Pauline Walsh Jacobson Fine Art
The Creative Process - Polaroid Transfer and Altered SX-70 Prints
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Polaroid Transfer turns an ordinary photograph into a unique work of art with subdued colors, interesting borders and textures, and ethereal or nostalgic qualities. To create the transfers, I used a Vivitar slide printer, which accepted Polaroid 669 peel-apart film. Upon separation, both sides of the film could be transferred to watercolor paper while still wet, resulting in two completely different effects. I hand-colored most of the transfers with watercolor or acrylics.
|Image Transfers were performed by placing the negative on a piece of watercolor paper and applying an even pressure. When the backing paper was removed, the image remained on the paper.|
|Emulsion Transfers were performed by soaking the positive in hot water, until the emulsion separated from the backing paper. The delicate emulsion layer was then transferred to watercolor paper, resulting in interesting wrinkles and tears.|
|Altered Polaroid SX-70 printmaking required a 1970's-vintage Polaroid SX-70 folding camera and Time Zero film. The film had a unique emulsion which remained soft for about an hour after the photo was taken and could be manipulated by moving the emulsion around using items such as toothpicks or wooden potters tools to create a painterly effect.|
Polaroid Transfer and altered Polaroid SX-70
printmaking have always been somewhat obscure art
forms. Now that Polaroid film will no longer be manufactured,
and artists can no longer work in these mediums, the existing
artworks are destined become rare and sought after.
In January of 2006, Polaroid stopped manufacturing Time Zero film, which was used to make Polaroid SX-70 manipulations. In February, 2008, Polaroid announced that it will be closing its film factories at the end of the year and will focus exclusively on digital media, so the film used to create Polaroid Transfers may soon not be available as well (there is a rumor that Polaroid may have found a partner that will continue to manufacture some films, but it is unknown if the film used to make transfers will be among them). That means that I and other artists will no longer be able to create these types of Polaroid art.
These processes, which are completely manual (non-digital), resulted in small 3 to 4 inch hand-colored masters. I have sold most of my original masters, and I am no longer creating new ones. I have scanned the masters and can enlarge them to make Giclee Fine Art Prints in a variety of sizes on rag paper and canvas. The prints looks more like paintings than photographs.
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