Instrument making is Joe’s real passion in the instrument world. It allows him to be both a craftsman and an artist to the highest degree; allowing him to handcraft violins, violas and cellos from scratch. This is where Joe can truly let his personality and skills shine throughout his work. He was traditionally trained to build instruments the same way the old masters would have been taught over four centuries ago.
As a master luthier at Fegley Instruments & Bows, Joe works very closely with clients to provide them with a unique partnership built to last a lifetime. Whether it is a brand new looking instrument or a 400-year-old copy, he is able to apply his skills and knowledge to make every lasting detail count. He is able to refine every detail of each instrument allowing him to knock on the old masters doors with a hint of new school.
Over 70 pieces of wood go into one instrument, which allows for countless steps to refine the details of every single step in the construction process! This is where Joe takes the most pride in his work, because he not only can make every instrument better then the last but he can improve his skills with every step along the way.
There is no greater challenge then building something that has to produce a sweet sound as the end result. There is a constant learning curve that will never end and allows Joe to grow well into the future as he leaves behind new masterpieces.
There are four different old masters that Joe finds inspiration to reproduce. These instruments lasted over 4 decades because of how well they were built and cared for, so why re-invent the wheel? By copying every detail of the Italian violinmaker he is focusing on at that time, he ensures the instrument is capable of playing it’s maximum capability. He reproduces Amati, Guarneri del Gesu, Guadagnini, and Stradivari instruments.
Joe has handled many of the originals allowing him to take what the old masters left behind with their hand tools and apply it to his modern copies. Studying these fine instruments in close detail is always a rewarding experience. As a violinmaker, this is where Joe was fortunate enough to have those fine instruments available to him to learn more with every opportunity that he could. Applying what Joe studied to his own instruments is what gives the modern day violin player the ability to afford a well-built instrument that will last a lifetime and not cost them a lifetime to pay for.