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The issue about proteins in varnish systems is twofold. First, is it truly detected in old violins? Where is it found and in what concentration? Second, why was it used at all; that is, what do proteins do for a varnish system? By varnish system I mean the ground and wood preparation followed by layers of varnish and polishing compounds. I have a couple of opinions on proteins. The first of which is an old theory that I come back to often. That idea is that the proteins were not intentional but a secondary component of an organic colorant or stain. Many of you know that I have experimented a lot with annatto. These seeds are a major source of protein. Nevertheless, I no longer advocate annatto colorant. (I have an accepted publication in the VSA Journal on Annatto. I will give details later.) Anyhow, there are many colorants from seeds that contain protein. Itis possible that proteins can be carried along with a colorant. I will talk more about this some other day. The other protein source is one that is intentional and applied for specific reasons. An example is a protein mixed with a colorant to stabilize and control it. That is what paint artist call a distemper which is similar to a tempera but without eggs. Or, a caseinate is applied to seal the wood. … .