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What to use to highlight f-hole edges?


fscotte

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I would like to highlight the edges around the f holes, and maybe even the edges around the scroll with black.

I need to use something that won't smear or dissolve the black liner when I brush varnish over it.

I have some aniline black dye which dissolves in alcohol, would I be able to use that?

 

 

 

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The inside of the FF holes, the inside of the peg box are blackened on some violins. You might want to consider just darkening these areas with an oil paint like burnt umber or another color rather than black. The more I consider this the more I realize I need to listen to those who will share their technique. Well, saying that, I have just painted the inside of the peg box and FF holes after I finished the whole violin. Any color that ended up on the surface was easily rubbed off with a clean cloth. The chamfer of the scroll and some other areas of the violin is another matter. Davide Sora has a video on doing this. This should be practiced first on scrap wood before doing the violin as it can be permanent. 

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2 hours ago, fscotte said:

I would like to highlight the edges around the f holes, and maybe even the edges around the scroll with black.

I need to use something that won't smear or dissolve the black liner when I brush varnish over it.

I have some aniline black dye which dissolves in alcohol, would I be able to use that?

If you want to be philologically correct, Stradivari used iron gall ink for the scroll chamfers, you can try to do it if you like. It is a water-based ink, so it should not cause smearing with varnish application. He probably simply varnished the f-holes with the same varnish as the violin, the black that you see today was most likely applied later, but it is only a guess. As far as I know, there are no specific chemical analyses for the black of the f-holes, while that of the chamfers has been analyzed.

I am not philologically correct on these aspects, so I use a matt black water-based acrylic color for all the chamfers and the f-holes. Does not smear with varnish. Whatever you use, the key is water-based.

Neroxsmussieeffe.thumb.jpg.466e08f7a5878d8e645006902b62cdba.jpg

My videos on F-hole painting:

Part one:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzERvrHexrc&list=PLaxadm6POX7GDYFX9UDBNlQlvRjkItIwi&index=12

Part two: 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SAKcv1SFz0&list=PLaxadm6POX7GDYFX9UDBNlQlvRjkItIwi&index=13

My article on scroll chamfers blackening:

https://davidesora.altervista.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Davide-Sora-Blackening-the-chamfers.pdf

 

 

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1 hour ago, Greg Sigworth said:

Thank you Mr. Sora for the great information.

 

51 minutes ago, fscotte said:

Fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for, water-based ink it is thank you.

You're welcome!

Obviously this is just my way of coloring the chamfers and f-holes, but there can be many variations in the application technique and materials used. Acrylic works well, obviously Stradivari didn't have it available, but at least I use a color Made in Italy:D

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6 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Stradivari used iron gall ink for the scroll chamfers

Was there any analysis that had been made? 
 

So this means that the water based ink was applied after some ground coating to prevent penetration into the pores, or is this a wrong interpretation?

Playing around with materials I found charcoal very convenient because it is dry and doesn’t need a brush and can be applied to the bare wood before varnishing. 

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As an old archivist, the reference to iron gall ink caught my attention.  It's acidic and resulted in many old documents becoming lace.  Not that the amounts used on a violin are likely to be a problem, or would they? 

See: https://www.amphilsoc.org/blog/ins-outs-iron-gall-ink#:~:text=Why is iron gall ink,the paper brown and brittle.

Regards,

Tim

 

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Any kind of water based ink is likely to be sucked into the end grain areas of the FFs and sometimes even the  scroll unless the wood is already sealed. This looks absolutely terrible and cannot be easily remedied. I have often varnished the instrument up to the point of the final color and then scraped or sliced the varnish off the scroll chamfer and then applied thickened water color before clear coating. As Davide pointed out the black inside the FFs is not traditional and I prefer to use retouch varnish darkened and thickened with lamp black and burnt umber which darkens the wood and leaves a dusty look similar to what older instruments have.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Was there any analysis that had been made? 
 

So this means that the water based ink was applied after some ground coating to prevent penetration into the pores, or is this a wrong interpretation?

Playing around with materials I found charcoal very convenient because it is dry and doesn’t need a brush and can be applied to the bare wood before varnishing. 

Those of the Messiah were analyzed by the laboratory of the Cremona Museum using non-invasive techniques. As always, no absolute certainty from a scientific analysis, but a prudent high probability. The non-invasive analysis does not allow a stratigraphic examination, therefore no information on previous sealers or on the position of the black ink layer, only that the (original) varnish covers it.

From the book "The Absolute Stradivari: the Messie Violin"

Purflingandblackdecorationofthescroll-Messie.thumb.JPG.6779efaa66e8b8c8ffd47308e19c33bc.JPG

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

So this means that the water based ink was applied after some ground coating to prevent penetration into the pores, or is this a wrong interpretation?

 

 

1 hour ago, TimRobinson said:

As an old archivist, the reference to iron gall ink caught my attention.  It's acidic and resulted in many old documents becoming lace.  Not that the amounts used on a violin are likely to be a problem, or would they? 

See: https://www.amphilsoc.org/blog/ins-outs-iron-gall-ink#:~:text=Why is iron gall ink,the paper brown and brittle.

Regards,

Tim

 

 

1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Any kind of water based ink is likely to be sucked into the end grain areas of the FFs and sometimes even the  scroll unless the wood is already sealed. This looks absolutely terrible and cannot be easily remedied. I have often varnished the instrument up to the point of the final color and then scraped or sliced the varnish off the scroll chamfer and then applied thickened water color before clear coating. As Davide pointed out the black inside the FFs is not traditional and I prefer to use retouch varnish darkened and thickened with lamp black and burnt umber which darkens the wood and leaves a dusty look similar to what older instruments have.

My thought is that perfect sealing of the wood is absolutely necessary. My guess is that Stradivari applied the black after sealing the wood and applying the layer of colorless varnish. Then only part of the varnish was removed from the chamfers (without touching the wood) and the black was applied, which was then covered with the colored varnish. This way there is no risk of absorption, using very thick ink further helps avoid any absorption or smearing. At least that's what I do, and works well.

Regarding the acidity of the ink which could attack the cellulose, if the wood is well sealed there is no contact between the ink and the wood, and the fact that it is covered by varnish protects it from contact with the oxygen of the air and avoids any oxidation

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