One of the best moves that we've made in the past couple of years was that of adding the Lascaux line of products to our catalog. It was a fairly long process from start to finish, but well worth the effort.
Graphic had approached one of our suppliers about handling a few specific Lascaux products, and it was clear from the beginning that this supplier did not want handle these products, because it didn't match their customer base. They graciously suggested to Lascaux that we might be a potential distributor of the new Lascaux A.R.E. products.
A.R.E., or acrylic resist etching, products are an innovative approach to the concerns that are persistent in printmaking about the safety of the materials used. With acrylic grounds becoming a viable starting point, Lascaux, with the help of Scottish artists Robert Adam and Carol Robertson, put together a system of acrylic etching resists that has expanded the possibilities for those doing intaglio techniques.
In addition to the obligatory Hard Ground, Lascaux has introduced Soft Ground, Stop Out, Plate Backing resist, Etching Tusches and much more. Susan and I had the privilege of attending a two day workshop on the A.R.E. system put on by Robert and Carol at the Lascaux manufacturing plant about two years ago. (If you hunt around in the archives of this blog, you'll see about two years ago, the plate that we made during the workshop - great art it ain't, but it taught us a lot about the products.)
To me, however, the wonder was at all of the other products that Lascaux manufactures that are appropriate for printmakers. We've added numerous screen printing paints and sundries, both water based and acrylic based, many at the request of individual customers, and most very well received. Now if we could just get the cost of the Euro to come down to reasonable levels....well, that's another blog entry for later.