Edward Maday - Violin and Viol Maker Ingredients — Varnish

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I was introduced to a world of forgotten varnish recipes by Joseph Tripodi, Stan Schmidt, Gary Bease, and Dario D'Attilli. My mixtures and applications have been refined with each passing year. The finish on my instruments is a plausable recreation of the old Italian compositions.

The varnish I make uses the natural tree resins, plant oils, binders, and colorants commonly available to the artists of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. These varnishes naturally blend with the pigments in use at that time.

The pigments are extremely important in reproducing the gentle earthy tones of the old masters. I extract my pigments in much the same way as traditional fabric and wool dyers. I use the bark and roots of assorted plants and trees known for their special ability to produce warm pleasing hues of golden orange, red, and brown.

These special varnishes, when applied by brush in several layers over a visually illuminating and acoustically lively ground coat, will enhance all aspects of a well-made instrument.

In the final finishing stage the instrument is hand rubbed to pronounce the grain and figure of the wood. The instruments appear to be centuries old, but in mint condition. They emulate the warmth and charm of the old master varnishes.

When ordering an instrument please specify if you have a particular coloring preference.

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