Adam was given awards during the second and third years of his studies at Newark. In 2012 he had a work placement with David Rattray. In 2013 he was awarded a work placement with the restoration specialist Matthew Wing in London. Adam writes:
“From the jobs I undertook, I learned more about the first steps of beginning a repair project, the procedure that Matthew follows and how to plan the work. Most interestingly, I learned something of the philosophy of cleaning instruments, what to clean off, when and with what materials/techniques.
Through cleaning the cracks on the repair instrument I took, I learned some progressively aggressive crack cleaning techniques and something about when to use what. Some ideas about protecting the varnish and the integrity of the original material were also very interesting to hear.
I learned the basics of Matthew’s retouching technique and through observing his work on an instrument I was exposed to some very interesting techniques and ideas about advanced retouching; why certain work is undertaken and the lengths to which it is possible to take retouching texture and patina. I also learned some varnish and patina recipes and ideas for materials to use in retouching.
It was very useful to visit the auctions with Matthew and enlightening to see his approach to evaluating instruments. From viewing the instruments there and seeing and discussing the instruments in the workshop I learned many idiosyncrasies of particular makers.
I was able to show Matthew two of my own instruments and from extensive discussion I now have lots of ideas about how to improve my making, particularly the varnish. Many other interesting discussions were had in the workshop over the week about all aspects of the trade from which I learned a great deal. I was also privileged to see pictures of Matthew’s previous restoration projects and I was astounded by the quality and level of detail to which he works. I found this very inspiring and motivational.”
Pictured is a baroque violin based on Nicolo Amati's 'Alard' which Adam made in his second year at Newark and the restoration project he worked on at Matthew Wing’s workshop.