yesterday was the fantastic polaroid transfer class at The Paper Studio. there were only 4 of us students and the owner/instructor, cindy, who is so knowedgeable, generous and enthusiastic. cindy gave us an overview of the process, which used to be only slide-based, but is now also available in a separate system (Daylab Copy System Pro) for print-based transfers. we got samples of different papers to try, and she explained wet & dry transfer methods, collage considerations, and even demo'd how to use melted beeswax to make some transfers translucent. then we had all afternoon to play with the equipment in the lab.
there are two types of images you can make from the polaroid 669 film: one is the polaroid transfer, for which you use the negative half of the polaroid; the other is the emulsion lift, where you "cook" and lift off the cured emulsion surface from the actual polaroid print.
i found both processes to be fascinating and challenging; the more unpredictable transfer method required quick, skillful handling and an approving wink from the polaroid fairies for everything to go just right. but the good part is that even the not-quite right transfers are so interesting looking and provide endless possibilities for further alteration.
the emulsion lift process is really fun because it seems so magical to be able to cook the reinforced print in a hot water bath and see the emulsion layer begin to separate from the backing. but dealing with the resulting tissue-thin layer of gelatin that carries the photo image required tremendous patience, a real challenge for impatient me.
the mother & child image here (you can see the original photos in my previous post) was done with the emulsion lift process; the purple flowers and the "pensive" cow (or bull, as my husband insists) are polaroid transfers. you can see they give very different results, the emulsion lifts provide clearer images, while the transfers are more softly impressionistic.
but i would warn that this process could easily become an addiction, if you have access to the equipment... and happily, i will, since students who have taken this class can rent the shop's polaroid transfer lab to use hourly. so very likely, there'll be more polaroid magic to come...