It's encouraging to think I might be able to start varnishing next month, weather permitting. It's also satisfying to be building up my inventory again as I feel most people want to be able to compare several instruments when shopping for something special.
The top of this violin is made of haselfichte spruce. This is the first European spruce that I've used in a violin. Haselfichte spruce has a random figure in the grain that reflects light differently. This characteristic is known in the guitar world as "bearclaw". The figure variations in this piece are subtle. Perhaps they will become more pronounced when varnished. I hope so. I like unusual visual changes that quietly draw the attention of the perceptive eye. Haselfichte is considered by some to have superior tonal characteristics. I don't have enough experience with the material to have an opinion but this violin does sound quite nice in its current unvarnished state.