Sugarlift and Aquatint

Last week at the beginning of a new term with Sudbourne Park Printmakers I began working with copper and experimenting with ‘sugarlift’ to create the image of trees which were sketched from visits to Sutton Hoo (photo 1) in Suffolk.

sutton hoo copper plate 2

The process involves painting or drawing using the sugar solution, onto a prepared metal plate. After drying, a hard ground is rolled onto the plate. Again, after drying, the plate is immersed into a tray of luke warm water where it can be left. This is where the magic happens (if you’re patient and luck is on your side). Where the sugar lift has been applied, the hard ground starts to lift off, (you can use a paintbrush to assist) and then you are left with a stencil.

Keeping the hard ground on, aquatint can be applied to create tonal volumes and so the etching begins. This is just the beginning… The featured photo and second photo show the plates after the process and ready for printing. Below is the first proof, taken yesterday. Still a little work to be done.

first proof


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