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Joel Pautz

Antiquing Patina Help

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I've observed this well-structured patina on a beautiful cremonese instrument, and I am curious as to how it could be incorporated/simulated on antiqued contemporary instruments. I've never tried the 'tape method', but I don't think that it would be consistent enough to adequately capture what I'm seeing here.

And since I have still got alot of Robson Varnish, could you suggest what I should suspend the pigment colors in for a patina coat Joe? Thanks.

(I may not be technically savvy enough to upload the photo correctly the first time. Here is its link on the image hosting site just in case - http://postimage.org/image/cho2g41mx/)

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Hi Joel,

Shmutz and dirt..how many hours of our collective lives have been taken up by this nasty topic?

This "stuff" needs to be fixed to the surface in a way that protects it and keeps it where you put it.

There are a variety of ways to do this, but a good place to start your experiments is pigments in varnish.

What varnish?...I think amber varnish as it has a little green cast to it and it is hard enough to hold the pigments as the instrument is played. What pigments?...a good combination to start with is bone black + vandyke brown + umber [raw or burnt].

Keep us advised...

Joe

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Getting the right patina on a new instrument is one of the most difficult aspect of antiquing.

The most common mistake is to use too much black. From my experience, more colour you mix, the better the patina looks.

And, often even when it looks OK right after applying the patina, it will look less appealing after polishing with French polish etc...

It's essential to imagine how the patina has built up on the original instrument, and then you realize there's more to it than just slapping a coat of fake dirt and done with it.

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Thanks Joe, the hint of green in the Amber varnish sounds promising, and I'll definitely start there.

It just occurred to me that I've approached this the wrong way (glad I'm planning it out before I started). The structure in the Patina I'm seeing must be due to the crackle in the varnish, therefore it would probably be pointless to expect to achieve similar results on a varnish surface that has no crackle.

Thats a pretty broad statement . . . does it reflect anyone's personal experience on the matter?

Also, any thoughts as to how to achieve 'crackle' in one's varnish? I was told once by a maker that he used sawdust to achieve a textured surface. How would that method work?

Here is a link to the photo that started it all: http://postimage.org/image/cho2g41mx/. It is an Andrea Guarneri violin.

P.S. Other topics that, for example, relate to the transition between the full bodied varnish and the mostly bare patch, etc. are welcome on this thread.

Thanks

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Getting the right patina on a new instrument is one of the most difficult aspect of antiquing.

Today's makers have such a difficult set of problems. If it were like this 400 years ago, the violin would never have started an evolution in the first place.

The Old Cremonese were lucky to not need this patina business.

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