John D Johnston was born in Melbourne in 1948. Initially self-taught, making violins from Australian timbers, John studied violin making in Europe and obtained a diploma from the internationally renowned Newark School of Violin Making and Restoration in England. After completion, John worked in restoration and sold his instruments to orchestras in England and Europe. He returned to Australia in 1982 and set up his workshop on the Balmain Peninsula, Sydney, until moving to Kiama in 2011.
Johnston violins, violas, mandolins and cellos, of which there are to date well over two hundred, are owned and played by leading string players in Australia and overseas. John guarantees his instruments against any defect of workmanship or materials for life, and is always willing to maintain owner's violins and offer advice.