I haven't decided whether to make my own varnish or source the wonderful dark amber varnish from Joe Robson in upstate New York.
In the meantime, I'm working on a new violin based on the original Haag pattern. However, I'm trying out a different arching style which is flatter around the edges. Visually, I love it. Tonally, who knows? The arching is a shift more towards the Italian style.
I seem to be doing a lot of setup work for clients right now, and I'm spending one day a week with two other luthiers.
I'm finding this to be very energizing. It's a nice diversion from working alone in my studio and I'm gaining exposure to other ideas, techniques and tools.
It's a bonus that these other luthiers happen to be nice people!
I remain indebted to Bert Jackson of Robert Jackson Violins for taking the time to show me the finer points of bow rehairing.
Bert is a maker of very nice bows and a great patron of my work.
I would also like to acknowledge the support of Donna Turk who is a gifted violinist and Artistic Director of the Calgary Fiddlers. She provides straight up, no nonsense feedback on the tone and playability of my violins. With her feedback, I am able to make adjustments to bring out the best in the instruments.
It's great working with her.