Sign in to follow this  
Julian Cossmann Cooke

Varnish accumulation and antiquing

Recommended Posts

There are so many threads about antiquing that it is likely someone already has answered this question.  But finding that answer would be like finding a sable brush hair on the back of a cat.

Some of what we see on older instruments and newer antiqued ones is the accumulation of varnish, polish, body oil, and/or schmutz.  My question is whether these accumulations can be replicated on a new instrument without full-blown antiquing.  Example: Rasp marks -- or what appear to be rasp marks -- are visible on the edges of the da Salo tenor viola at the NMM.  It doesn't hurt that da Salo's edges are relatively flat so the marks are not obscured by the edge curves we see on Cremonese instruments.  Much of the varnish color has been worn off the edge which also helps the darker rasp marks stand out.

I am considering using more of golden brown varnish on a da Salo viola, but still would like to gently  enhance the visibility of the tool marks -- ideally without the highlighting that probably come with antiquing.  [NOTE: This is not an antiquing v. fresh varnish thread, so let's not go there.  Again.]

Any strategies out there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can always preload the marks with a dark stain, then scrape back down to raw surface wood, leaving the depth of the marks stained and go with a lighter color scheme than the dark color in the scratches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mike Spencer said:

I was told that clothes dryer lint can work wonders for providing some ruble.

Is that before or after you've used it to start a fire? :lol:  Emoji laughs, but that's actually an interesting question.  Probably not as oily, but akin to lampblack?

I would think the body oils would make navel lint preferable.  :D  (Blame Burgess for that one.  No, better yet -- he must have hacked my account.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the idea seems silly doesn't it. If you think about what makes up the ruble then maybe it makes more sense. So, what do we think the ruble is made up of, lots of things right? Varnish, dirt, body oils, rosin, pollen, heating or cooking oil fume deposits, fabric filaments, human skin detritus and likely other stuff too. If you take some dryer lint and hold it over a white sheet of paper and give it a scrunch some finer particles will fall out. That's the stuff I'm talking about. TMI on the navel lint. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider [with any dent, flaw or tool mark] when it occurred in the life of the instrument.  Rasp marks would have happened in making so do them before the ground.  Other wood wear is generally after ground and after varnish wear...it tends to look too obvious if done on the white wood.

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.