The original ivory frog was so ill fitting to the stick that the frog had stress cracks (a large chunk had broken off more than once.) The owner requested a replica, also in ivory, but with a ferrule and pearl. It took a lot of looking at original Dodd bows that had ferrules to figure out a shape consistent to Dodd. The new frog was heavier than the original, but the customer seemed to love the increase in weight and the look of the end result.
The ivory was very difficult to work with; it was very finicky and slow going, but it was more forgiving than ebony when doing the finishing details.
I completed this right before I left town to go visit family in MN. I had another big project to get out the same week. I hardly remember working on it. I do know that I am getting faster and better at these things…
Tortoise Shell Replacement. It used to be that restorers would replace broken and worn sections of tortoise shell frogs with combs and other objects made of tortoise shell due to the ban on using tortoise. My boss came up with a technique to imitate and replace missing sections of tortoise shell. It isn’t as invasive as cutting out original material to make a nice shape to fit new shell (which had happened to this frog at some point) and a restorer can color match really well. The restorations are visible under special lighting so, for ethical reasons, it is easier to tell if a frog has gone through a major restoration. A lot of time went into this restoration and it was a lot of fun working on it.
Gaulard Frog Copy. I enjoyed working on this one during my day job (I have yet to find something in restoration/making that I don’t like…) The eyes and the back of the frog are unusual. Lots of problem solving. We had to recreate wear, but not to the extent of the original, of course.
Bazin Frog Copy - The customer wanted to protect the original tortoise shell frog from wear and tear associated with playing the violin, so the new frog had to be the same weight and be a convincing frog in Bazin’s style. This project was stressful because we had just enough gold to get everything done, but only once. It was a lot of fun to work on it. My boss fit the underslide and did the finishing touches due to time constraints.