Australian violinist Andrew Baker has created the perfect blends of rosin for all gut strings. His company, LEATHERWOOD BESPOKE ROSIN, provides a wide range of rosin formulations including their “Baroque Range” of rosins for Baroque violin / treble viol, Baroque viola/tenor viol/viola d’ amore, and Baroque cello/bass viol. With these products, gut string players finally have a source of rosins that really work for them.
Specially formulated for gut strings, the gentle but clean attack and smoother traction allows the string to resonate freely with maximum clarity. Baroque rosin makes a bright, clear sound with a feeling that the bow is quicker on the string and makes it easier to play fast with more clarity. The smoother traction allows the string to be played with more intensity without distortion and also reduces the ‘squeak’ often encountered using modern rosins on gut.
Each cake of rosin is poured into an Australian native hardwood case and is wrapped in deer leather from an Australian Venison farm near the Leatherwood workshop in Central NSW. This family-run venison producer has been ethically farming Red Deer on rolling pastures for more than 35 years. They have a strong reputation for sustainable farming in our region, caring for both beast and land. The leather is vegetable tanned, especially for rosin products. These hides are just as soft and beautiful but have natural marks and blemishes that mean each small rosin wrap carries its unique pattern and markings.
The rosin cake is 3 1/2, (9cm) long and 5/8", (15mm) wide and will provide great tone for a very long time.
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A very nice rosin that works well with gut wound and unwound violin strings
My impression at trying this rosin for the very first time was that the sound was great and I was initially very pleased. But after playing with it for several days now, in my experience this rosin sticks more to the strings than to the bow hair. I feel an uncanny sense of disconnection between the hair and the string, even after cleaning my bow hair and applying a healthy dose of rosin. It's a lovely object, but it is not good rosin.
I've resisted the pricey, trendy boutique rosins which have made the rounds in recent years. But with my rosin down to a wafer, and with Gamut selling a rosin billed as being made specifically for gut strings, I thought I'd give the Leatherwood a try. Although I've only used it for three practice sessions so far, my impressions are quite positive. The Leatherwood is more "grabby" than the Artcraft I've used for years. This is good in that the sound under my ear is very clear and direct, but I do notice that I have to give more attention to keeping the bow moving, as it's possible to "stall out" when tapering the end of a bow-stroke. I notice there's a lot more rosin dust on the bow and on the top of the instrument when I'm done; of course it's easily wiped off. I start to feel like I need more rosin after about an hour and a half of playing, which is an hour less than with my old rosin but far better than the 15 minutes I've experienced with other trendy rosins in the past. The product certainly is appealing in its wooden frame and soft leather wrap, and the long skinny format is well thought out as it makes for an efficient process of rosining. Gamut was very thoughtful to enclose with my order a special cloth to remove rosin from bow hair, so I could make close to a clean start with the Leatherwood. I want to live with the rosin longer before rendering a final verdict, but my feeling is that I'm going to like it a lot in the long run.