The sling concept was a bust, so I had to investigate other avenues on my quest. I tried many, many different variations. Combinations of materials, arrangements, etc etc...I don't have them all photo documented. I may take a pic of the pile of rejects that I think I have in a drawer somewhere.
One step in the evolution that I thought promising was this one:
It was a hybrid using foam as a support, and an elastic loop around the finger to keep it aligned.
It worked pretty good. However, it had it's drawbacks. It supported the instrument as long as you held your hand *just right*, if you bent you wrist, "pancake hand" as they refer to it that young kids often do, there was about zero support. The other major drawback was the loop around the finger. Sure, in first position, with no need of major stretches, or shifts it was acceptable to a certain degree, but it really limited the freedom of mobility of the entire hand. It bound it up, reducing dexterity.
A number of further variations again followed.
A key stage of the evolution was this one:
This device relied solely on the foam itself as it wrapped around the thumb to support the violin. No elastic bands, etc to bind the hand.
This version also passed over the palm of the hand, not around the back as the previous one. This meant that it lent support to the instrument over a much great range of hand angles relative to the violin. The addition of the velour greatly aided shifting. I was pretty happy with the improvements.
I think it was at this point that I first unveiled my idea to my teacher and had her try it out.
Not perfect yet, but things were looking up.