Sugar lift

Making or purchasing  sugar Lift solution

Sugar lift solution can be made by dissolving a saturated solution of sugar in water and then adding a few drops of detergent and some Indian ink to colour it.

Instead I go down to the supermarket and purchase a bottle of Chickery or liquid coffee essence. This works just as well in the process as it is coloured and has a high percentage of sugar in it.


Degrease the etching plate in the usual way. Start drawing your image onto the plate with the coffee lift. If the (coffee) sugar lift does not properly adhere to the plate, put the plate in acid for one second, then take it out and rinse and dry with a rag.

After applying the drawing,  lightly warm or  with a hairdryer blow air on  the sugary coffee liquid until it is dry. It will still remain very sticky. Pour thinned solution of bitumen (stop out) onto the plate making sure to move the plate to give an even coat over all of it. After drying the bitumen immerse the plate into warm water. Wait for the sugar lift solution to lift off or gently brush with a soft brush which can be continually charged with soap to keep it smooth. Eventually the sugar solution will completely lift off.

The open areas of the plate can then be open bitten, aquatinted, or sprayed with paint and placed in acid for the desired tonality.



  1. Hello Ron, I have been hearing a little about you through Rae-ann. Loved the photo you sent to her of her dog Bob on Face book!
    Just wanted to say I spent the WHOLE DAY yesterday trying tp make a sugar lift which I managed to turn into a burnt offering by burning the coffee, so this morning I decided I needed to read your notes here and try again….! Hope all is well, Best wishes, Olwyn Pezaro

  2. Hello Olwyn,
    Enjoyed your comment on sugar lift whatever that is.
    Can we be your friend.
    Marianne and Richard.

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