The Redwood Violin Project

Stating in 2020, under the Covid lockdown, the Redwood Violin was built from scratch using only materials that originated in Sonoma County. The project was designed to promote local awareness and community.

Inspired by the Go Local Movement and the Redwood Violin project is a celebration of place, history and community.

Materials for the violin were selected not only for function but also for their significance in the local history and economy.

Many local artisans and businesses were directly involved, and project was documented as it unfolded, and shared with the community through a blog, a series of videos and through the local press.

Taken together the videos represent a snapshot portrait of the County, its history and natural and human resources.

Made Local

Most violins are built from parts and materials that come from all corners of the globe. The Redwood Violin was built from scratch, using only raw materials that originated in Sonoma County, California.

Lead by Santa Rosa violinmaker Andrew Carruthers, the violin was built in 2020 during the Covid lockdown. Many local artisans and businesses contributed skills and locally produced materials for the violin.

The entire process of collecting the refining the materials, and all of the steps in making the violin were documented in a series of YouTube videos. The videos also portrayed the many artisans and businesses involved in the project.

Played Local

The Redwood Violin promotes community music and creativity. It has been played by many local and visiting musicians representing a broad diversity of music from Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin, Mariachi to Morris dance. It has inspired several original musical compositions.

Music performed onstage, on the street and in livingrooms has been recorded and shared online.

in 2022 The violin was donated to Sonoma County’s Young People’s Chamber Orchestra and will be loaned out on an annual basis to a student musician.

Press
Santa Rosa luthier builds ‘The Redwood Violin’ — from all-local materials. Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Feb 13
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Born of Redwood, Pinesap, and Cow Tendons: Andrew Carruthers’ Redwood Violin Project takes the ‘Go Local’ Mindset to Extremes. Strings Magazine May 7, 2021
Santa Rosa Violinmaker

Andrew Carruthers has been a professional violinmaker for almost 30 years. The Redwood Violin Project arose from a longstanding interest in basic manufacturing processes plus a desire to learn more about Sonoma County where he lives.