From Guillemette Villemin
Posted August 23, 2005 at 02:29 AM
Engraved fittings are the only route I suggest. Magic marker drawings, decoupage, and whittling all seem frowned on by subsequent owners.
if you have a factory-made instrument that no one put their blood sweat and tears into, then by all means, go crazy and make it your own. but if you have something that someone's already put a little piece of their heart into, leave it alone.
Right now I alternate between pockets squares by Hermes and Zegna, which add a personal touch as well as being functional.
That's a great one!
Good ideas for decorations are:
Macaroni: If it is not already done, it is a good idea to cover your dry pasta with various colored inks so that the original stock tint is replaced with a colorful hue.
Glitter/confetti: This form of decoration is often overused. Use sparingly, and usually only to accompany pasta.
Wood Chips: Some claim that this puts a few extra dollars on your fiddle in terms of antiquity. Has not yet been confirmed infront of an official judge as of yet.
Sawdust: See "woodchips" above.
Bottle Caps: One heavy-metal guitarist used bottlecaps to cover his guitar. It is advisable that the discerning violinist use such an expedient tastefully, if at all.
Pipe Cleaners: Those that choose to utilize pipe cleaners show quite a marvelous flair for decoration. One example had alternating brown and black pipe cleaners sticking out straight from the ribs of the violin.
Above all, be creative and remember that you can help save the planet by placing objects that need recycling on to your violin.
Well I'll be blunt, everyone above me is a bit petulant with their responses.
To decorate your violin, you'll need to look at non permanent solutions. For instance, you can put tassels and sashes etc on the scroll, the frog of your bow etc. They help decorate it. And make a awesum show when you're playing an allegro piece and you can take them off if you need and they won't affect the sound.
Another way of decorating it is by having it varnished! You can have it died to a darker colour, you can mix and match with different sides of the violin with different colours etc. Varnishes have a whole range of possibilities and dyes/taints. Just make sure that when you send it in - you replace your strings with crappy old ones so the solution they use won't ruin anything decent.
Lastly, if it's artistic stuff you want, you need to get a sheet of the thicker kind laminex/plastic sheets used on the old types of projectors. Make an outline of your violin including where the sound holes are (this seems difficult but when done right is really easy) Keep this trace, then make a copy on another laminex sheet (same thickness) and cut it out. Now draw away. You can attach this to your violin by loosening part of the chin rest and slipping the sheet just under so it matches with the outline then fastening it. The STATIC ELECTRICITY on the plastic should attach it so it shouldn't come off unless you peel it off. But you have to be sure there are no air pockets. this will not damage the sound unless you cover up the air holes or leave air pockets.
If you want to do paper artwork - simply complete using the outline template you first made and have it laminated very well, once again - making sure there are no air pockets what so ever.
It' s "your" violin at present. In the future, it could be someone else' s violin, unless you plan to have it buried or cremated with you. (A friend of mine said his ambition as a writer was to have a book gain in value if it included his signature on the flyleaf. ) Someday, maybe "your" violin will be known as the "Ex-Villemin," and your personal touches will add to its value.
Meanwhile, think in terms of modern technology. Implant a tiny chip that broadcasts your passion for this instrument.
What I did, was to decorate myself, with a tattoo of my violin on my left shoulder. Another approach, I guess.
Just can't surpass that Aussie humor!
You can also make it more portable.
Mine has two sets of hinges; one near the top of the middle bouts, and one on the neck (slightly above 5th position). This allows me to fold it when not in use, and store it in my laptop case. The strings tend to get wound around my power supply cord, however this is a small inconvenience for the portability.
Decorate your case with travel stickers
Decorate your bow; batteries and LEDs are getting small enough, a small multicolor light on the tip of the bow would be something wild.
Get an electric, where the overall body is no as much of the sound; recarve it, decorate it, and have fun.
Try a holigram decal on the neck.... something that dances. I think it would be interesting. They can be done with a two-layer finish, so it would not be a real heavy build.
My suggestion: buy an ultra-cheapo factory-made violin-shaped-object and paint it. Get it out of your system and have a nifty piece of art to hang on your wall. Leave your actual violin alone. Firstly, there's always the possibility that you could accidentally damage it, secondly it would almost certainly wreck the resale value of the instrument if you ever want to trade it in for an upgrade (or sell it for pocket change in the coming economic Mad Max apocalypse.)
I would like to clear up my previous post.
When i mentioned getting a hologram decal for the neck, I was NOT talking about the violin; I have two on my neck, one on the left side, and the other just below the hairline in back. They are such conversation starters; no one will believe they are real.
One thing that does not break the violin or any instrument is to put a Christmas bow or ornament tied on it on Christmas gigs... When all the orchestra does it, it is relly cool. Don't know if our violins would like us to put them handsome for Christmas but if it makes the owners happy... : ) can't break them with this!
I vote for spray glue and glitter and maybe some nice tassels coming from of the scroll. Or if you dare...go to your local pet store and get it a nice dress! J
I thought about decorating a violin about three years ago, it was one of my first posts here. Do you know where that violin is today? It's still sitting in my shop with the pearl inlays cut out.
Decorations are a nerve wracking business. I usually have extra time to work on the violin, but I avoid it, and do hard repair work over the decorations, because it's precise meticulous work (beyond that of normal violin work - which is quite difficult). It's easy to desire to jazz up your violin, but to actually expertly do the job will take quite a long time, and should not be done by the average joe. Also, decorations will increase the maintenance that the instrument requires, especially in the realm of fingerboards with inlay work.
There are very few nicely decorated violins - most are quite heavy handed and gaudy.
I know the OP asked an innocent question, but I find it similar to the kid in the backyard pulling the legs off a cricket to see what happens..
Then again, the Rogeri cello poster in the latest "The Strad" magazine dons "NP" on the button. Apparently Paganinni decided to leave his mark.
my violin has costumes he wears, harry potter for halloween and HP releases, luau shirt for my uncles hawaiian wedding this weekend, tuxedo for 'black tie' afftairs, i've decided to work out a santa suit for holiday pops this year...
Stringkini bottoms and pasties on the upper bouts; less muffling than a whole suit...Barbie wigs fit the scroll...dangle earrings on the pegs..and use a pair of needle toe 4 inch stilettos for a stand...for the slutty look....
or just a tiny bow tie over the nut ...for formal.
Since my ivolin is jet black, I have a stretchy "pirate" bracelet that I put on the scroll that has skull and crossbones on it. I can remove it at any time, and it does not affect the sound at all.
Yes I agree with IAN BARKARD. to think about decorating violin and to do in real two different things.
And If you dont know, What you are doing then there is massive chance to ruin your violin. so get some cheap violins and start trying and If you really become an expert after few years, may be then you can do that on your own valuable violin.
Again, if you want to change up your bow...go ahead, just make sure it's not a valuable one - that's really not reversible in the same way a change of tailpiece is.
Actually, someone here on V.com ordered a tailpiece with BEAUTIFUL mother-of-pearl inlays. Can't remember where she got them. The Philippines, maybe?
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