David Beard

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Everything posted by David Beard

  1. 1) a child with desire 2) and talent (mostly desire, ear, and willingness to work) 3) some sort of strung up box that at least hints at making a better sound when played with love and skill 4) awareness and exporsure to good music, good musicians, good teachers 5) supportive circumstances are plus 6) better strings, setup, bow 7) better instrument Just guessing...
  2. Thank you for sharing these great pictures. The lighting and coloring look so natural. Also, the highlights do a wonderful job of clarifying the surface contour and texture. Even the gloss and transparency of the varnish seem evident. Thank you!
  3. While masterful freehand is certainly possible, I'm not sure it was commonly characteristic of work in the era. I suspect that the compass was used very actively as a tool in the actual work. In support of this, paintings and drawings of artisans and workshops from the time generally feature compasses prominently among the tools. Also, writers like Alberti give the compass high place in design work at least. Other writers of the time note use of compasses on the work as a layout tool. For the woodworker, the compass might have been used to scribe designs directly into the work. It coul
  4. Another way to see the 'bees stings' is as visual preservation of one edge width as it runs into the corner, by sacrificing and tapering the other edge width. The edge widths of the major bouts continue into the corners undiminished. In contract, the c bout edges taper in a way that almost looks like the major bout edge 'walks' over it. Is this merely an incidental effect of the bee sting, or is this edge effect the driving idea that results in the bee sting? I'm curious if more experienced eyes have seen classic work with the full and the tapered edges reversed, with the C bouts edges
  5. Here's a 14th century picture. Supposedly the earliest italian paintings of eyeglasses date from the late 12 hundreds.
  6. A while back, Bruce Carlson posted some amazing pictures where unusual angle and highlighting brought out the surface shape and texture in a way not generally apparent in more standard photos. amazing pictures Hoping to see more revealing pictures with unusual lighting and angle.
  7. David Beard

    long arch

    Hi John: Thanks for posts and work from a very interesting analytical angle. Sorry to pull up such an old thread. As a fledgling maker, I've been reading back through MN to learn what I can. This ground might well have been covered in more recent posts I haven't found yet, but... As you point out, it does seem that extremely similar curves can be made either from an actual cycloid, or by starting from a catenary and rounding out. Just on a gut level, it seems more credible and likely that they would think in terms of modified arch making process from the generations just before them,
  8. Thank you for these last posts. For me, one of the most valuable aspects of reading MN is hearing inside observations from guys like you and Bruce and others who have tons of experience with the old instruments. Feeling grateful for MN, David
  9. I must confess I'm confused by the distinction between good beautiful deep flame and 'burned in' flame?
  10. I'm really not sure if these mean anything. It's quite possible that the black is later dirt contamination after the edges are worn down abit. The Harrison example below has a definite contrast between the red pores inside the purfling and the black on the edge, and it gives the appearance that at least some of the black pores are under the upper layers of varnish. But again, this could be a case of later dirt following wear, and then some touch up varnish. I've seen examples more to my point (I thought posted by you) where 1) the pores contrast strongly in red versus black, 2) the black
  11. Just wondering if people have any ideas why this shows up in some chemical studies of classical varnish. Ideas? I'm wondering both about the chemical form and the purpose?? Did they bleach the wood or a component of the varnish? Was it part of a pigment? Did they use simple salt?
  12. Interesting picture. Who's finish is it? I find the layers with different fracturing textures intriguing. From Bruce Tai's article and other sources, I'm inclined to believe the 'cheesey' fractures represent colloid or emulsive materials or other physical mixture of break properties, whille only the smooth fracture of the top layer could represent a clean unified material like linseed oil, resin, or a cooked varnish without particulates. Do others see these layers the same way??
  13. It's interesting to note that the upper colored varnish has preferentially survived better where the underlying wood texture is more porous.
  14. It seems very healthy indeed that this thread starts with a specific observation, and then asks if perhaps the new evidence indicates the old masters did things in a sequence and manor different then we usually assume!! Of course this one glue stain might represent some unique event that tells us nothing. But more likely it suggests this section of purfling was installed at a late stage in the making. It seems to me that other detailed pictures posted on MN have also suggested that purfling might have been installed latish, even after some phases of wood finishing are completed. I don't
  15. Would a very minimal application of a steel burnisher help?
  16. Beautiful sample! I'm still just experimenting with possibilities, so my actual experience is very limitied. But I find the idea of St Peter's Gold/dorata/golden tin attractive. It seems a straight foward techninique consistent with the broader and less mysterious art materials of the time. As your photo shows, the results can be very effective. As for protein sizes, I've not experienced the cloudiness issues Joe mentions. In my little varnish experiments I've found glue size or simple egg white are both easy devices to keep oil out of the wood grain and avoid the sort of featheriness
  17. Is this a typical texture for classical varnish? Great picture!
  18. Hi Brian, Even though you're trying to start from scratch and not to recreate, I would suggest that Cennini's Craftsman Handbook would be worth the read for your project. Violins weren't a 17th century invention, but more of a 16th century evolution of older instrument making. As such, Cennini’s presentation of the materials and practice of 15th century art are entirely relevant. He lays out the methods and purpose of grounds in art work. It's easy to see instrument making as part of the family, including ideas of glues and grounds and varnish. I would say that from their old point of
  19. Very useful. Thank you for posting it!
  20. Hi, Thanks for sharing your experience. So the glue didn't hold on a shocking blow? Was it brittle or thin? I am curious if fat is all bad in the glue? Some of the old recipes quoted on the web refer to rinsing out the fat, which implies starting with a fatty cheese and probably not getting all the fat out. Since casein is such a good emulsifier, it doesn't seem that fat would necessarily be a problem. A bit of fat might perhaps add a touch of flexibility and make a tougher joint. I guess a want to give this a good try before dismissing it. It would be too easy to try one variant an
  21. Hi, Just an experiment, so I don't mind 'over thinking it' and even going a bit crazy on the details. They slacked the burnt lime by agitated it into the water of the lime pit and letting it settle at the bottom and stay there a long time. The sediment at the bottom became lime putty, but needed to be agitated periodically and allowed to age. Letting lime putty age 3 years was not considered excessive. If the lime wasn't aged well, then lit bits of unslaked lime would lurk in the putty. If these little remaining pockets of unslaked lime finally hydrated in a finished work, the chemical re
  22. Hi, The texture in these pictures is amazing to see! Thanks for making and posting them. David