Notes and Articles from the Workshop of Koen Padding

Edited by Helen Michetschläger

In one of the most useful books on the subject, the writings of the late Koen Padding appear for the first time in one collection.

Koen was known to violin makers worldwide through his Magister company, which produced and researched varnish materials based on historical sources.

This book comprises all the articles and notes he wrote on the subject. The text has been enlarged with the inclusion of advice and insights that Koen gave personally to users of Magister products. It provides a wealth of information from practical varnishing techniques to the history and analysis of classical coatings including the influence of alchemy.

Lists of materials left in the workshop at Koen’s death are included as well as details of purchases made from his principal suppliers to help those who wish to develop their own materials.

"When you first pick up this book there is a sense of substance: it has heavy covers, beautiful photographs and good paper. This is a book intended to survive through many readings. The impression carries over into the research and re-assembly of the work of Koen Padding... Helen Michetschläger's book will be an essential text on the subject of violin varnish."

Joe Robson, THE STRAD, February 2016
Violin Varnish Book

Book Format

170 x 242mm hardback
144 pages
Full colour illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-9933075-0-8
Price £40+ postage and packing


Editor Helen Michetschläger has been a professional violin maker for over thirty years. She was a student with Koen Padding at the Newark School of Violin Making in the 1970s and a regular user of Magister products. Helen is a frequent contributor to the Strad magazine and has been a speaker at BVMA and the Newark Lutherie conferences. The Padding family have given their approval to her work on this book.