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I've been told that several shops, including Wurlitzer, played with a color mixture called "tutti gialli" (all yellows).  The buildup of this stuff definitely goes orange/red.  It's a bit fugitive though, and one of the ingredients is quite toxic.

 

If one looks at the varnish on many Becker violins, the areas that have worn thin are quite yellow.

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"German varnish rarely contains much of a red element, although Czech varnish does. Also, if it chips easily, it sounds very much like the rosin-rich (overly rich) typical Czech 1950's-60's 'Barley-Sugar' varnish, developed to dry quickly in unheated factory paint shops, but very brittle, becoming moreso with age."

 

Copy-paste from: http://www.theviolinman.co.uk/messages/1004.html

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I don't do any deliberate wood tanning (aside from what might occur during varnish drying). But maybe my varnish sucks.

what happens if your varnish wears away?  Does it expose stark white wood?  Or is there a ground that has some color? 

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In my opinion, a "great" orange or red varnish appears yellow in a thin coat, and builds up to an orange or red as the coating gets thicker. I'm not a proponent of trying to apply deliberately different color layers. Not that it can't work, but I don't think that's what the Cremonese did.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  You're saying don't do this?

 

post-55791-0-94179500-1391057717_thumb.jpg

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Here's an example of what I'm talking about.  You're saying don't do this?

 

attachicon.gif2-part-orange-varnish.jpg

And here's a tag to open :)

 

Jeffrey, while I was uploading this, I noticed that the uploader was showing the bar full and the sizes equal instantaneously.  Since I'm on dialup, that never happens, it takes me about 2 minutes for something like this, which it did, but with the bar complete and the sizes equal the whole time.  That's a bug.  Please tell your techs, maybe it will help them.

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what happens if your varnish wears away?  Does it expose stark white wood?  Or is there a ground that has some color? 

Depends on what you mean by "stark white". A fresh scratch on an original-varnish area of a Strad can be surprisingly white, much whiter than the color of "worn" areas. Worn areas are typically much darker than wood or ground which has been protected by varnish, and are not representative of the real ground or wood color. A lot of this is from application of dirty French polish (you can see this when removing it with solvent on a white rag), and some may be from exposure to perspiration and UV once the varnish was worn away.

 

At the Weisshaar shop, we had one really well preserved (at that time) Strad come in which had been set down on an alcohol rag used for cleaning strings. This fresh bare spot was amazingly light, much whiter than wood/ground I've seen on some modern fiddles.

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And here's a tag to open :)

 

Jeffrey, while I was uploading this, I noticed that the uploader was showing the bar full and the sizes equal instantaneously.  Since I'm on dialup, that never happens, it takes me about 2 minutes for something like this, which it did, but with the bar complete and the sizes equal the whole time.  That's a bug.  Please tell your techs, maybe it will help them.

 

The admin team has bigger problems than that. IIS (Internet Information Services) on their Windows Server is broken and access to file system is faulty. They have also suffered from some malicious code, that probably could be the root cause to this whole image problem. (Give me an hour with the server ;))

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The admin team has bigger problems than that. IIS (Internet Information Services) on their Windows Server is broken and access to file system is faulty. They have also suffered from some malicious code, that probably could be the root cause to this whole image problem. (Give me an hour with the server ;))

Malicious code?  Oh dear, you mean they're running Windows 8? :lol: :lol:  :lol:1   "I have a single word for you.  Linux!"

 

 

1.  Yes, I noticed Windows Server, but the line was too good to pass up.

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In my opinion, a "great" orange or red varnish appears yellow in a thin coat, and builds up to an orange or red as the coating gets thicker. I'm not a proponent of trying to apply deliberately different color layers. Not that it can't work, but I don't think that's what the Cremonese did.

You described a dichromatic varnish: the color depends on the amount of varnish between the incident light and the observer.

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that's what I'd like to know.   :D    I have my own ideas but wonder what others mean by that. 

 

When it enhances the woods natural beauty and highlights the contrast between dark and light in the Wood - without staining it.

But! It is possible to make a violin look really great with only dark colored transparent varnish on top of a sealer like gelatine or egg mixture.

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Depends on what you mean by "stark white". A fresh scratch on an original-varnish area of a Strad can be surprisingly white, much whiter than the color of "worn" areas. Worn areas are typically much darker than wood or ground which has been protected by varnish, and are not representative of the real ground or wood color. A lot of this is from application of dirty French polish (you can see this when removing it with solvent on a white rag), and some may be from exposure to perspiration and UV once the varnish was worn away.

 

At the Weisshaar shop, we had one really well preserved (at that time) Strad come in which had been set down on an alcohol rag used for cleaning strings. This fresh bare spot was amazingly light, much whiter than wood/ground I've seen on some modern fiddles.

One thing that struck me at the Strad exhibition last year was that the unvarnished neck of the Alard (which I believe is original) is noticeably lighter in colour than the exposed wood/ground in the worn areas of the rest of the instrument. Don't know if we can draw any conclusions from that.....?

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Looking at the Messie in good light and with good eyesight,one can see the scratches under the varnish. So it is likely that the "ground" is one or two coats of clear varnish. (this is what I gathered from the Clair Barlow talk at Newark)

The difference in colour between the fresh chipped varnish and the worn-down patch maybe that the "wearing down" pushes the varnish into the pores.

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There are these suggestions of vernice bianca - how commonly is this used?

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/259323-gum-arabic-in-vernice-bianca-ground-question/?p=259323

This comes probably from Sacconi's book, but I struggle with the idea to use something water based.

 

I remember reading an article saying what seems to come out underneath the varnish of some Guarneri seems to be what looked liked shellac.

 

Is it a good idea to use oil underneath?

 

Does any body use Fulton's propolis soap? This would leave a yellow ground and have a pronounced antibacterial effect.

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