- Jigs, Inks, Blankets, and More
- Here are a few tricks of the trade from the Crown Point etching studio. For more, check out our Magical Secrets book series below.
• How to Make Red Oxide Paper for Use in Transferring a Drawing onto a Plate Before Spit Biting with Aquatint
- • Sugar Lift: Our New and Improved Recipe
- • Making a Registration Jig
- • Tearing Down Your Prints: Step-by-Step
- • Managing Your Inks Step-by-Step
- • Ink: It’s Not You, It’s Me
- • Julie Mehretu’s Radiant Secrets
- • Nathan Oliveira’s Supernatural Rust
- • Blanket Bind
Tricks of the Trade
Build Your Own
- Tables, Boxes, Tanks, Ovens, and Dryers
- Many of the systems used in the Crown Point studio were invented by our printers and designed to suit our needs. You may also find them useful in your studio. These instructions and designs will enable you to build what you need, based on our concepts.
- • The Aquatint Box
- • The Aquatint Oven
- • The Ventilated Downdraft Table
- • The Steel-Facing Tank
- • The Forced Air Print Dryer
Magical Secrets Books
What are magical secrets? They are ways of setting yourself up for thinking creatively, for a sudden understanding, something like a miracle.
In 2006, Crown Point Press founder Kathan Brown wrote Magical Secrets about Thinking Creatively: The Art of Etching and Truth of Life. In this now-out-of-print book, she shares magical secrets learned from helping artists make etchings in the Crown Point studio.
Three other books followed, each written by a Crown Point Master Printer: Magical Secrets about Line Etching & Engraving: The Step-by-Step Art of Incised Lines by Catherine Brooks; Magical Secrets about Aquatint: Spit Bite, Sugar Lift, & Other Etched Tones Step-by-Step by Emily York; and Magical Secrets about Chine Collé: Pasting, Printing, Mounting & Leafing Step-by-Step by Brian Shure. Each of these teach specific intaglio techniques with step-by-step illustrations and an accompanying DVD. Crown Point Press prints are used as examples of techniques.
You can purchase the Magical Secrets book series in our bookstore in San Francisco or online. If you buy two or more copies in the series, receive 20% off.
- Watch, Learn, Do
- Learn by watching these short videos. To expand your skill set, check out our Magical Secrets book series below.
Crown Point Press: Printing Demonstration (4 minutes)
Crown Point Press’ founding director and master printer Kathan Brown prints a Wayne Thiebaud soft ground plate in real time.
Drypoint Technique (3 minutes)
In this short video, former Crown Point master printer Catherine Brooks demonstrates the drypoint process and shows artists using it.
The Carefree Things: Charline von Heyl in the Crown Point studio (20 minutes)
In this video shot by Kathan Brown, you can learn about the different intaglio processes artist Charline von Heyl uses during 2014 print project at Crown Point Press.
Asphaltum, burnt plate oil, gum arabic, liquid hard ground, whiting, lump rosin and the two kinds of blankets we use (1/16th fine woven sizing catcher; 1/12th extra fine woven)
Low-carbon iron for steel-facing
We use #8928 K49, Grey Cast Iron Plate 10 inches x 2 feet by ¼ inch
Douglas and Sturgess
Silk for chine collé
Sized-silk for gongbi painting
Blue Heron Arts
Upsonite board (for your dryer)
Niagara Fiberboard, Inc.
Wheat Starch Powder/Gampi paper
The type of wheat starch powder we use is called jin shofu
Crown Point’s favorite gampi paper is MM18 natural; MM19 white
Brushes and sprayers
Brasso, acetone, paint thinner, etc. can be bought at your local hardware store. You can also visit our online store to purchase other printmaking supplies, tools, and books.
Charbonnel Hard and Soft Grounds are no longer available in the U.S. since the manufacturer is no longer exporting here.