DAY 12 : Varnishing

The violin is here in the workshop so that musicians arriving this week will have a chance to play it.

The last step for the makers is the varnishing which will be done gradually between now and the spring:

1) surface preparation – the texture of the wood and the colour are paramount to the varnishing process. The colour is achieved by exposing the instrument to sunlight, or failing that, to UV light until it becomes like cinnamon toast (see the photo below)

2) the wood is sealed with a ‘ground’ to prevent the coloured varnish from soaking in and ruining the refractive qualities

3) a traditional varnish of linseed oil and colophony (rosin) is applied in a number of coats according to taste (Mark applies about 3 coats while Peter applies more)

4) the varnish will then be antiqued to give the impression of age

A violin after the surface preparation (left) and our IMS violin (right)


Sadly tomorrow will be our last post…