Mineral Ground Recipe and Research

I would like to tell you all about my surface preparation and technique for applying it. To do any kind of justice to the work that the Scientists have put into it would be quite difficult in the usual preci’d e-mail format, I thought I would throw it down as a story .

Like so many of us who have wondered what it was that has protected and even enhanced the appearance of the wood on the great violins long after the original varnish has worn away and because I have the good fortune to be living in one of the worlds most important scientific research centres, instead of floundering away with my own personal theories, supported only by myth and legend, I asked the simple question...What is it?

The research fell into the laps of Drs.Claire Barlow and Jim Woodhouse and without going into the saga of how the fragments were obtained, they have been able so far to examine something like 50 fragments, including several Strads. Some of their findings were published in the two part article “Firm Ground” in the Strad Magazine, March and April l989.

Varnish layer

Mineral Ground

Open pores

Scanning Electron Micrograph
Stradivarius Cello 1711
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Mineral Ground paper Page 1