The surface has been prepped on the latest violin. The ground has been applied and varnish is made and ready for application.
The form I used for this instrument was the same as the previous commission. (I still get to see that instrument and its owner regularly.) There are some variations in the design and obviously wood selection, and my imagination is runs wild trying to discern what the sound differences will be.
The ground has little pigment in it, mostly a bright amber and slight brown colouring that I aim to have shine through to the final layers of the varnish, adding depth to the appearance. It is sealed with a diluted spirit varnish and will be finished with an oil based that I made myself
When I first started out it was easy to overlook the importance of a good varnish, not just for general appearance but also the achievement of tonal objectives for the instrument. Most of my varnish is made from raw materials and refined to an end product which cannot be commercially purchased.