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, October 30, 2010


Where has the time gone? It's almost Halloween, and I'm still trying to figure out what happened to summer. It has been an eventful Fall, with several trade shows (MAPC in Minneapolis, and Printopolis in Toronto, ON, Canada have been the most recent). I took a chance and returned to Canada (see my earlier blogs on my last trip to Toronto). The border crossing was uneventful this time, and Printopolis was just great! We managed to watch the tail end of their steamroller printing, and caught up with our friends from Drive by Press, just a few feet apart in downtown Toronto. April Vollmer presented a Moku Hanga demonstration, along with Liz Forrest at the Japanese Paper Place. It was very well attended, and extremely well done. Congratulations to both ladies for their great presentations.

MAPC was back
in Minnesota this year, and Minneapolis proved to be a fantastic location. The Product Fair had a good mix of new and old faces on the vendors. We had a chance to visit Cole Rogers and the group at Highpoint Printmaking Center. If you haven't been there - make an effort to visit. They've done an absolutely great job putting together a state of the art printmaking facility!

Our most popular product at both shows was our Vinyl Relief Plates. These two sided plates are easier to cut than more traditional linoleum, have contrasting colors which allow you to see the area you've just cut more easily. They come in just three sizes currently, but we're working on a source for rolls.

Most importantly, but just for me, I was asked to represent my Alma Mater (Maryville College, Maryville, TN) at the inauguration of the new President, Phillip Ryken, of Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL. I was sure I was asked because of my academic achievements 40 years ago, or perhaps because of my political activities, or business successes. The College however, assures me that none of these entered into the invitation. Their choice was based on the fact that I live about a mile from the Wheaton College campus.

There were two things that impressed me with this event. Actually there were several, but I'm only going to write about two. First, delegates from other institutions enter the event in order of the date of the founding of their institutions. Out of about 110 colleges and universities, I was number 12 to enter. Maryville was founded in 1819, making this their 192nd academic year...interesting but not earth-shattering.

What was of far more interest to me was that President Ryken, who was returning to his Alma Mater to head a faculty that includes his father, was presented a portrait of himself courtesy of the Printmaking Department. This portrait was a composite wood engraving with 12-16 individual blocks cut by students. It was spectacular and Dr. Ryken was suitably moved by this gift. It was, as one would have suspected, printed with ink from Graphic Chemical & Ink. Now that impressed me!