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, May 15, 2006


We've done a couple of these pieces on other suppliers - ones that are good people to know if you're involved in printmaking. Most of us on the supplier side of the equation are not artists in our own right. We create products for printmakers, we collect art, and perhaps support printmaking financially in a number of ways.

This time, I'd like to focus on a unique player in this game. Craig Cornwall of Stones Crayons is like no other. He is, first and foremost, an artist. While he was studying at Tamarind - on his way to becoming a Tamarind Master Printer - he developed a line of drawing supplies that have revolutionized the field. Stones Crayons was born in a four bedroom apartment in Albuquerque, NM and today thrives in the pristine atmosphere of Olympia, WA. But more than his own artwork, Craig loves collaborating with other artists to publish their work. I had the opportunity to see some of the pieces that he was working on a few months ago, and they were spectacular! But there's more to the man than meets the eye. He does antique auto restorations (currently working on a Triumph TR-4), and built all of the cabinetry in their kitchen, as well.

We spotted not one, but two deer in his backyard on a recent visit, so I guess that you could call the world headquarters of Stones Crayons somewhat rural, but the product that they produce is absolutely top shelf. Not only do they manufacture the finest litho crayons on the market, tusches beyond compare, but they are also a prime source for quality leather rollers,, fans and strip leather.

Just so you don't get confused by my ramblings, everything that Stones Crayons produces is available from Graphic Chemical. We have carried their products right from the beginning, 18 years ago.

Friday, May 12, 2006


One of the great things about printmaking is that no matter how deep the roots go, there is always something new to stimulate your imagination. While technically not new, I thought that a little piece on Solar Plates and other photopolymer processes would be in order.
Those of you that have followed this blog probably recall that I mentioned after the SGC show up in Madison, WI, that I had Dan Welden as a house guest. Dan and I go back a long way, and it is great to see what Dan has done with Solar Plates.
Some techniques are very much like a flash in the pan. They're hot for a short period, and then gone. Solar Plates have proven to have staying power, having been around since about the 1970's. It is an affordable, quality technique that brings photo work to even the smallest of studios. Solar Plates are a light sensitive steel backed polymer material that offers alternatives to more traditional techniques for both etching and relief. Exposure is accomplished by almost any UV light source and developing uses ordinary tap water.
In general, a transparent film with artwork on it is used in the exposure - positive film for intaglio and negative film for relief printing.
While exposure time can and do vary with the intensity of the light source, a test strip can resolve that problem in short order. When using the sun as a light source, exposure times can vary as the day progresses. A traditional light source will be less subject to change.
Safety tests have shown Solar Plates to cause no harm to the human body when used under normal circumstances or conditions, but, as with any technique, you should always wear appropriate safety gear - particularly gloves and eye protection - and have adequate ventilation

Needless to say - at least I hope it is - Graphic Chemical & Ink carries all Solar Plate materials, including the Printmaking in the Sun DVD and book. If you are located in Europe or elsewhere that uses the format, we also have the DVD in PAL format. It's a must addition for any printmaking library. Please feel free to contact us regarding Solar Plate workshops. Dan puts on numerous workshops all over the world.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I'm always leery when a deal is too good to be true, and there's a reason for that. We all know that if it appears to be too good to be true, it probably isn't, but there is an exception to every rule.

In this case, a one time purchase has allowed Graphic Chemical & Ink to offer Litho and Screen Printing materials at well below suggested list price from the manufacturer. Specifically, we have five of the seven grades of Korn's Crayons (# 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 - sorry, no #00 or 0) in boxes of 1 dozen crayons each for the unbelievably low price of $3.50 per dozen! Normally these crayons list for $6.10 per dozen. While supplies are limited, you can be assured that the size of that purchase is such that we don't plan to run out of these crayons for quite some time. If you wish to order - please indicate that the order is for the Special Korn's Crayons. Call us at 800-465-7382 to place an order.

Jump on this one while the supplies are there, you'll be happy that you did - and, of course, so will I.


Since we've raised the issue of Water Based/Water Soluble intaglio inks, it would only be fair to include another new player in this field - Rudolph Faust, Inc. Peter Faust and I have been friends just about forever. His father, Pete was one of the truly classy gentlemen in the old Engraved Stationery Manufacturer's Association (now the International Engraved Graphics Association). Y'all know how I love acronyms, but IEGA reminds me of a submarine getting ready to dive!

Faust's AquaLine inks are a true water based series that have gained some great reviews recently. They can be used for both intaglio and relief printing, and multimedia as well. The range of inks runs from $10-16.65 per pound, and they are available in 50 ml containers as well.

The range of inks include the following colors:
AQ627 Carbon Black
AQ630 Organic Red
AQ633 Yellow Iron Oxide
AQ634 Red Iron Oxide
AQ635 Quinacridone Magenta
AQ638 Ultramarine Blue
AQ641 Phthalo Blue
AQ643 Phthalo Green
AQ645 Diarylide Orange
AQ646 Diarylide Yellow
AQ648 Raw Umber
AQ649 Titanium White
AQ651 Transparent Base

Faust has been an ink manufacturer almost as long as Graphic Chemical & Ink. They trace their roots back to 1922 when Peter's grandfather, Rudolph, founded the company to provide inks and supplies for the commercial engraving field. We have been friendly competitors for almost 85 years, and I can say without reservation that they make a great product - almost as good as ours!