Review in The Strad, Joe Robson, February 2016: ‘Violin Varnish, Notes and Articles from the Workshop of Koen Padding’, by Helen Michetschläger:
It is not just the ‘secrets’ of classical varnish making that have been lost over the centuries; beyond the valuable contents of this book is an underlying understanding that is Padding’s great contribution to violin making: he gave us a language that had been lost.
Padding compiled a set of terms that paralleled the application process: priming, sealing, grounding, painting and varnishing. Whether one is using his own self-titled ‘Byzantine System’ or any other varnishing sequence, his terminology applies. Prior to his work the discussion of varnish and varnishing was at a loss for words.
His works set out terms for discussing varnish, varnishing, and observing varnish that have become accepted and invaluable additions to the lexicon of the violin trade.
Helen Michetschläger’s book is an essential text on the subject of violin varnish.