OTLEY craftsman Martin Dixon makes tailor made guitars which are musical works of art.

His Leeds Road home is a place of pilgrimage for people seeking something more than an off the peg Stratocaster or Les Paul.

The self-taught luthier turned to making bespoke guitars full time six years ago after moving to Otley from Hertfordshire.

A former lecturer in guitar making at Leeds College of Music with a background in design, he had been making guitars as a sideline for more than 20 years before making it his full time occupation.

Now, as well as making unique guitars, he also carries out repairs on guitars and other stringed instruments and runs courses for those wanting to make their own.

"I've done guitar repairs for most people in Otley, a lot of my custom comes from people in pub bands rather than famous bands, they can get them for free.

"I've also made guitars for people from all over the world and recently had someone over here from Italy for a week," said Martin.

Guitars, depending on the material and components, can take anything from between three to 12 weeks to make and can cost from £850 to £1,800.

And some people like their new guitars to have the appearance of age.

"Its something that people are really into at the moment. To make a guitar look vintage, it can be sanded off after spraying and there are various acids that can be used on the metals. A lot of people like old fenders," he added.

A lot of people want a handbuilt guitar because they are left handed, or because they have unusually small, or large hands, or because they have a clear idea of how they want their instrument to look.

"I get quite a lot of left handed people who find there is not a lot of choice with factory made guitars," he said.

"There are a lot of cheap, left handed guitars. A lot of people want to mix two or three styles and just want something unique to them."

And with his training in three dimensional design, Martin is able to turn his hand to marquetry.

l Martin will be taking part in an instrument fayre at Pool Village Hall, Arthington Lane on Sunday, April 29 from 10am to 4pm. You can find out more about his designs by visiting www.mdguitars.co.uk