Crown Point Press

For more than half a century, artists have been making etchings at Crown Point Press. They draw on copper plates using materials like tar, wax, soap, and sugar. Our printers etch the plates in an acid bath and print them by hand. The etching process has been used for making art in this way for more than five centuries. Rembrandt and Goya are two famous etchers of the past.

After seeing a first proof, an artist at Crown Point makes revisions and the printers pull more proofs until the artist has fully developed the image and signs an "o.k. to print." This "o.k" is the model for an edition, usually between ten and fifty prints, each printed from the plate or plates that the artist has created for that particular image. This is similar to fine art photography in which an image exists in more than one print from the same negative or digital matrix. It also resembles sculpture in that editions are often cast in metal from clay or plaster models made by artists. 

At Crown Point, the artist signs and numbers each print in each edition. The prints are called "original" because they are not copies of one another, any more than an identical twin is a copy of his brother.

Crown Point Press not only enables artists to create original prints, we also publish the prints they create. That involves exhibiting and selling the work in our gallery, adjacent to our studio in San Francisco, and in other venues, including art fairs nationwide and our website. 

The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and the Achenbach Foundation of the Fine Arts Museums of San Franciscohold archives of the prints made at Crown Point Press since our beginning in 1962. 


The Crown Point Gallery

Wayne Thiebaud in the Crown Point studio, 2014



Master printer Emily York at the press
with plates for an etching by Anne Appleby

gallery and printer photos © In the Make