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 As a matter of interest I went to some quite inauthentic lengths to finish the front to the smoothness we see in the recent Strad exhibition ( 0n what might be considered near pristine instruments after taking varnish drying & wood shrinkage into account) and even so its corduroy effect is quite marked beyond what I hoped.

 

I thought the Messiah had a fairly strong corduroy texture on the top, is this not the case? (Haven't seen it myself)

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I thought the Messiah had a fairly strong corduroy texture on the top, is this not the case? (Haven't seen it myself)

Hi Daryl,

Yes you are right to take me up on that as can be seen in Kevin's Pic above. There is some corduroy on the Lady Blunt too and the Amati viol in the Ashmolean permanent collection has similar texture to the Messie. But a lot of the instruments seemed to have quite smooth bellies especially given what one might expect if they were finished with the scrapers on display at the exhibition!.... That's just my impression though.I wish I had time to return to look again.

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Come tomorrow, I pay a beer!

Hey Christian I would love to take you up on that offer but unfortunately I am confined to the workshop with a deadline to finish these violas. You will have a great time and you will need a beer afterwards for sure! I just wish I could be there to join you!

I have been to the exhibition four times now and each time has been amazing. If I could go again I would. Each time I have visited it has taken me a couple of days to recover from the intensity of the experience, being so mentally stimulated that sleeping at the end of the day was not possible!...

Enjoy your visit!

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I would agree with you, Melvin, about the corduroy. I think I took photos of the Messie in that raking light to remind myself of just how much texture there is on that fiddle.

 

There's still a day or so left, isn't there?...

 

Hi Kevin,

There is still two days left but I MUST stay in the workshop and meet some deadlines....It was great to go there with Antoine and Martina and then  have the pleasure and privilage  to meet you and Ben there...I'm still hopefully computing what I saw & what I saw through the eyes of all colleagues on the day.  Thank you!

Martina's group pic below

post-23531-0-92210700-1376099373_thumb.jpg

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Melvin,

I sympathise with your situation. If I were only an hour or two away, I'd be rationalizing all sorts of reasons to take another day and go back. Getting to meet you and talk (with Antoine, Martina, and Ben) about Strad varnish in a room full of great Strad varnish was a real high point of that trip.

 

By the way, I was very impressed with the varnish samples you brought. I thought they stood up very well, and I don't think there will ever be a harder room than that one to compare one's varnish samples in. As Ben said, you're a brave man.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Curious 1 !

That viola was one of those lucky instruments where for some unknown reason more or less everything went to plan for once!

 

By the way I would love to see more of your work. I am particularly taken with this violin you illustrated a few weeks ago! Link below...

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/gallery/album/170-my-work/

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Thanks Curious 1 !

That viola was one of those lucky instruments where for some unknown reason more or less everything went to plan for once!

 

By the way I would love to see more of your work. I am particularly taken with this violin you illustrated a few weeks ago! Link below...

 

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/gallery/album/170-my-work/

Thanks, I'll try and post more instruments. I look forward to seeing more of your work also.

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Is the varnish different from the other or the weather more cloudy?

Hi Christian, 

That's a good question. It is the same varnish and ground and shooting places for both violas but different wood taking varnish a bit different, different light and a good camera with a bad operator! I added some more shots. This is the first time I copied this viola including the quite large cello style head. I was worried that it might make the instrument feel top heavy to play but to an oaf like me it feels OK...so far!

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Of the two violas I posted above the second is near complete...

 

 

 

Beautiful, Melvin! Seeing your work is alwas a treat. I love the flipped two part back à la Amati!

 

The varnish/finish seems to be a bit more glossy than before, is that true?

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Hi Ernie

Yes that's an extended nut to give finger clearance as you suggest. I make it in two pieces to ease fitting.

 

Hi Roland,

The finish is as you rightly notice rather shiny. This is similar to what the original looks like from accumulated polish and what the customer requests. It's from French polish with some gum Benzoin.

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