Sugar syrup, lots of fun

I managed to fence off some time to myself today so that I can get started on some experiments with saline etching on aluminium, but of course realised that first I have to make some marks on the plate! My thoughts turned to lift ground etching, but then I realised that I no longer have my trusty bottle of Camp Coffee, which I’ve never actually made up as a drink but which has stood me in good stead for years as a sugar solution for lift grounds. I guess it was one of the things I had to ditch when I moved over here: the Australian Quarantine Service is justifiably hot on examining the luggage and personal possessions of people moving over here, and I had to get rid of loads of stuff… everything from pine cones in with the Christmas decorations to bits of bark I used to make rubbings. Spike Island Printmakers in Bristol were the lucky recipients of a lot of my printmaking chemicals that I couldn’t bring over here, so maybe they’re using up the Camp Coffee now?

Sugar syrup, yummy

Anyway, I dug out my trusty copy of The Complete Printmaker by John Ross, Clare Romano and Tim Ross (ISBN 0-02-927372-2 for the paperback version), and found several recipes for making lift grounds. In the end I mixed together some gum arabic (a small dollop), some black and some red liquid gouache (because I only have small tubes and didn’t want to use up all the black!) and a small squirt of washing up liquid, and then I decided to stop mucking around and make some sugar syrup (small amount of water, large pouring of sugar, stirred over a low heat until dissolved and then boiled vigourously for 2 minutes, then cooled and bottled), which I added to the gum arabic/washing up liquid/gouache mixture and duly painted onto my aluminium plate. Voila! As I speak, it’s drying nicely on the plate.


It’s that river image again – I can’t get away from it…

2 thoughts on “Sugar syrup, lots of fun

  1. Hello again Saracant wait to see how your sugar lift in the ‘saline etch’ turns out. I have been thinking of trying to do something like a spit bite using the saline etch mordant directly onto the plate? I have never done it using nitric acid or the ferric chloride thats mainly used in etching now. What do you think?

  2. Hi Sara – thanks for the postcard that you sent me from my so called gallery website. I am enjoying this – I mean reading through your experiences with the saline etch and the sugar lift. Re the camp coffee stuff – does one use it straight out of the jar as a sugar lift onto the plate? If so I have some in my kitchen and will try it out. The other thing you mentioned – about the car paint spray – I wondered if when you apply that to the plate for an aquatint resist – how does one then REMOVE it from the plate ( I mean if you want to rework that surface further ? Or do you just spray over it? The thing that made me want to comment on this particular image is that it looks like an aerial view of the river Thames in London.the proof (2nd or third one I saw – looked really good !!) Its all looking quite promising.Hope to goodness – you are beginning to feel better now.By the way my blog (s) have been decommissioned by Blogger something to do with sapmming and them having to do an individual check on my blog !!keep waiting to receive the all clear from them. I miss ‘sharing’ my printmaking antics – have been playing around with wood.bye for nowAine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s