Bill West, a Madison County resident with east Tennessee roots, has been building banjos for nearly thirty years. He is also a violin maker, a craft he learned years ago in an apprenticeship with Alfred Michels, a German violin maker in Ashe County.
In building banjos, West is most fond of the groundhog and open-back oldtime styles. In addition to banjos and violins, he also makes dulcimers. West is the proprietor of a full-service violin shop in Marshall, where he offers repairs for all members of the fiddle family.
In addition to his lutherie and repair work, Bill West teaches workshops in the building and repair of musical instruments. He has taught at Mars Hill Oldtime Week and at other festivals and camps.
Bill West’s violin shop is open by appointment. He is also available to teach workshops in instrument building and repair.