Clarke started to make sugar-lift aquatints in 1948. This technique involves masking areas of the etching plate with a solution of sugar and ink. It allows the artist to reproduce the marks of brush or pen and appealed to Clarke because it was spontaneous. The theme of woman and child or mother and child was one that he often returned to at that time. In 1951 he wrote, 'There are numerous forms for man, woman and child. They are various, though basically the same, because it is the artist's function to suggest, to imply, to reveal in as many ways as he can'. This theme, developed first in his prints, was also applied to his sculpture.