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Varnish secret revealed

Barry J. Griffiths

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Yes, but does the gore of chicken-blood overshadow the very sticky(&stinky) "****roach -Varnish Model Strad"(T.M.) that the Texas A&M Prof. was making in the 1980's?

I believe he is still cranking them out, in the belief -founded upon forensick (sic) evidence - that Antonios' secret lies with the lowly, yet nobly auburn little crawlers. They sell for a pretty penny too, I hasten to add( though I couldn't hear why) Eye of newt, anyone?

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While working today, I found this entry in Wenberg:


Cripps, Willie; Dee Or. 1946-1982

...built a workshop on the back of a 1948 Chevrolet pickup truck...made 3 violins...His coloring method was unique: he would cut his arm with a knife and use his blood to stain the wood....


I wouldn't call him a 'chicken' shocked.gif

[This message has been edited by fubbi2 (edited 04-21-2001).]

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I cut myself receintly and due to a dirty knife let it bleed to cleanse. Got a 1/2 ounce of blood. Looking at varnish supplies..., looking at blood..., looking at varnish supplies..., looking at blood..., naaaaa - probably not light-fast.

We're getting off easy on the varnish. Old methods for working with glass (1300s) give something to the effect of "he-goat blood, receintly fed on ivy".

A friend says that the day I start talking about eye of newyt he doesn't want to hear anymore.

[This message has been edited by Michael Lewis (edited 04-22-2001).]

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I actually wasn't joking when I mentioned the violin -maker in Texas (College Station)who uses roaches (ala cuchlarachas) as a key varnish ingredient. I forget his name, but he teaches physics -or did- at TX. A&M.

After analysis, he claimed he had found a fairly significant amount of the bug in (not on) samples of Strad varnish. Fredel Lack was trying out some of his creations,and this one didn't have a favourable aroma. A nice sticky sheen, though (ick).As I recall, Fredel let him take a sample of varnish from her Strad for the project.

He played in the Brazos Valley Symph.I'm sure that Peter Shaw at the Amati Violin Shop in Houston knows this scientists name. He also made violins with ground - up human hair as a factor, again citing his labratory studies. I didn't think they sounded very good at all- in case anyone is still reading.

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