The lamp unlit.
The lamp when lit. Oooo.
This little project was thrown together in desperation for my Alternative Processes class. On the day that it was due, I somehow found myself with almost $200 worth of Polaroid stock both old and new and no working cameras to use. Fortunately, a friend brought by her relatively new camera and since I'd bought out the very last of Walmart's stock the day before, I was able to cobble this together in about an hour.
First, I took my polaroids and tossed them in the freezer while they were still developing and left them in for a few minutes. Then, out of the freezer and into a pan of almost-boiling water. Both of these processes cause a bit of color distortion, so timing is really up to you...when you've got the effect you want, take them out of the water and dry them off.
Detail to show the pretty color distortion. Blues are bluer and reds are redder thanks to cooling and heating the image while it's still developing.
Now, cut along the edges of the Polaroid so you get rid of all of the white border. You should be able to peel the layers of the Polaroid apart so you're left with the transparency, which is the top layer.
There should be a powder on the back of the transparency. I washed most of this off with hot water (using the same pot I'd boiled them in, which almost caused my BF to break up with me*). The more you wash off, the more light will shine through, but be gentle, too much will cause you to lose your image. I also gently scraped the back of the image with a scrubby sponge. Again, this is all based on your tastes, so feel free to experiment. Another guy in my class left the powdery film on and etched into it with a pin with amazing results. He etched halos around his subjects' heads that were only visible when he turned his light box on.
This one shows the scratches made by the sponge to the back of the polaroid.
Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the light box...it was a silly Target lamp I've had since high school. You were able to switch the transparencies out so it could say "Occupied," "Lounge" etc...I just glued the polaroid transparencies to the back piece. I used hot glue, which was a big fail, since they're starting to come loose.
*If you're going to boil Polaroids, I recommend not using the pot your BF uses to make his favorite food, Velveeta Shells and Cheese. If you go ahead and use said pot, I REALLY recommend washing it thoroughly afterward. If you DON'T wash it thoroughly afterward, I recommend warning BF not to use said pot, preferably sometime before a Shells-and-Cheese-loaded fork is heading toward his mouth. Extra rage may occur if you actually helped him make
the Shells and Cheese without once mentioning that you'd poisoned his cookware.