06 January 2015

Polychromatic symphony

I came across this mindbending example of woodworking. An instrument based on a sketch from one of Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks, a viola organista. Besides the mechanical challenges posed by building such an instrument, (Treadle powered!) I am in awe of the maker's decision to paint it such bold, primary colors.
View of interior, standing on piano stool
 I cannot find anywhere any explanation as to why he chose to not go with traditional 'Steinway' black. And I doubt the pianofortes in DaVinci's day were of similar hues.

I've been experimenting lately with milk paints on white pine and learning about pigments so this example reinforces how much more there is to surface decoration even though contemporary aesthetics tend to favor the plain, untinted wood as often as possible. Wood for the sake of wood since keeping the grain exposed insures that it is really made of a natural material, right? The average consumer, simultaneously estranged from the craft process, is also bewildered by industrial manufacturers' trickery. Vinyl siding textured with wood grain? To what ends but to deceive.
I salute you, Mr. Sławomir Zubrzycki, your playing as well as your palette.

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