More Varnish Texture

varnish texture 1944 violin

This one’s interesting mainly because of its lack of great age: it’s from 1944, made in Hamburg, Germany; not a time and place you see many violins from. Usually I would associate this type of mud-crack surface with a soft varnish that’s been overcoated with something much harder (violating the painter’s fat over lean rule), […]

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Modern Texture

A friend of mine brought in one of his older violins the other day. He uses a variation of my varnish that’s a bit more complex. His violin, which is around 15 years old and well-used, has acquired a really nice texture to it. It’s the most extreme on the ribs under the tailpiece, where

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I have quite a few shots of varnish texture in my collection. This very attractive example is on a Gand & Bernardel violin from the 1860s. Sometimes texture only shows in protected or low spots, like the location above. This particular violin had it all over–here’s another shot:

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Varnish Pinholes

Old violins often have pinholes in the varnish. No one knows exactly how they got there, but they imply some things about how makers 300 years ago varnished, and what was important to them (pinholes obviously didn’t bother them much). This probably wouldn’t happen if the wood under the varnish was too well sealed, except

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