I wanted the kontrabas body to be a fairly dark colour, and initially thought that “Falun red” (the colour of all those little country cabins you see in Sweden) might be good. I couldn’t find any stain in local shops, and didn’t really want to have to order online; after a bit of thinking I realised I could make my own stain using my artists’ oil pigments. I used a mix of yellow ochre and cadmium red which has given a nice reddish brown colour. It was thinned a lot with spirit thinners before applying with a rag.

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A rather thin session at the Diggers’ this evening – just 5 fiddles, a concertina and a nyckelharpa. Very enjoyable all the same, we played some nice tunes. Vicki Swan will be pleased to know that I was promoting the nyckelharpa strongly, and three or four of the fiddlers “had a go”.