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

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Very few printmaking techniques have truly been invented. Most art medium sort of evolve over time, but lithography or "Chemical printing" as it was first called, was a conscious effort on the part of Alois Senefelder to invent a printing process. What were the odds of inventing the right process from materials in exactly the right place at probably the exact right time. Actually, as I see it the odds were pretty good. The process in all likelihood evolved to fit the materials readily available rather than the other way around. First there were Senefelder stones, and then there was Stones (as in Crayons). Twenty years ago (give or take a year or two), Craig Cornwall and his lovely wife Pam were nestled in a relatively small apartment in Albuquerque, NM. Craig was a Master Printer candidate at the prestigious Tamarind Institute. Craig's love for lithography took him on an adventure through printmaking history. He researched lithographic drawing materials, and came to the conclusion that he could build a better litho crayon.

Obviously, for the continuity of this story, he managed to find a great product that would revolutionize the lithographic field. Craig and Pam made crayons from their apartment by day and raised kids by night. Well, that's a little overly dramatic, but the kids' rooms became shipping and manufacturing spaces, and warehousing.

As they say, from these modest beginnings, they moved the whole operation to Olympia, WA where the climate was good, the schools great, and relatives abound. For most of that time, Graphic Chemical & Ink was one of their best customers. Graphic and other customers helped to spread the Stones name around the world.

Just a few years ago, Craig decided that with the average day being approximately 24 hours long, he couldn't keep up with the various irons in the fire. In addition to running Stones Crayons, Craig was an artist, a contract printer, a college professor, and oh yeah, a bishop in the Mormon church.

About 4 years ago, I received an e-mail from Craig's lawyer, also his brother-in-law David Acheson. David advised me that Craig was interested in selling Stone's Crayons. I was concerned because as is so often the case in the printmaking supply field, money was short. We had just purchased one of our buildings from my brother. Several days after the first e-mail, David was back with an amount which was reasonable and with a little financial reorganization, workable.

We cut the deal - we bought, Craig sold, and David is running for city council in Provo, UT. It seems to have worked out for everyone concerned.


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