BVMA Restoration workshop - Julian Page

Julian Page was the recipient of an award to cover the costs of attending the 2017 Restoration Course run by the BVMA at West Dean College. This is the first time that the Trust has made an award for this course, and Julian was chosen due to his particular skill and interest in restoration.

For several months I have been undertaking a major restoration of a Milanese violin from the 1730s. The instrument has been devastated by woodworm, so that has been the issue confronting me at every turn and why I chose to take it to the BVMA Restoration Course at West Dean.

It was enormously helpful to be able to discuss different approaches with the expert tutors and with the other students. I needed to find a way to double ribs so fragile it was hard to know how to hold them. After some experimentation I found it was possible to glue them varnish side down to a plastic-faced counterform using gelatin as a glue; this gave just enough adhesion to allow me to work on the back of the rib, but could be melted with luke-warm water without taking the varnish with it.

I am extremely grateful to the RAB Trust for sponsoring me to go on this course, and for all the other help they have given me.
— Julian Page