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A native of Oxfordshire, England, I worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Research Labs in California before deciding to follow my passion for building stringed instruments. Returning to the UK, I studied at the Welsh School of Violin Making and Repair, near Cardiff. After graduating I joined the restoration workshops of Bein and Fushi in Chicago to apprentice under the guidance of master cello restorer, Russell Wagner. In 1996  I opened my own workshop in Santa Rosa, California, providing restoration services to the violin trade.  Since 2015 all of my work  has been devoted to building new instruments

I’ve been awarded two Silver Medals and a certificate for cello tone and, with Chris Peterson, a certificate for Violin Tone  from the Violin Society of America.


Lately I’ve been pursuing more community and collaborative projects. “The Redwood Violin” was a community built instrument, made entirely from locally sourced, raw materials. In the ongoing  “Violinabox” project, ten violinmakers around the world take turns to add the next part to a violin, using non-traditional materials found at their own locales.
With my “Off-Beat Violins” I use the medium of violinmaking to explore both the natural world and questions about violin acoustics and aesthetics. 
Entering the “mature” stage of my career, my wish is to experience the world more broadly through the art and craft of violinmaking.

Press and Publications


Vacuum Patched. The Strad.  Nov 1998. pdf

Skeleton molds. The Strad.  2012. pdf

Beauty in Violin Repairs. Strings  magazine. May 2015

Cello Rib Doubling. The Strad May 2016. pdf

Andrew Carruthers on his journey as a luthier and leap to graphic design. Strings Magazine July, 2016

Luthier Andrew Carruthers on the heart ansd soul of violinmaking: Strings Magazine. January 3, 2019

Why this Santa Rosa violin and cellomaker uses 300 year old techniques. Press Democrat, March 29, 2019

Interview with Violinmaker: Inspiration and the Turtle Fiddle. October 1, 2020

Santa Rosa luthier builds violin – from all local materials.  Press Democrat February 13, 2021

Born of redwood, pine sap and cow tendons: Andrew Carruthers’ Redwood Violin Project takes the ‘Go Local’ mindset to extremes  Strings Magazine. May 7, 2021

The Redwood Violin | Andrew Carruthers | TEDx Sonoma County.  YouTube, April, 2022



Silver Medal for Cello Tone. VSA 2004.

Certificate of Merit for Violin Tone.
Partnered with Chris Peterson. VSA 2012.

Silver Medal for Cello Tone. VSA 2014.

Certificate of Merit for Cello Tone. VSA 2016.


Berkeley, California circa 1981 with the first “real” instrument that I made: a steel string guitar with a redwood top