The one and only
Thomas Tietzsch-Tyler has made a name for himself as a craftsman, creating beautifully-made, one of a kind guitars.
A disused former cutlery factory in Sheffield has become a workplace fit for heroes. Guitar heroes, that is.
If you’ve ever wanted to emulate the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Mark Knopfler, then the man you’ll need to see is Thomas Tietzsch-Tyler. That’s because the alliterative owner of Tietzsch Guitars has an instrument just for you. And only you.
All of Thom’s electric guitars are handmade to order in his workshop at the Portland Works complex, a restored nineteenth-century building now housing workspace for small artisan businesses.
It’s here he has made a name for himself as a craftsman, creating beautifully-made guitars to meet the exacting requirements of customers from far and wide.
The business was a logical progression for Thom, who admits he was obsessed with guitars from the age of 12, (he’s now ‘approaching’ 40) and has spent much of the time since then playing in bands in and around Sheffield.
If you’re lucky enough to own one of his guitars, it’s likely their rarity value will exceed the £1,500 to £3,000 asking price for a bespoke instrument that is tailor-made to your desired specification. Every component is made by hand.
Above all, his products are not copies, though the cognoscenti might perhaps recognise familiar attributes and influences of some of the legendary models prized by musicians. Among the finished articles in his workshop are examples that could at first glance be reminiscent of the Fender Telecaster or Stratocaster, but look more closely and the devil is in the detail.
The solid bodies are crafted from a single piece of wood, and finished with a lacquer long since abandoned by the big makers in favour of alternatives that are better suited to mass production.
“This takes days to dry and if it’s cold weather it can take even longer”, said Thom.
“The difference between a factory-made guitar and one I make here is like the difference between a production-line car and a hand-built one. It can be anything you want it to be.”
Certainly, it would seem customers think so. It takes around 12 weeks to complete a guitar, and his order books are full.
“I currently have six commissions in hand, which is quite enough for a one-man operation,”he says.
You can find Tietzsch Guitars on social media platforms as well at the Portland Words website.