I’ve had an interesting time varnishing this violin, and matching up the new wood and the old. First the violin had some time tanning in the ultra-violet cupboard, which brought the ribs up closer to the old wood. Then the whole instrument had a coat of coloured primer which again helped even the tones. For the varnish, I used an oil varnish with lake pigments that I made myself, a lovely warm caramel brown colour. I put one less coat on the dark cedar front and the very dark scroll, and it has balanced well. It’s interesting to see how well the dark aged wood sings through the varnish layer; easier to get a good effect, I’d say, than with new wood.
I was really excited to set up the violin and hear it for the first time. My friend Sophie Rosa came round to try it, and we were both happy with the result; it’s even and powerful with a lovely depth and warmth on the G and a sparkly E. The sound also projects well.
I hadn’t really wanted to sell what has become a special project for me, so I’ve decided to rent it instead, so that I’ll see it back every now and again. I had already arranged that the son of one of the owner of one of my violins could try it, and he is now happy to have it as his violin.