For quite a few years I have been using madder lake as the main colouring agent in my varnish. When mixed with varnish, it is blood red, very transparent but gives the light the right amout of resistance to be able to glow.
To extract it from the roots is a lengthly process and there are quite a few fine pigment suppliers and violin vanish makers selling their own stuff. I have used most of it. Only now, with the help of my new assistant Ben De Wulf, I have my very own pigment and can't wait using it on my next violin!
It is only one example, of how Ben contributes to my violins adding quality - welcome, Ben!