The Idea

A few years ago, Mark Johnson wanted to replace his leaky aquatint box. As Print Area Head at New York University, Mark knew that commercially made aquatint boxes were not available in the United States. He had found a few blueprints on-line, but they were no better than what he already had. Even if he could find a good design, who would build it for him?

The prospect of piecing together a homemade aquatint box is daunting. Some efforts are better than others, but nearly all makeshift boxes have the same problems. The doors seal poorly and leak rosin. The closure hardware is awkward and doesn’t function well. Access panels are small or non-existent making the units difficult to clean or service. Most boxes are also unnecessarily big and occupy large areas of the studio.

SCHWEDE L.L.C. is a custom fabrication shop in the metropolitan area specializing in museum casework and exhibition support. Mark had known owner, Matt Schwede for years. So with an idea in mind, Mark stopped by Schwede’s office to see what could be done.

Emphasizing functionality and durability, Mark and Matt scrutinized every aspect of the design. Combining sound engineering principles with quality construction, they built a truly superior aquatint box.

Since January 2009, SCHWEDE L.L.C. has offered several sizes for purchase.