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

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I've never made any excuses for the fact that I'm a political junkie. It's a character flaw but I am powerless to stop it. So, this morning I was reading the Chicago Tribune and came across an article in the Arts section that raised the issue of where the arts would fit in with the Olympic plans for the City of Chicago. My devious mind immediately began to calculate where the visual arts - and printmaking specifically - could fit into the equation.

Chicago, as you may know, is the U.S. choice for hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but it's never too early to begin planning for such a monumental event. There is, quite obviously, a very active, vibrant art community in the Chicago area. We have outstanding educational institutions, art academies, workshops and individual studios, but this set of circumstances calls for a more global approach.

Should Chicago actually host the 2016 Games, I look forward to the Fine Arts being a strong partner in the endeavor. We, as members of the art community, need to become actively involved - not waiting for Olympic officials to come to us. While I have a few ideas on how to kick start an effort like this, I'm looking for input from you, the artists, on how we become a player on the world scene, reminding people of the role the arts play in the human experience

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Springtime brings the trade show season. Graphic Chemical generally does a couple of major shows this time of year. If you've been reading this blog for a while you know that we've just finished a very successful Southern Graphics Council show in Kansas City, Now we head into Chicago for the National Art Materials Trade Association show. NAMTA is a trade show for art supply stores. Dealers from all over the World will join almost 100 manufacturers of art materials at Chicago's famous Navy Pier Thursday through Saturday of this week.

Printmaking suppliers include Graphic Chemical, Edward C. Lyons, Speedball and several paper distributors. For us it is a great opportunity to visit with dealers, to show them new products, and to share with them what we believe printmakers have found the most interesting with our new catalog and web site. Due to a few problems encountered before last year's show in Boston, we were unable to attend and therefore missed the opportunity to showcase our new Caligo Safe Wash inks; Needless to say that will be rectified atthis year's show. We will be joined at Navy Pier by representatives from Caligo for the run of the show. In addition to our own inks and resists, we will also be showcasing materials from Lascaux, Revere, Charbonnel, Gamblin, Akua-Kolor and Stones Crayons.

While the show is not open to the public, you'll see the results of it at your local art supply stores almost immediately. We, of course, hope you'll continue to shop with us either in person or on our website (

Friday, April 06, 2007


Whew, it's finally over! That interminable wait to share good news with friends is what I'm talking about. Earlier you saw, or at least I hope you saw, my piece on Graphic Chemical purchasing Stones Crayons. We've been working on this for just about a year - pointing towards the SGC meeting in Kansas City as place to announce it to the printmaking world. And that's just what we did.

With the help of Craig and Pam Cornwall (now of Trilobite Press), we held a raffle at Southern Graphics Conference. First Prize was a Trilobite Leather Roller, a small Litho Stone and assorted inks and Stones drawing products - a $600 value. To insure some level of impartiality, we asked Anita Jung, SGC President, to draw the winners names. First place went to long-time friend Charles Jones of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nachagdoches, TX. Congratulations to Charlie.

The announcement of the next shows is always received with great anticipation. Next year's show will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. They are already soliciting input from those who attended SGC in Kansas City, both artists and vendors, so we look for another stellar show in '08.

The 2009 SGC conference will be held at Columbia College in the heart of Chicago's Loop. We are really excited about the prospects of having a show so close to our world headquarters (sounds pretty impressive doesn't it. I'm trying it out for size to see if it has staying power!) We're looking for ideas on how we can best capitalize on the proximity. Any ideas will be gratefully received.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Ever since the 1930's, Graphic Chemical has printed a catalog of printmaking materials. To many in the industry Printmakers Materials is the industry bible, used in numerous classrooms as supplemental text material.

Sure we have a commercial spin to it, but it remains what it has become over the years - a folksy text, geared to imparting information without presenting a bias (except possibly a bias towards top quality materials).

The newest edition of Printmakers Materials, is currently at the printers, with an expected delivery date of March 26. As usual, our timimg is impeccable. We'll have the books just after Southern Graphics Conference in Kansas City.

The catalog is the only place that you can find everything that a printmaker needs in one location. Actually, it's everything that a printmaker needs, except presses. We sold our press line to Printmakers Machine Company 31 years ago, although they still rent space from us.

One of the unique things about our catalog is that we give equal billing to a number of competitive products. For example, we manufacture the finest etching inks available anywhere, but we also handle Caligo, Charbonnel, Faust and Akua inks. Our lithographic inks are unmatched, but we carry Charbonnel and Hanco, too. While our relief inks are the best around, Speedball, Caligo and PPI are also featured in our catalog. We absolutely try to have everything that a printmaker needs to complete whatever type of print they are doing.

Graphic Chemical didn't invent pre-sensitized plates for printmaking, but we did discover one of the most popular coated zinc plates at a time when printmaking was poised to move towards photo plates. Our Copper plates have been used by the newest beginner to create a drypoint up to, and including, the most professional application around - the Presidential Inaugural Invitations. Zinc and Steel plates are also available in more sizes and more styles than anywhere else. Photopolymer plates are a relatively new option to printmaking, but Graphic was there at the beginning providing them for the ground breakers in many techniques.

Nobody carries more tools than we do (and I mean nobody, because we represent several manufacturers and carry complete lines from each!). Our paper selection is also unmatched by anyone. We try to have the lowest prices available, too.

As a new addition to our web site, you can now download the catalog, by section directly from your computer.