wet, but that's true with almost any ink.

We will, of course, continue to sell all of the wonderful inks that we manufacture, and those that we rep for other companies (including Hanco, Speedball, Faust, Gamblin, Akua-Kolor and Charbonnel) in an effort to continue meeting our goal of having everything that the printmaker wants and needs.