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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Sugar lift trials

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

The sugar-lift technique is usually used to achieve painterly marks on the intaglio plate (examples here). Our studio uses the new Crown Point Press recipe for the sugar solution provided here. The usual method is designed to be used with a paint brush and is well formulated to capture quite fine brushstrokes. In this case, however I am using my hand as the paintbrush, so my requirements are subtly different.

I want the solution to be liquid enough to flow easily on my skin and structured enough to hold a detailed imprint of my skin folds and other marks. Here's what I tried:

  1. painting the solution onto my skin and allowing it to dry a bit (but not too much) on my skin before pressing my hand to the plate

  2. rolling out the solution onto a glass slab and allowing it to dry a little before applying my hand to the surface --both these methods were a bit hit and miss and each "miss" meant washing off the plate and degreasing it again before having another go.

  3. Mixing up a super-saturated solution by adding more sugar to the recipe. The solution was so saturated with sugar that a layer of sugar settled on the bottom of the jar.

  • The super-saturated solution gave me the most predictable results.

  • This image reminds my of how physically intimate the processes I am using are. I am the print matrix and my skin is directly involved in transferring the image onto each plate.

  • Here is the sugarlift solution on the plate before it is covered with lift ground.

  • This is the super-saturated solution and the result is quite grainy rather than painterly, but it holds more details of the gesture.

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