Joseph Thrift

Joseph Avery Thrift was accepted to study at the Newark School of Violin Making in 1976, at Newark on Trent, England. After graduation he returned to Winston Salem, North Carolina and opened Joseph A. Thrift Violins, where he concentrated on making exceptional violins, violas, and cellos, using the highest quality European wood, and making his own varnish and color.

In 2016 Joe moved his workshop to Elkin, North Carolina, where he continues to build Fine Violins and Violas. He has been fortunate to continue his working relationship w/ friend and mentor, Roger Hargrave. He has memberships in the Violin Society of America, the Southern Violin Association, and has attended The Oberlin workshop. 2016-2019, Joe has been invited to lead two weeks of workshops for advanced Luthiers at Masons Fine Violins in Fredericksburg, Va. 2016-2019, Joe Thrift has been invited to The Swannanoa Gathering, at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, as in-house Luthier during Fiddle Week. Joe also currently teaches violin making at Surry Community College in Mt.Airy NC, where he instructs students in handmaking copies of the Italian Masters.


Southern Violin Makers Association:

2014 |

  • First Choice Violin Workmanship, Second Choice Violin Tone
  • Maker's Choice Best Overall
2017 |

Honorable Mention Workmanship


2014 | The Art of Sound International Competition:

  • Third Place Overall
  • Special Award Scroll Workmanship