Darnton Violins Blog

My Observations (Large and Small) About Violin Making and Restoration

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studs gone wild

Studs Gone Wild!

Studs are used in violin restoration in repairing cracks. But are this many of them necessary?
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twisted fence posts


Here is what really bad top wood looks like. You can see the one on the left is growing straight, but the two in the middle are impossible.
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Wood Aging

This is one of those things that I’ve always wondered about: how fast does wood darken, and how? The central stripe here, with three grains of wood, is a bass bar in a violin made in 1941.
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dragon's blood varnish

Dragon’s Blood

Supposedly, dragon’s blood resin is the result of a fight to the death between a dragon and an elephant. The elephant has wrapped his trunk around the dragon, the dragon entangles himself with the elephant, they fall and crush each other, and both die. Violin makers have a fondness for dragon’s blood resin as a colorant. It’s a striking red-to-orange…

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Guarneri varnish texture

Cremonese Varnish Texture

Here are two examples of Cremonese varnish texture. Each image links to a larger file. The “Messiah” image is courtesy of Claudio Rampini. Andrea Guarneri Viola: Detail The “Messiah” Stradivari: Detail

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