Tag Archives: emulsion lift

Emulsion Lift Workshop with Ernesto Esquer

Join us at Art Intersection and get reacquainted with Polaroid film by learning the emulsion lift technique! In this one-day workshop, Ernesto Esquer will guide you through the entire emulsion lift process.

You will start with a freshly exposed Polaroid made using pictures from your smart phone, slicing it open before it fully dries, peeling it apart carefully from the negative, and then submerging the positive in boiling water. This releases the exceptionally delicate material from the acetate, which we will then manipulate to a shape or form of your desire onto an array of substrates.

No prior experience with instant film is needed and all levels of photography are welcomed.

You will also learn:

  • What film materials are currently available to buy
  • How to get a usable exposure
  • Properly cutting and peeling apart the film
  • What different types of paper to use as well as other surfaces
  • Advanced techniques that will spur experimentation and creativity!

Please join us for this fun and in-depth emulsion lift workshop!

Artist Bio – Ernesto Esquer

Ernesto Esquer is a photographic artist and printer from Tucson, Arizona. He actively works in all aspects of traditional darkroom photography and various alternative processes including cyanotype and lumen prints. He has extensive experience working with instant film including materials made by Polaroid, Fujifilm, and Impossible Project (now Polaroid Originals) and teaches instant film manipulations. He often combines processes or materials in attempt to transform a photograph into a precious object. 

He received his BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona and is currently the Laboratory Specialist of Photography at Pima Community College. His first book In No Time, featuring a collection of hand colored or toned gelatin silver prints, was released by Dark Spring Press in 2017. He is represented by the Ryan Gallery at Art Intersection in Gilbert, Arizona and Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica, California.





Mordançage with Jace Becker

We got experimental in the lab this weekend during our Mordançage workshop with Jace Becker! This free-form, intuitive process process physically lifts the darkest parts of a silver gelatin emulsion, forming delicate veils. The veils can be manipulated or removed, allowing for endless creative opportunities. Our participants played around with a variety of techniques, achieving one-of-a-kind results with each print.

Jace demonstrated processing silver gelatin prints in mordançage solution, water rinsing baths, and developer. The mordançage chemistry bleaches the prints as it’s lifting the emulsion, requiring the print to be re-developed to bring back the image.

After the print has been washed, the lifted gelatin emulsion can be manipulated to add visual interest, motion, or abstract shapes to the image. We used cotton balls, hypodermic needles filled with water, compressed air, and hairdryers to place the veils exactly where we wanted them to go. 

This print is slowly being re-developed – the tan parts of the print were originally black!

Cesar Laure had some interesting results with this half-mordançaged photogram – the altered portion of the print is on the right.

Beautiful print by Susan Berger

Prints by Suzanne Fallender displaying a range of different colors achieved by placing developing prints out in the sunlight.

We can’t wait to see what our students make with this process!