Campanella Strings

I make violins and mandolins by hand. When I'm not working on instruments, I play them, draw them, and write about them. Here are some of my recent works and work in progress. Enjoy! Joe C.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Varnish Makin' Time in Vermont

And y'all thought we just boil maple sap...I'm posting after a quick run to the shop to paint a bit of varnish on a violin I've been finishing. In the past 3 weeks, I've succeeded in making my own oil varnish. It's quite the process, involving cooking linseed (flax) oil with natural resins. The fiddle hangs to dry in the sun (it's been a sunny summer here in Vermont) or in a UV light cabinet. I've also made my own madder lake, a red pigment from the root of the madder plant. So far so good, but time consuming. The months of research are starting to pay off in a beautiful film of dried resin and oil.

Quote of the day: "Perfect painting is imperfectly transcendental."--James Elkins.


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