Scottsdale resident Allen Nemeth and his sister-in-law Simma Nemeth, a part-time resident of Scottsdale, are partners in a small decorative woodworking venture. Simma says it can’t quite be called a business yet, because their website is still under construction and so far, they’ve mostly made their creations for family and friends.
Their venture is expected to be called ANS Woodworks. The website URL is www.answoodworks.com but won’t be up and running until after the first of the year. Simma, a retired teacher, got bitten by the woodworking bug about 14 years ago when she saw a wooden rocking horse that she wanted to give to her then-unborn first grandchild. But it was too expensive for her to buy, so she found a woodworking course to take near her year-round home in Southern California. A year after completing that course, she made a rocking chair out of wood. By two years after completing the course, she made a rocking horse in time for her first grandchild’s second birthday.
She was so delighted with being able to create works of art out of wood that she encouraged Allen, her husband Paul’s brother, to take a woodworking class. Allen, a retired entrepreneur, finished his course a few years ago and then started working on his own wood creations, too.
They use mostly walnut, maple, mahogany and red oak varieties of wood that they buy by the board foot at a lumber supply store, Simma tells Jewish News. Between them, Simma says, they have produced Hanukkiot (Hanukkah menorahs), clocks, rocking chairs and rocking horses, doll cradles, balance beams, wooden cars and household items like cutting boards, mail holders, animal-shaped doorstops, lazy Susans, salt and pepper shakers and napkin holders. When Simma made her first Hanukkiah, she created it as a collection of geometric shapes to be educational for the youngest of her six grandchildren.
She says that her wooden clocks appear to be the most popular with family and friends. “A friend who was an expert clockmaker working with acrylics suggested we make a Jewish star out of wood, and he taught us how to put on the clock movements.”
She and Allen then “started having Hebrew numbers engraved on our Jewish star clocks,” she says. “This was the beginning of doing Judaica. We started going to the Jewish museums to see how the menorahs were made in other media.” But so far, she says, they’ve only worked with wood.
“I’m just hooked on making wooden creations,” Simma says. She says she has given up “knitting, sewing, cards and mahjong” so she can concentrate on creating wooden objects.