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darkening the violin wood


Peter White

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"So if you want to do something outside of good practices of the Artists Handbook you are on thin ice."

 

So you are saying that artists of the time covered their paintings with highly colored varnishes?

 

Hi Lyle, Your question to NewNewbie is a very good one and I am sure as ever NewNewbie will provide an interesting answer which I would not want to pre empt.....

 

.However I can't resist a mention of one art artifact I saw re this. There is one painting from slightly before Strad's time in the National Portrait Gallery in London which had one feature which always remained in my mind long after I forgot the subject matter and artist ( Must revisit and record in my notes) In this portrait which was of an important person a ruby was very effectively depicted by a blob of transparent red colored medium on top of a piece of gold leaf....That always stuck in my mind in relation to Stradivari varnish.

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"So if you want to do something outside of good practices of the Artists Handbook you are on thin ice."

 

So you are saying that artists of the time covered their paintings with highly colored varnishes?

Not saying that, just that there is no 'magic bullet' when it comes to ingredients.  It may be in the mastering of it's application.

 

""So if you want to do something outside of good practices of the Artists Handbook you are on thin ice.""

 

Why be obtuse when you can be a cute! :wacko::blink::huh:

 

If varnishes, made by professional people who specialize in their production, are used by professional makers, then amateurs should be even more inclined towards using them.  

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   Or only looking at the oil layer and not the wood maybe?  

You might be seeing in the future more comprehensive work done that may answer some of your questions.

 

"In situ 3D characterization of historical coatings and wood using multimodal nonlinear optical microscopy"

 

"SHG/2PEF imaging thus appears as a promising non-destructive and contactless tool for in situ 3D investigation of historical coatings and more generally for wood characterization and coating analysis at micrometer scale."

 

So hopefully they will be aiming these things at an instrument from the Golden period.

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Sorry, I don't have a copy of the "Artists Handbook." Does it describe the production and application of Cremonese violin varnish?

 

I do have many long years of experience as an analytical chemist, using a wide range of instrumental techniques, so I am not easily impressed by the method du jour.

Was not trying to impress you, I hope you didn't think I was, I was just trying to point-out to MikeC that things may be getting more analytical  work soon.

P.S.

Are you thinking that I am actually referencing a book? :huh:

I did not link any book in particular or author.  Just using the term in a general way to imply that the findings of varnish studies are not very far off the road of good art practices. :mellow:

 

P.S.S.  I see that you put in double quotes "Artists Handbook" and I never had it in double quotes, you you must be thinking it is an actual book.

I went and put the term in single quotes so that it will be seen as a general term. 

Thanks for the help, and sorry for the confusiion.

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Mine does not.

Joe

I'm confused.  Did I say there is a Cremonese recipe in some book somewhere???? :huh:

The term Artists Handbook  I used is referring to all those rules that artists follow to produce lasting works.  Thus the use of the words "good practices".

Are you actually referring to some book you have, and if so can you give me a link?  Thanks.

Hope that helps .... or are you maybe ....??? :blink:

 

You wrote in another thread,  "I am a varnish maker and varnishing instructor.  I consider myself a toolmaker.  Given that, I think  the products one chooses [as long as they are well made] constitute about 25% of the varnish outcome." - from "Products vs Process" -Started by joerobson, Yesterday, 01:26 AM

 

Do you mean by saying "well made" that you are making varnish and selling varnish that is within the "good practices of the Artists Handbook" or "Artists Handbook" as in an actual book???? :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:

I think we are in agreement but just don't know it. lol

I thought that we were both making the same point that while science can give us ingredients, that is about all, and that skill is still a factor.  Or am I missing it somewhere????

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Perhaps things would be clearer if I said that I would not be too bothered by what studies find or do not find, and more concerned with other aspects such as application and building an understanding of what can and cannot be done.  In short, developing a 'set of rules' that work for you.

 

When Roger Hargrave posted that he uses a mineral ground, and Echard did not find one, did it stop him from still using one?

He said that it helped his instruments, and so why stop using it.

 

Others here have pointed out that using oil on the wood first is a big No-no, and so why should they start doing what for them is wrong, just because a study finds this to be the case.

 

I wonder  if Roger, or anyone using a mineral ground,  would have used one for the first time, if the scientific studies had come out beforehand, saying that this was a No-no?

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After all that... someone found protein and someone else didn't.   I'm still confused.   heh  oh well.     That's a nice group picture though!  So much better than the usual flat washed out diffused lighting that you usually see them photographed in.   Any chance of getting a larger high resolution copy? 

