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JacksonMaberry

Patina, Schmutz, etc

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Jeff Phillips, Antoine Nedelec, Andrew Ryan, and Guy Harrison (among others) are doing fantastic work with antiquing. Antiquing is technique and time. Getting good results takes time that some makers may not want to invest. 

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Contemporary instruments seem  to be [mostly] 0 or 300 years old in the varnish impression. But there are many beautiful years of varnish in between.

It important to watch how players handle their instruments.

Edges...we could do a workshop or at least a clinic on just edge work.

If an instrument has been played the first thing affected is the edges.

Joe

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1 hour ago, scordatura said:

Jeff Phillips, Anoine Nedelec, Andrew Ryan, and Guy Harrison (among others) are doing fantastic work with antiquing. Antiquing is technique and time.

And acute perception. II one cannot tell the difference between excellent and so-so, it's hard to re-produce "excellent". 

I agree that those four are really good at antiquing.

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14 hours ago, David Burgess said:

And acute perception. II one cannot tell the difference between excellent and so-so, it's hard to re-produce "excellent". 

I agree that those four are really good at antiquing.

I think this is the first time I’ve heard David say anything nice about antiquing!  
 

That also brings up the question of why and who you’re antiquing for.  Are you antiquing for the client, other Luthier’s, or yourself?  Are you antiquing to make a fashion statement?  Are you trying to end up with a result that comes close to fooling people?  Are you trying to take away the newness just enough that the player doesn’t worry about letting it wear from use?  Frame of mind can change everything.

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16 hours ago, joerobson said:

it is important to watch how players handle their instruments

My guess is that new instruments today are not going to wear the same ways as old instruments did because of modern case technology and more careful handling and playing.

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

My guess is that new instruments today are not going to wear the same ways as old instruments did because of modern case technology and more careful handling and playing.

Totally agree with this statement. Also addition of chinrests and shoulder rests. Cases have come a long way.

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5 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

My guess is that new instruments today are not going to wear the same ways as old instruments did because of modern case technology and more careful handling and playing.

How did old Lira da Braccio's wear?

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8 hours ago, Advocatus Diaboli said:

I think this is the first time I’ve heard David say anything nice about antiquing!  
 

That also brings up the question of why and who you’re antiquing for.  Are you antiquing for the client, other Luthier’s, or yourself?  Are you antiquing to make a fashion statement?  Are you trying to end up with a result that comes close to fooling people?  Are you trying to take away the newness just enough that the player doesn’t worry about letting it wear from use?  Frame of mind can change everything.

Excellent question. Most of my "antiquing" is to give a warmer more user friendly look which many people interpret as age and will allow the instrument to age on it's own without going through the awkward phase of looking like a beautiful teenage girl with pimples. If there is a nice varnish to begin with it will age well. I do wonder about how well the 300 year old looking new violin will fare over time.

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9 hours ago, Advocatus Diaboli said:

I think this is the first time I’ve heard David say anything nice about antiquing!  
 

 

47 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

 Most of my "antiquing" is to give a warmer more user friendly look which many people interpret as age and will allow the instrument to age on it's own without going through the awkward phase of looking like a beautiful teenage girl with pimples.

See, now Nathan's getting me back. :lol:

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

I do wonder about how well the 300 year old looking new violin will fare over time.

It will depend on what life has in store for him, who knows, I prefer not to be the one to decide what it will look like.

On the other hand, not all ancient instruments have aged well, from the Messiah with the varnish almost intact to those completely worn out there is a big difference, it will be the same for our new instruments too.

Who can say what is the best look, fashions are passing from time to time.:)

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12 minutes ago, Fossil Ledges said:

Good Thread! There certainly is lots of psychology involved. I would still like to psychonalyze my attraction to battered Baroque instruments, worm holes and all.

An interesting prospect, to be sure. But I think you'll have better luck with a mental healthcare professional rather then the neurosis-riddled masses of Maestronet. :ph34r:

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9 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

An interesting prospect, to be sure. But I think you'll have better luck with a mental healthcare professional rather then the neurosis-riddled masses of Maestronet. :ph34r:

But...it's my comfort zone.

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2 minutes ago, Fossil Ledges said:

But...it's my comfort zone.

*Pushes spectacles up nose* (In Austrian accent) Vell yes, but ve must sometimes push at ze boundaries of our comfort zones in order to move past our insecurities und neuroses.

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Why yes of course, it's all so very much clearer now! I see the beauty and truth of all wisdom expressed on MN...and it doesn't matter what the others in group counseling say, MN is not a cult at all!

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2 hours ago, Fossil Ledges said:

Why yes of course, it's all so very much clearer now! I see the beauty and truth of all wisdom expressed on MN...and it doesn't matter what the others in group counseling say, MN is not a cult at all!

Not a cult, more of a sanatorium! :D

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more things happen to fiddles than dings and dirt.  it would be interesting to try something like a bad varnish repair.  drop a heavy mute on the top hard enough to expose the wood.  then do like mr. bean destroys whistlers mother, and end up with a place the size of a half dollar and too red, say.  but -- the violin would have to be well enough done that it looks like two different people !  judges' reactions might be fun

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14 hours ago, Fossil Ledges said:

Good Thread! There certainly is lots of psychology involved. I would still like to psychonalyze my attraction to battered Baroque instruments, worm holes and all.

I remember once seeing a new instrument with fake wormholes drilled into the wood.

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7 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

more things happen to fiddles than dings and dirt.  it would be interesting to try something like a bad varnish repair.  drop a heavy mute on the top hard enough to expose the wood.  then do like mr. bean destroys whistlers mother, and end up with a place the size of a half dollar and too red, say.  but -- the violin would have to be well enough done that it looks like two different people !  judges' reactions might be fun

Valid point, but.. 

The instruments we want to emulate (not all of us, I know...) would have been properly restored. There are very few Strads with ugly cracks, so I'm not gonna make one just because it might look old

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6 hours ago, Peter K-G said:

Copies of late dG's has to be antiqued, most contemporary makers can't even imitate such bad/ugly work as a new/crisp late dG copy.

Agreed. Too much asymmetry for new/clean varnish job. If one was able to clean up the model it can work.

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4 hours ago, scordatura said:

Agreed. Too much asymmetry for new/clean varnish job. If one was able to clean up the model it can work.

Indeed it can. My fab violin is a non-antiqued, ‘straightened copy’ of the 1742 Alard Del Gesu.

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On 9/7/2020 at 5:25 AM, uncle duke said:

How did old Lira da Braccio's wear?

Not a lot of data out there on that front. Few surviving examples, mostly poorly documented, and the instrument was in only limited use in a small region for a short time. That said, there are a number of them out there that were converted to violas and quite prized in that role. Yizakh Schotten recorded and performed on one for a very long time. If I can get a closer look at that axe some time it would be instructive, I'm sure.

At any rate, thanks to all who provided thoughtful commentary. After reading all the suggestions I was given in this thread and privately, I've conferred with the client, who loves the look as is, so we'll go with that. 

Next time I make one of these, I'll probably make it as a viola. Not a lot of people out there asking for liras, just the one in fact! Fun model though, looking forward to doing it again. 

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