Rare Device Staff Retreat 2016


Tons of fun was had by the Rare Device crew as they set upon sunny adventures across San Francisco! The annual Rare Device staff retreat took place on Wednesday September 14th with Giselle, Adrina, Lexi, Jessie, Kayla, Dave, and Rachel in attendance.   

The day started off with a scavenger hunt through the lush landscape of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens prepared by Giselle’s husband, Phurba. The challenge was composed of several riddles and puzzles that had to be solved by the crew, taking us to different locations of the park for fun photo opportunities. 

Jessie, Giselle, and Adrina (from left to right) complete the challenge of hugging the largest tree!

Once the challenge was complete, the crew collected ubiquitous looking leaves and grass to take to 3 Fish Studios for a monoprint class taught by the ever so charming Eric Rewitzer. A hop, skip, and a jump from Golden Gate Park to the Beach Chalet for lunch, and then we we’re off to 3 Fish Studios! Eric, Annie, and Orlie greeted our crew with open arms. Eric wasted no time in beginning the monoprint lessons. With a quick introduction on materials and techniques, the crew began making their very own creations using the leaves and grass collected from Golden Gate Park.


Giselle, Lexi, Adrina, Dave, and Kayla (from left to right) scavenge through leaves to find the perfect ones.


A variety of ink colors were provided, including this fun rainbow effect!


Creativity was flourishing as many of the crew members created layered and multicolored prints!

The crew show off some of their favorite finished pieces.

A huge thanks to 3 Fish Studios for having our crew and treating us with such generosity!

As the sun set, we said our goodbyes and headed off in different directions. It was time to get back to business and keep the artwork and memories we made that day in our hearts forever. 

Chroma Recap!


Lisa Solomon and Christine Buckton Tillman in front of their freshly finished wall!

Lisa and Christine are all smiles after completing the install!

A fun time was had by all who attended the artist reception for Chroma. Artists Lisa Solomon and Christine Buckton Tillman were on hand to great family, friends and fans. This was also a happy celebration for the 20+ volunteers who glued every piece to the wall over the course of 3 days. Our own Alice Wu created a Chroma inspired food spread to add an extra dose of fun for the night.

If you didn't make it to the party, don't worry, Chroma is up through Sept. 6 at our gallery at 600 Divisadero Street in San Francisco. This installation is a must-see if you are in the area. Also, check out the hashtag #rdchroma for all the awesome pictures that our customers have taken the last few weeks. Original drawings and screen printed posters are also available for sale on our website. 

Guests enjoying the unique intricacies of Chroma 

Any angle of the wall makes for an excellent photo opportunity!

Chroma inspired merchandising

You can color code anything!

Guests meeting one of the artists, Christine

The successful installation in its entirety!

Emulsion Lift Workshop Recap!


Mark and Jay led the Emulsion Lift Workshop and it was a great success!

We were delighted to host the Emulsion Lift Workshop for The Impossible Project this past Saturday. Mark and Jay demonstrated the restored SX-70 and 600 series Polaroid cameras, the I-1 camera with ring flash and the Instant Lab Universal. The Emulsion Lift demo attracted guests of all ages, who could bring in photographs or have their portrait taken on the spot. Emulsion lifts are very easy to do, with some practice! The image is cut out of the instant film frame, soaked in hot water, and eased onto a piece of paper or the substrate of your choice. Come see examples and make your own lifts. You can still shop cameras and instant film at the in-store only Pop-Up through July 25!
Mark demonstrates how to remove the image from the film backing
You can do emulsion lifts with items found around the house
 A very interactive afternoon
Instant film cameras and a portrait photographer at the ready
An emulsion lift portrait!
Artist and Rare Device staff Adrina G. gives it a go
Waiting for the photos to drip-dry!
Camera demos by Jay (@thepolaroidjay)
A steady stream of analog photography and instant film enthusiasts all day long
Guests tried the new cameras and learned to do emulsion lifts
Guest Sabrina surveys her print, waiting for it to dry
A selection of cameras and film, available at Rare Device through July 25
 Lovingly restored cameras, beautifully formulated instant film

#RDChroma is coming!


Rare Device is pleased to announce our June 2016 gallery exhibition, Chroma, featuring artists Lisa Solomon and Christine Buckton Tillman. Chroma explores color theory through everyday objects. Chroma at Rare Device marks the West Coast debut of this ambitious installation that was first shown on the East Coast last year, at Gallery CA in Baltimore, Maryland.

Chroma is a large-scale crowd-sourced installation. The artists invited the public to mail in random, colored stuff no larger than a playing card. Submissions came from all over the U.S. and as far as Belgium and the U.K. From this vast collection of arbitrary and otherwise disposable items, the artists sorted the “junk.” Chroma is the culmination of arranging and compiling these materials into an orderly, chromatically-compelling piece, with the intent of elevating the viewer’s relationship with the mundane debris that we interact with on a daily basis. To bring Chroma to life on the gallery walls of Rare Device, volunteers are being recruited to participate in the installation. In addition to the installation, Lisa and Christine will also show collaborative drawings they made together, and silkscreen posters and prints created especially for this exhibition.

