EXAMPLES OF WORK
FACILITIES FOR STRING PLAYERS
IDEAS FOR MAKERS
FITTING LININGS TO CENTRE BOUTS
CENTRE JOINT REPAIR
MADDER LAKE IN OIL VARNISH
:: The Incorporation of Madder Lake in an Oil Varnish ::
Madder lake, or a pigment made from a similar vegetable product, may be incorporated into an oil varnish by one of two main methods.
The first system involves using the pigment in the form of a 'glaze' over which the varnish is eventually applied, and the second method is to incorporate the pigment into the varnish in the form of a suspension of fine particles.
The use of any pigment compromises the transparency to a greater or lesser extent, and I suggest that the application of pigment to a varnish be regarded essentially as 'modifying' the colour of an already self-coloured varnish, rather than as a basis for the colour itself.
Madder as a Glaze
As a basis for this process, I use the excellent madder lake produced by the recipe of David and Nest Rubio, but I follow their final grinding process only down to the pestle and mortar stage.
To incorporate the lake with linseed oil, every last trace of 'grittiness' needs to be ground out and that I found almost impossible to achieve with a muller alone.
I overcame the problem by using a ball mill (barrelling
machine) which I bought for about £40 from
I found the following technique gave good results.
Regarding the application of the glaze to the instrument, I have found the traditional way of laying it on with the hand extremely wasteful, and I have achieved satisfactory results with a stencil brush.
Madder in the Varnish
Madder lake may be incorporated into a self-coloured varnish by the following technique.
Note that the madder will continue to precipitate from the decanted varnish, so its important to barrel for about 15 minutes between coats.
If you feel that the varnish still has too much pigment (ie its faintly opaque and tends to be dull) leave it for another 12 hours, and decant again.
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