His work has been seen on national TV reality shows, photographed for newspaper stories and enjoyed by celebrities. Now it’s time to get to know the craftsman behind this sought-after, one-of-a-kind, local artisan’s fine works being handcrafted right here in Russells Point.
His name is Dale Frymyer. Dale is a longtime Indian Lake resident and co-owner of Choice Properties Real Estate, with his wife, Teri and mother, Karen. He is also president of ILDC, a retired Honda associate and a Realtor.
Dale Frymyer and his wife, Teri, have deep roots in Russells Point. They volunteer and donate to local causes at Indian Lake and care deeply about their community.
Dale donates his time as president of the Dredge Day Project and Habitat for Humanity. They host celebrity guests at their Indian Lake home (such as the famous 60’s band, The Cowsills, who sang the hit song “ Indian Lake,” ) and also likes to ride his restored Model T truck in the local parades at the lake.
He even donates many of his handcrafted works to local charities and causes. A recent Indian Lake/ Nashville Hitmakers themed wall plague piece he handcrafted was recently auctioned off for a whopping $700.00 with proceeds going to the Indian Lake Watershed Project and the music departments of the Indian Lake Schools.
“I retired four years ago and took up woodworking as a hobby, just as something to do,” said Frymyer. Wife Teri has done her share of work assisting her husband with his new found hobby also, “The only way I help is by giving up the kitchen table,” laughed Teri.
Which is a big deal, considering that’s where her husband puts the final touches on most of his pieces. “He really thinks outside the box and comes up with some really neat pieces, he has a real passion for his work,” adds Teri.
So, let’s first take a look at some of his most popular pieces and then we can dig into how he produces them.
The Indian Lake Table
It’s a magnificent piece of work. If you live at Indian Lake and have not seen one of these then you’re going to want one now. The table has been seen on the HGTV national reality show, Island Life, which filmed and aired two episodes on Indian Lake last year.
It’s about the coolest handcrafted table you’ve ever seen. It’s a top notch, hand-crafted and painted piece of work. There are working lights woven through the bottom base of the table that light up at night. It’s very cool.
The table is a really iconic piece of Indian Lake art and a practical piece of furniture also. Every Indian Lake restaurant, bar, coffee shop or eatery should have one of these. If you have a place on the lake, or just love Indian Lake then you’re going to want one of these sought after nautical gems.
The Indian Lake Wall Plaque
This is a one-of-a-kind, very cool, handcrafted legacy piece of art and history. At the recent Even Stevens Nashville Hitmakers concert held at Indian Lake High School, one of these rare pieces created an auction bidding war and eventually sold for $700.00.
The interesting history and legacy behind these fine pieces of wall plaque art work goes way back. “These plaques used to be made by long time Indian Lake resident and artisan/craftsman, Ernie Gronas,” said Frymyer. “Ernie made thousands of these over the last 30 years and many of his wall plaques are all over the world from Germany to Florida,” added Frymyer. “My wife,Teri and I have had one hanging in our house for the last 15 years.”
“Ernie decided to retire and about a year and a half ago I asked him if it would be okay if I carried on his tradition and start crafting them again,” added Frymyer. “Ernie agreed, and to this very day each and every one I have made gets Ernie’s blessing that it measures up to his standards. I consider Ernie a pioneer in this area, my mentor.” Frymyer maintains.
These wall plaques are very nostalgic, with very unique themes and designs. The piece Frymyer designed for the Nashville Hitmakers reflects many of the places around Indian Lake and meshes in the theme of the Hitmakers Concert and the iconic Nashville song writers who performed at this year’s concert. It’s truly a classic iconic piece and instant collector’s item for sure.
A craftsman at work
When it gets down to the nitty gritty of making these fines pieces of Indian Lake iconic art, Frymyer utilizes two areas of his residence: his workshop in the garage and the kitchen table in the house.
“With the wall plaques, I start out in the garage where I cut the outer shapes using cedar boards. I also do the nail supports in the garage. Once I’m finished out there I move to the kitchen table in the house where I do the detail work such as painting windows and doors and such. I also use a vinyl cutter for the wording on the buildings and designs. I have very sloppy handwriting, which I blame on being left-handed, so the vinyl cutter comes in handy.”
“When it comes to the tables, I use various sizes of wooden wire cable spools to make them,” said Frymyer. These are the large wooded wire spools used by utility and construction companies. “I first cut them to match the size table I am making. Next, I sand them down to make it a smooth finish. I then cut holes in the bottom to weave the lights through. Next I paint the whole table white.”
“The final stage of the process involves my daughter, Lindsey McGlone, who is a graphic designer, and owns her own graphic design shop in West Liberty called Elle •A• Design,” said Frymyer. She designed the vinyl sticker that is adhered onto the top of the table with the words, “My Hometown, Indian Lake Ohio, and Live•Love•Lake.”
Frymyer recently surprised local and national celebrity, legendary song writer Even Stevens, by dropping off one of his Indian Lake tables to Stevens’ home in Nashville. “Even has done so much for the community and donates his time every year at the Hitmaker’s concert, I thought we would surprise him and drop off a table at his home in Nashville,” added Frymyer. “We were on our way to Florida so we just loaded up the table in the back of the pick-up truck and took it with us and stopped off at his place on the way. He was quite surprised and seemed very thrilled to get it. He has it on the porch on his deck and lights it up often,” said Frymyer.
This is just one example of what type of people the Frymyers are. They care deeply about their community and are always looking for ways to give back, even with their hobbies.
Now that’s quite a craft they are honing there!
Ron Brohm is a regular contributor to this newspaper.