Incredible Custom Projects
The Betz family has worked in carpentry for so many generations that you could say that woodworking is in their blood. Ken Betz, the proud owner of AMHS, learned his earliest woodworking skills from his older brother, who learned his from their father. Ken grew up not only knowing about wood and woodworking, but with a passion for the possibilities inherent in each piece of wood—and a knowledge of how to choose the best tools to reveal its function. He also learned early on how to build tools for special projects when standard tools would not suffice.
Ken Betz works with wood even when the work day is over. Currently he is building a 36-inch-wide vanity based on his own designs. He is using domestic cherry wood for the vanity frame and side panels, and he will be veneering the doors with hand-made parchment.
This combination of wood and parchment on a vanity is a unique expression of Ken Betz’s imagination. The skins from which parchment is made are waste product from slaughter houses and are normally disposed of. Turning skins into parchment, and stretching, scraping and painting parchment into works of art, requires the knowledge of labor-intensive skills first developed in ancient times, and few artisans these days employ them. Ken is fortunate to have a parchment artist right in his building.
Ken’s vanity is not a commission job; nor is he building it on spec. Ken Betz is building his cherry/parchment vanity solely to satisfy his appetite for ongoing creative expression through woodworking.
Ken is able to visualize completed projects in his mind. Once he envisions a piece of fine furniture or cabinetry, he sits with a sketch pad and draws a rough version of it. Then he draws it again with more refinement. Each project has its own challenges, and finding the solutions that will ensure that each idea is transformed into a beautiful, functional physical reality is at the core of what drives Ken Betz.
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