Meet Michael Sullivan Smith, inventor of the Strataprinter

    Inventions are, by definition, unique applications of an Art. Michael Sullivan Smith is an artist and inventor. He practiced as a calligrapher in the 60's and 70's while teaching art. His rendering of the People Magazine logo is typical of his commercial work of this period and the "knot" logo used now to identify his business, DiaStrata, Inc., is representative of his "constructivist" fine art of the period. In the late 70's he immersed himself in the technology of screen printing and in the 80's was granted many U.S. and international patents in this Art for the invention of his Strataprinter. In demonstrating the unique capabilities of this invention he has invented many new techniques of printing that add to the repertoire of art and craft production.

    Mr. Smith's major contribution to the art of printing is the invention of a method of applying multiple colors in one impression. His introduction of this capability was on a grand scale when, under license for the 25th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, he produced tens of thousands of expressive, uniquely colorful designs with the first large scale production use of his Strataprinter. These were on metal dog tags and introduced for the first time to the Art and Craft community the potential of the use of printed abstract color in metal decorating. The following year, in 1995, he introduced yet another capability for metal decorating when he produced, with the Strataprinter, engraving-quality commemorative dog tags under license for the 50th anniversary of the end of W.W.II. Since 1995 Mr. Smith's colorful "Shuttle Blast Off" dog tags, produced with the Strataprinter, have been sold at the Kennedy Spaceport in Florida.

    Mr. Smith has also applied his inventions to the decorative printing of ceramic tiles and glass. As a resident of the Hudson Valley of New York he developed an interest in local history and wrote newspaper columns on the subject in the late 80's. His first prints on ceramic tiles were thus miniature colorized renditions of 19th century engravings that depict the Hudson Valley's historic landmarks. Interest in these tiles soon led to special printings for West Point and Mohonk Mountain House, two of the the Valley's most visited attractions.

    Mr. Smith trained as a fine artist at Pratt Institute and has taught art and art history. His artistic training and sensitivity have brought to his inventions a unique understanding of the need of the artist to "play" and be creative. By using his invention to make products printed with both traditional and contemporary imagery, Mr. Smith continues to demonstrate, through his innovative technology and techniques, the cultural and aesthetic applications of his unique invention, the Strataprinter.

    ErinAnna Smith just before her 6th birthday on her brother Jonathan's 21st birthday: February 3rd, 1997.

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