Just as a start, that is a good place to visit. Using type 669 film is probably the easiest and lowest cost. If you go with 35mm slides, and a DayLab, Vivitar, or old Sunpak Polaroid Printer, then you can repeat experiments. Unless something really goes wrong, hold onto your bad results; you can later use those to teach others, or you might find something more interesting.

Buying good art paper really helps a great deal. Getting a good roller can make things easier. The one I use is the type useful for doing hand cut block prints, basically a medium firm rubber like material roller sized about the size of the Polaroid film. Paper is somewhat of a personal choice, and also a little experimentation to find what will work best for you.

I exhibit many Polaroid transfers and other Polaroid manipulations. My initial adventures with this were very frustrating, especially after reading some instructions that were less than ideal. It is better if you know someone doing this that is willing to show you in person. Barring that, buy a few boxes of type 669 and give it a shot, making notes as you go. I have done most of the possible manipulations, though I tend to do more type 690 transfers currently. I have also done a few emulsion lifts onto glass or other non-paper surfaces, but lifts are tougher to do than transfers.

Other than temperature or rolling technique, paper has the greatest impact on how well the transfer works. After trying several Hot Pressed and Cold Pressed papers, I ended up finding Fabriano Aquarello watercolour paper. The version I use is the Artistico Extra White 100% cotton Grana Satinata Hot Pressed paper. That is sold in block pads, is archival (if that matters to you), and is acid free. However, this is not easy to find paper, so I would suggest you find a thick paper that has a very smooth surface (Satinata or Satin is very smooth) and just practice with one paper until it seems you are consistent.

Best of luck with this. It can be very enjoyable to see the results. Don't worry about perfect pulls when separating negative from paper, since the imperfections add to the uniqueness and character.


Gordon Moat
A G Studio