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This website is maintained John Preston, distributor for Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System products. Messages sent to this site are received by me. If you need to contact Eugene specifically, please let me know.

I personally have been using the Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System for more than a decade. I attended the Classic Italian Varnish workshop with instructor Christopher Germain at Learning Trade Secrets, where we used Eugene Holtier Varnish products. So, I hope with this experience it will help me to answer questions you may have about the products itself. If not – then I will consult Eugene and get back to you ASAP!

Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System is being used by award-winning makers worldwide as well as many of the attendees of the Violin Society of America Workshop at Oberlin College, and many others. I am sure you will appreciate the quality of the finish that can be achieved using the Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System.

About Eugene…

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Eugene started to study violin at an early age for a few years. Later, he went on to attend the Fine Arts High School and graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from the Institute of Fine Arts – Bucharest. Eugene Holtier became an accomplished designer, inventor, and model-maker. His early encounter with music and his vast experience as a model-maker paved the way to begin a new venture in the building of violins, violas, and cellos. As a member of VSA, Eugene is a frequent participant at the Oberlin College Violin Workshops. His instruments are considered to combine the fine workmanship with excellent sound qualities.

About the Varnish Products...

The Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System was developed after of hundreds and hundreds of hours of experimentation and formulation of the products. The classical Italian finishes must had been achieved from relatively simple ingredients, and the System Eugene adheres to this concept. The System is comprised of 5 products: Gold Color Wood Primer; Reflective Rosin Ground; Brown Varnish, Clear Varnish; and a Catalyst (optional). The Gold Color Wood Primer and Reflective Rosin Ground are a way to prepare and treat the wood of a musical instrument prior to application of varnish. The more attractive this layer, the more effective any varnish will be in enhancing the natural beauty of the wood. The Reflective Rosin Ground is a clear liquid which has very low viscosity and brushes easily. Eugene Holtier Brown and Clear Varnishes are made from finest colophony and cold pressed linseed oil (50-50 by weight). This varnish contains no solvents, catalysts, or pigments. It is extremely transparent yet rich in color. The varnish is medium thick but can be easily spread and is not tacky. The brown color is very intense and only a few coats are needed for a rich color. The clear varnish can be mixed to change the intensity or can be used as a final coat. If desired, pigments or oil painting colors can be used with Eugene Holtier varnish. Drying requires UV for 3-4 hours in intense sun or overnight in the UV box. If you do not have strong UV box or strong sunlight, the catalyst may be needed to help cure the varnish. One bottle will varnish 4-5 violins or 1 cello. For more details in the use of the Eugene Holtier Violin Varnish System, please read the USAGE GUIDELINES.

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