Hi MikeC

I had a look around because I remember it being a bigger picture, and the best I could find was a picture of the 5 instruments in The Strad magazine, April 2010 in the article "Stradivari's varnish: a chemical analysis"  by Jean-Phillipe Echard and Balthazar Soulier, on page 49.

 

Hope this helps.

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That's ok, NewNewbie  I enlarged the pic as much as I could without making it too grainy. It makes a nice desktop background.  

 

Joe your copy of the book doesn't have the Cremona ground recipe?  You must have the abridged version.  I'll copy the recipe and send it too you.    It's simple really. It's just some yellow...   oops my computer just crashed again,  I'll have to finish that sentence later.

 

But on a more serious note:  Didn't he find that oil layer on all the instruments he examined?  Or not?  Seems more than immaterial if that's the case especially in a layer that thin that doesn't soak in deeper.  It isn't hard to make a thin layer like that but does require some care in application which makes it seem like a deliberate application of a layer.  But maybe I'm interpreting too much into it. 

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Hi MikeC

I had a look around because I remember it being a bigger picture, and the best I could find was a picture of the 5 instruments in The Strad magazine, April 2010 in the article "Stradivari's varnish: a chemical analysis"  by Jean-Phillipe Echard and Balthazar Soulier, on page 49.

 

Hope this helps.

post-3446-0-62681400-1372492043_thumb.jpg

post-3446-0-09472800-1372492365_thumb.jpg

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I think I got it now.

 

I went back and edited the post with the term Artists Handbook and put it in 'single quotes', so it is not confused with any actual book, which would be in "double quotes" if it is a title.

 

I hope that clears things up. :huh:

 

NN,

My take was you meant Max Doerner "The Materials of the Artist".....

in general the work of painters on canvas, wood or other mediums follow different rules than the violin varnish demands.

Joe

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The Lady Blunt has ground under the fingerboard.

If you were to venture a guess, why do you think someone would apply a ground where there will be no varnish? And if the fingerboard was there before varnishing and made it less convenient for varnishing, why would this not be the case for applying a ground? Would this mean the ground is not only there to prevent the varnish from soaking inside the wood?

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If you were to venture a guess, why do you think someone would apply a ground where there will be no varnish? And if the fingerboard was there before varnishing and made it less convenient to varnish, why would this not be the case for applying a ground? Would this mean the ground is not only there to prevent the varnish from soaking inside the wood?

 

In addition to that question I would like to know why someone would not varnish first and then put the fingerboard on rather than leaving an unvarnished area under the fingerboard.  

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If you were to venture a guess, why do you think someone would apply a ground where there will be no varnish? And if the fingerboard was there before varnishing and made it less convenient to varnish, why would this not be the case for applying a ground? Would this mean the ground is not only there to prevent the varnish from soaking inside the wood?

 

roberto,

I would not venture a guess.

Joe

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Mike C,

My understanding is that the fingerboard was an important part of the neck alignment system and so could not simply be left until after varnishing. On the other hand, ground could be applied to the area under the fingerboard before the top was glued while varnish could not. Not an assertion, just a possibility.

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setup and tuned in the white possibly but the ground has already been applied because it is under the fingerboard so that would eliminate tuning plates by scraping them on the outside unless more ground is then applied after scraping which is possible.

 

If the finger board was an important part of alignment does that mean it was already attached to the neck before the neck is attached to the body of the violin?  If that's the case then the steps listed below would be in the wrong sequence (entirely possible since this is guesswork).

 

The ground might be applied after both plates are glued to the ribs and the neck already attached because the clamps used would mar the finished edge so the edge would not be finished and the ground not applied until after final gluing of the plates. 

 

 So the steps would be:  Attach either the top or back, then the neck because it has to be nailed in, then the other plate,  then finish the edge work,  then apply ground,  then attach finger board, then apply varnish.

 

    Varnish might be applied as the last step because it is softer and more easily damaged than ground especially when it is still fairly new and that's the part that needs to be perfect in appearance especially if you are making it for the king king as he needs his bling bling but ground could be applied earlier in the process because it's more durable and less subject to damage. 

 

Possibly ground would also be put under the fingerboard because it adds color and you wouldn't want stark white wood to be visible under there?  That's assuming the instrument isn't suntanned or stained. 

 

Well that's my wild guesses

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