Woodworking is second nature for guitar maker Erik Smith. As a child, he helped his father build furniture and pool tables.

Woodworking is second nature for guitar maker Erik Smith. As a child, he helped his father build furniture and pool tables.

"There are more than enough pictures of me running around in a diaper, cowboy boots and carrying my hammer," he said.

As an adult, that knowledge met a new passion for music.

"When I began playing guitar, I started to recognize the qualities I liked and disliked about each instrument I picked up," he said. "And at some point I was ready to buy exactly the guitar I wanted, but could never find it. So I just kind of jumped in and started building what I wanted a guitar to be."

After making three guitars for himself, Smith began making the one-of-a-kind instruments to sell four years ago. The natural beauty of the various fine woods he uses is evident in each piece, and they often include elegant carved accents and inlays.

Looking for a way to find an audience for his work, he was encouraged by friends to try showing in festivals a couple of years ago. While he's not convinced it's exactly the right venue, he's gotten plenty of positive feedback on the road.

"I am able to combine my two passions into creating instruments that play and sound at least as good as they look," he said. "And maybe inspire something in the people that see them."