How to take care of the violin due to weather and humidity changes
I live in Norway. I will be taking my violin 10 days to Croatia in july. What is important for me to remember due to the weather and temperature changes? I dont know much about humidity. Should i by an "damp-it" tube to put in my violin case? how do I use this? I will have a double case with two instruments.
If someone can explain to me how to take care of my violin in general also when it comes to temperatures and weather changes, I would really appreciate it! The summers in Norway are quite different from the winter. It's like 15 celsius average, and a lot of rain during summer and down to about-7--10 celsius during winter by the coast. No one ever learned me this stuff.
Thank you in advance!
Your violin should not be subject to wild temperature swings whether you are in Norway or Croatia, assuming heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer--I assume you already are aware that you should *never* leave an instrument in a car. The brief time it takes to carry it from a car to inside or from inside to a car shouldn't matter; that's why we use cases. At any rate, violins existed for hundreds of years before air conditioning was invented.
Living in Canada where you can days of 15 C followed by nights -10 on some occaisons, the importang thing is keeping the violin in the case until it acclimatizes to the new atmosphere in about 20-30 minutes. :)
A room humidifier is better than a damp-it, especially if it is automatic with a humidistat. I live near Chicago and this winter was dry enough to affect my basses violas, and violin. Generally, I shouldn't think you would have to worry about Slovakia unless it is at altitude (alps, etc) in the summer. If you can afford it, get a case humidistat. Damp-it's are easy to use - soak and squeeze out the excess, wipe it dry and insert in the f-hole. That said, I prefer the florist-foam hydrophilic type of case insert like Planet Waves makes. Some, like aria use those hydrophilic gel beads. Safe travels!
You need a means of keeping track of the ambient relative humidity; depending on the local conditions of your immediate location in Croatia in July (look this up), you will need either a humidifier or a dehumidifier. To learn everything you need to know about humidity, read through this excellent presentation by luthier David Burgess.
It all depends on your accommodation in Croatia. There are, of course, some air-conditioned hotels, but if you will go to the islands take b&b or similar, do not expect the same luxury. The same applies to continental parts. Having a good case with proper thermal protection is a game changer. What you could do is to wrap your violin in pure silk and, as others mentioned, avoid spending too much time on a sunny day or leaving your violin inside car. If I recall properly, summer is not humid along the Adriatic coast and Northern part of Dalmatia or Istria can also have moderate temperatures. Allow your violin to accommodate slowly to temperature changes. If you come from hot outdoors into an air-conditioned room, open a window and keep your case closed for an hour or so. Violins are generally robust, if one knows how to protect them. Have fun. It is a beautiful country.
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