Christine Buckton Tillman earned her BA at Coe College, and her MFA from the University of Iowa. Christine is primarily a very flat sculptor who draws more often than she makes sculptures. Her main interests as an artist lie in ideas surrounding the handmade, celebrations, and man-made interpretations of natural forms. Christine is a member of the Drawing Center Viewing Program and Transformer Flatfile. She received a 2010 Maryland State Arts Council Grant for her Works on Paper. Urban Outfitters published an Artist Series print of hers, as well as two pillows in the last year. Lisa Solomon is a mixed-media artist based in the Bay Area. She often questions and deconstructs the meaning of identity and personal histories through the use of mediums traditionally associated with domestic crafts, particularly embroidery and crochet. A “happa” (1/2 Japanese, 1/2 Caucasian), she feels hybridization is continually at play in her work. She has exhibited her work widely, including at the Oakland Museum of California, Ulrich Museum (Wichita, KS), Koumi Machi Museum (Nagano, Japan), Walter Maciel Gallery (Los Angeles), Fouladi Projects (San Francisco), and Gallery Nicoletta Rusconi (Milan, Italy). She is also the author of Knot Thread Stitch: Exploring Creativity Through Embroidery and Mixed Media (Quarry, 2012), and illustrator of 20 Ways to Draw a Chair (Quarry, 2015). She has been an artist in residence at Irving Street Projects, Kala Institute in Berkeley, and is currently working with the Palo Alto Cultural center. Christine and Lisa first met on Flickr about ten years ago, sharing and commenting on each other’s artworks and works in progress and discovering a common affinity for color ordering. Chroma is their first collaboration.

Chroma is on view at Rare Device from August 5 to September 6, 2016. We will celebrate the completed installation with a reception for the artists and volunteers on Friday, August 5, 6-9pm at Rare Device at our Divisadero location (600 Divisadero Street). Rare Device invites all to join in this celebration, free and open to the public. RSVP here.

Impossible Project Pop-Up at Rare Device



Photography and instant film enthusiasts, rejoice!

We're delighted to host The Impossible Project for a Pop-Up Shop at Rare Device from July 15-25. We will have a full range of 600 series Polaroid cameras on display, as well as the newly released fantastic I-1 camera with ring flash (use your mobile phone as a remote control!) and the Instant Lab Universal that outputs your tablet/mobile phone images to instant film! Cameras, film and accessories will be for purchase. 

On Saturday, July 16 from 12pm-6pm, come by for a drop-in emulsion lift workshop. There will be demos of the I-1, Instant Lab and all films available, and the opportunity to transfer images from the print to paper too. Come by to try the creative techniques available with analog film, and the capabilities of the Polaroid range and the new Impossible line up. This workshop is free but we recommend you RSVP here. See you soon!

The Impossible Project Pop-Up Shop at Rare Device runs from Friday, July 15 through Monday, July 25 at Rare Device on Divisadero Street. This pop-up shop will be available in-store only. We will not be selling Impossible Project items online. 

About The Impossible Project:

"When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, Impossible stepped in to buy the last remaining factory, days before it closed down. The machines had been dismantled, there were no formulas to follow and the supply chain had already been destroyed. If we wanted to keep instant photography alive, we had to reinvent instant film from scratch. Eight years later, with the help of some incredible chemists, engineers and photographers, we’re the only people in the world who make original format instant film. We make film in both color and black and white, for Polaroid 600-type, SX-70 and Image/Spectra cameras, as well as large format 8x10 film. We also refurbish classic Polaroid cameras so they’re as good as new, and have introduced our own new range of Impossible cameras. We believe in making real photos. Photos with a life after the shutter clicks. Photos that develop in the palm of your hand, ready to pin to the wall or give to a friend. That’s why we’ve spent eight years working on our film formula. It’s why we’re reinventing analog instant photography in a digital world." 

About the I-1:

The I-1 is the first new camera system in over 20 years for the original instant format. It’s an easy to use point and shoot instant camera, with a variety of unique and innovative features designed to take your photography further. Works with Impossible I-type and 600 type film. The I-1’s uniquely designed ring flash provides a diffused light that’s perfect for portraits. You can also connect your iPhone with the camera to experiment with creative tools like light painting, double exposure and more. This is the only instant camera that lets you take full photographic control of aperture and shutter speed, using the I-1 App’s manual mode. The I-1 is analog instant photography reinvented for the digital age.


During the pop-up at Rare Device, you can explore Impossible's range of specialty instant film, from round frames to black frames and limited edition colors.

You can also shop from a selection of lovingly refurbished classic Polaroid cameras. Do you remember this one?