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Jeffrey Holmes

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About Jeffrey Holmes

  • Birthday July 23

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    Ann Arbor/Tecumseh
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  1. If you make a warmed varnish containing seedlac and don't over filter it after cooking (I use cheesecloth), the inherent wax content of that resin will be preserved in the varnish. There are other waxes that dissolve in warm alcohol as well, but adding them after the varnish is made and cooled (like on the pallet) I've found problematic. I turn to the silica for adjustments on the pallet.
  2. A product similar to this: https://museumservicescorporation.com/products/silica-matting-agent Wax matting agents are also available.
  3. To add to what Mark suggests; If there isn't some underlying tension at the joint, and you determine the culprit is some sort of oil, using an oil absorbent clay like Fullers Earth can sometimes be of help. I add my own good luck wishes!
  4. I've use ell in the past, though I use other things now. Careful with the ratio you settle on. Too much can be a problem. There are a number of oils, gums and waxes that work as plasticizers as well. What you end up using will probably depend on what works for you personally, as some effect other qualities of the application and sheen.
  5. For what it's worth: What is used as touchup varnish varies from shop to shop, but variants of Shellac/Sandarac is relatively common. I add plasticizers and additives that aid in brushing... and one that cuts the sheen slightly. I've tried Jenkins and didn't't love it, though I know others than use it well. I use a matting agent which is essentially silica (as Doug mentioned) for the top coats. For "filling" I use either my touchup thickened a bit, or a slightly clearer varnish I make just for that purpose. Deft was, and I assume is, a little to prone to continued shrinkage for my tastes
  6. My pleasure! Look forward to seeing you!!
  7. To all. The subject of this thread is cochineal and if Strad was the only one to use it. Please stick to the subject. Please avoid authenticity of the violin in question (especially quoting comments by those who are not using this site). No flaming. Law suits mentioned are a matter of public record. No reason to be rude. If you don't wish to engage with a member, just ignore the thread. No flaming. No baiting. Thank you. I will be away for 10 days conducting a restoration workshop with colleagues. For those members requiring post approval please note I will be slow to attend to them. Shelbow will still be watching the board as well.
  8. I find the use of cochineal in violin varnish during Stradivari's time a reasonable assumption... If I have the history right, Spain had a monopoly on importation of the stuff during the 16th-18th centuries and shipped literally tons of it back from the Americas to be sold in Europe and the far east. It was used for textiles, illustrations/illuminations, decorative art, inks, coloring paint, etc. There are translations of recipes for a cochineal alum lake dating from early on (one is called the “Paduan Manuscript” ; anonymous, Venice, late 16th-early 17th century). Although the link is an excerpt of the article, I did not see where Joe mentioned that Stradivari was the ONLY maker at that time to employ it (or the first) and I'd personally want see more extensive and compelling reasoning/documentation/testing if anyone were to claim it. I have seen varnish on other instruments from the late 17th century that I suspect may have contained the bug extract. I keep a small stash in the shop. Sometimes it's just the right thing to use when touching in. The hue can vary a bit depending on the source/batch and extraction method (from slightly purplish to striking red).
  9. Yup. In the States the requirement is three comparatives... and I learned the hard way to avoid divorces with hostel parties.
  10. Correct about the fraud concern. The appropriate market for the instrument (that the appraiser uses) should be stated (auction, retail, wholesale) and is sometimes defined in the statute.
  11. I occasionally do these in the US for clients donating, divorcing or inheriting. I'm sure the format and definitions required are different in other countries, as is the bulk of the document. The documents for the IRS is the worst (last one I did was 20 pages). I honestly try to avoid these documents (unless I have to have a compelling reason to do them) as they are time intensive. Here the term is "Fair Market Value" and there is a relatively specific definition. If the lawyers is willing to supply you with a format it might make the job easier for you. Fair Market here (that relates to Open Market there) and Replacement Value here are two different things... and Fair Market here must be backed up by recent sales of the same, or similar, objects and the sales must be cited (date of sale, seller, condition, etc.) in most tax cases. Replacement value allows taxes and other fees to be considered. If you aren't comfortable wading into the legal and tax world of inheritance, you might suggest the client contacts an appraiser who does this sort of document and knows what is required and what is not.
  12. Players tell me that the harmonics and false harmonics seem easier for them when the string distance behind the bridge (bridge to taiipiece fret) is adjusted correctly for the instrument... The problem is that is very rarely all I've done to their instrument... so I don't feel confident that's the sole reason.
  13. I use a knife for placement and a mousetail/needle file to refine the depth and width of the groove. The ivory insert on the bridge Dwight illustrated was common for Bein & Fushi at one point. Not sure if they employ them presently. John Becker (who has been independent for some time) still installs them. I use parchment as do the majority of the colleagues I know.
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