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Blog #58: Varnishing the Violin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Sunday, 22 April 2012 20:24

Blog #58:  Varnishing the Violin

It is a bit rainy and windy here in upstate New York...  its okay though, we needed the rain. I meant to post this blog days ago, but I was having some computer difficulties...all seems to be working well now. In the workshop, I have been working on varnishing the violin.  I like everything to be just right before I apply the first coat of colored varnish.

The color is applied in many thin coats until it comes to a beautiful brown amber with a slight orange hue. Here is the top....

Here is the scroll....

After I finish with the color, I apply the varnish with no color in it.  Next I rub and rub and rub the varnish so that the varnish will have a smooth surface and beautiful transparency.  I am looking for the beauty of the wood that God created to come forth.

"The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness.  The world and those who dwell therein.  For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters"  Psalm 24

I'll post more pictures soon!



Blog #57:Mandolin Camp North PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 17:54

Hello all! I am back from Mandolin Camp North.  It was a beautiful weekend, and I made a lot of mandolin pickin friends...

During my time there, I find I am learning more and more about the day in which we live in.  As a maker of master craft instruments, I am caught in between "do it yourself mandolin kit makers" and extremely high end and low end mandolins, which are made for the most part by machines in a highly mechanized fashion.  I will say, I did really like Ben Pierces' mandolins.. a maker I met while I was there at the camp.  I do feel that skill and love is the recipe for an excellent instrument.

I was pleased to see one man's Monteleone mandolin that was made in the same year (1992) that my first signature style mandolin was made.

1992 Monteleone and Macica Mandolins

See the similiarities??  I do feel it is good to respect the masters, and then to artistically express yourself off the perimeter of their work.  The masters being.. Lloyd Loar for mandolins and for violins Stradivarius.

1992 Monteleone and Macica Mandolins

Thank you to Mike Holmes and Phil Zimmerman for a great weekend at Mandolin Camp North!

In workshop, I have applied the color to the violin commission I have been working on and am very pleased with the outcome..  I will Blog soon on this process...

Until next time,


Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2012 08:36
Blog #56: Varnishing/Mandolin Camp North PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:27

Hello all...A bit windy here in upstate, but the grass is now green and the crab apple tree outside my workshop is beginning to show some blooms..I look forward to warmer weather ahead.  In shop, I'm applying the sealer, which is the first coat in the varnishing process.

The grain will rise, and so I have to sand it down.  Next, I re-apply until everything is smooth.

Now, the violin is smooth and ready for color...

I will begin the color tomorrow now that all is prepared and ready.  Stay tuned....

I also wanted to mention that I am getting ready to go to Mandolin Camp North.
The camp is in Charlton, Mass. from April 13-15.  Feel free to check out the website above.

I will have "the three brothers" mandolins along with me...Look forward to visiting with you all at the camp.  It should be a great weekend!

Until next time,



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