The HANDS BEHIND the MADE

  • Patrick David Sawyer

    Patrick (he/him), originally from Morganton, NC has been building banjos since 2005. He built his first banjo under the guidance of Luthier Charlie Glen while a Geography and Appropriate Technology student at Appalachian State University. Having a great interest and deep respect for Appalachian culture, he has studied and worked with luthiers and crafts people from Boone to Brasstown. With an engineering eye and high standard for structural and aesthetic quality, Patrick draws from the traditionalism & innovative spirit of the mountain folk to create beautiful looking and rich sounding instruments that make his mentors (and customers) proud. In 2014 Patrick started Balsam Banjoworks as a separate banjo parts and accessories company providing quality, American made hardware to banjo builders all over the world.

  • Adam Sacora

    Adam (he/him) worked with Pisgah Banjos for several years since 2014. Patrick and Adam met briefly in college while at Appalachian State University and then again working for the same solar company in Asheville. When in the shop, he brings a fun spirit and loves to help others fine tune their process. He's a quality control type of guy and loves the details. When he's not at work, Adam is going downhill on his mountain bike, playing rock-n-roll with his hand built semi hollow guitar and matching amp, hiking with his wife, Alyssa.

  • Tim Gastrock

    Tim (he/him) joined the Asheville scene in 2003 from Fairfax, VA. He has been with Pisgah Banjos since early 2019. His lunch break old time banjo tunes light up the shop and he plays the fiddle, too. Tim is a graduate of the Haywood Professional Craft Program and is the furniture maker behind Sweet Leaf Woodworks. When he's not working with wood and instruments, he is immersed in the soil with his partner, Marietta, tending to their beloved garden with their dogs and chickens running in the background. Tim left PBCo in 2022 to focus on Sweet Leaf Woodworks, but still comes in and lends a hand when he is able.

  • Jack Furman

    Jack Furman (he/him) joined Pisgah Banjos via Houston, TX.  He graduated from Roberto Venn School of Lutherie and is well versed in all aspects of instrument building, setup and repair. Jack is an accomplished fiddle, accordion, and concertina player and was involved in the old-time and folk music community in Houston.  Outside of building banjos, Jack and his wife like to explore their new home around Asheville, searching for endangered salamanders and getting a taste of southern Appalachian culture.

  • Melissa Arnold

    Melissa is your customer service extraordinaire and is here to help answer your calls and emails. Behind the scenes, she is doing many administrative duties, maintaining spreadsheets, managing inventory, planning for custom orders, packing Balsam & Pisgah orders, and taking beautiful photos of banjos. Melissa is an eastern North Carolina native, though she has called western NC home for the past 17 years. She is a graduate of UNC-Asheville with a bachelor's degree in Management. In her free time she enjoys playing music, hiking, taking photographs, and spending time with friends and loved ones.

  • Claire Whall

    Claire is a Massachusetts native who has made her home in Asheville, NC. She is no stranger to power tools and sanding and has a passion for making handmade items. Claire is a talented musician, singer, and songwriter. When she's not at the shop, you can find her playing shows around town or working on her upcoming album.

  • Bunder Arendt

    Bunder joined PBCo in 2022 and has been integral in helping with documentation and the improvement of processes around the shop. You can find them working in just about every area of the shop. They are highly skilled and creative and enjoys making things with their hands. Before moving to Asheville, Bunder spend time in Eugene, Oregon as an Americorps Crew Member, and also in Portland as a Production Assistant. Additionally, they spent time in Athens, Ohio working in Printing and has also worked on farms. They enjoy music, traveling, creating, and learning new skills. We are glad to have them on our team!

  • Lyle de Vitry

    Lyle came on board to PBCo in 2022. His positive and easy going attitude have made him a joy to work with around the shop. Lyle helps with various things around the shop, including setting up and assembling banjos. Before coming to Asheville, Lyle spent time in Philadelphia, PA where he attended Temple University. He then worked for several years with Outward Bound in both Boston, MA and Philadelphia, and later went on to work at the Black Mountain Academy as a Residential Coach. He is a talented cello, fiddle, and guitar player and also an excellent singer. When he is not in the shop, he enjoys creating music and spending time with his beloved Alice.

  • X Miller

    X returned to Pisgah Banjo team at the beginning of 2023. In addition to be an accredited luthier, they love the simple pleasures of sweeping and taking out the trash. Alex came to Asheville via Brooklyn where they worked as a finisher and a pick-up winder. They have toured with bands across the US as a guitar tech and play bass in a punk band themselves. Alex has a love and respect for the common rat which may be in part why they have bonded with their chihuahua, Blue. Around the shop, X can be found making banjo rims or working on various other projects around the shop. We are glad to have them back on our team!