Copyright 2005 TMF
Around The Bend Woodworks
~ About the Artist ~
Extending the Boundaries of Woodworking Beyond the Imagination
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What does it take to be an artist? What does it take to see what you are making
before it is done?  What does it take to believe in what you are doing, regardless
of what others might say?

It takes a confidence that supercedes the obvious and overcomes the obstacles…
Meet Ted Frumkin…Wood smokin’, guitar playin’, song writin’, chainsaw carvin’
man.  Where can you find him…?  Up around-the-bend(.com) or at tedfrumkin(.
com,) but that’s where you’ll find the virtual Ted.  If you want to catch up in
person…you can find him many days at his new workshop in Shelocta, Pa.  

Some 7 years ago or so, a now passed friend, Dick Bungo, brought up some
stools carved out of tree parts with a chainsaw.  That inspired Ted to pick up
his saw and to get after a dormant passion… Carving and shaping wood into
what he could see in his mind (key to being an artist.)  He made a few stools and
then was over visiting me one day as I wanted to cut a tree down that needed
cut.   He looked up the tree and spied a curve in the middle of the tree about 20’
off of the ground and asked me if he could make a bench from the tree.

From that thought came the first bench, cut with a chainsaw, affectionately
known as “the swerve.”   It was (and is) too cool.  Once the tree was down, he
eyed up the perfect 10’long section, with the curve in the middle and cut it out.  
Then he cut where the tree hit a “Y” and cut the “Y” in half (to make the ends of
the bench.)  Next he turned the 10’ piece on it’s side and began to cut slabs, one
for the bench seat, one to cut again perpendicularly into strips that would
become the perfectly shaped back.    The bench has seen many bottoms and
been a comfort to many…you can sit on it at the pavilion in Luckenbach, Penna.

What you need next…to continue as an artist…is at least one person who
understands what it’s like to be an artist, who will encourage you…many artists
come with  unique idiosyncrasies…and special needs.  Ted is no different.  He
has persevered through the last 7 years to build an online business as well to
trade locally working in his yard, on the outside porch and even the living room of
his home with no shop and a few tools.

Then the unexpected happened as He and his wife, Jennifer, and their three
children were burnt out of their home last December, where he lost (they lost)
everything they had, including products he had built and slabs that weren’t yet
made into their final creation.  God was watching out for his family…there were no

Through the willingness of people to help, some insurance proceeds and a lot of
things working out well, Ted has been able to keep his business going and to
rebuild it in an even better way.  After the fire, the family moved temporarily to a
home on Cunningham Road in Armstrong Township. Ted’s father-in-law
found an idea place, in Shelocta, Pa, to keep his dream alive and that is where
they are living and working as a family now.

Ted crafts the pieces of art, his wife Jennifer takes the pictures for the website,
son Mason Frumkin debarks, while daughter Wiley sweeps up the sawdust and
his son Sam…plays in it!  Together the around-the-bend woodworks family,
literally turns out “a one of a kind,” every time.   

Every artist is inspired by someone…in Ted’s case, the inspiration comes from
George Nakashima, born in 1905 in Spokane, WA.  Who became
internationally famous for his turning dead trees into commissioned works of art.  
After spending time in a Japanese Internment camp in the early 1940’s, he
eventually relocated in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the mid 1940’s, where
his daughter continues with the Nakashima theme of making beautiful works of
art and operating a museum in Georges memory.
Now comes Mr. Ted Frumkin, another artist, who started his life somewhere
else, (Center Point, Texas,) and ended up in the Western Pennsylvania Hill
Country, first in the town of Glen Campbell, PA and now in the town of
Shelocta, Pa.    Ted creates much out of thin air and thick wood, and by
request, more specific products designed to meet the client’s specifications.  
While many people go after a regular or as some say “real job,” we are the
fortunate beneficiaries of what one man can do, when opportunity, desire and
resources show up together.
Who knows, someday people will say….oh that’s a frumkin original, I’d recognize
that work anywhere.  Ted is an encouragement in his perseverance toward
following the gifts and talent’s he has been given and an inspiration to others
who have a chance to do something different than the norm in this life.  He has
quite a good wit about him, and his humor is priceless.  Beyond his wood working
skills…he is an accomplished song writer and performer, along with his wife.  He
also has a knack for using a wood smoker to cook and has created his on dry rub
barbecue seasoning called Uncle Ted’s Party Rub.
If you looking for something different for your family room, your garden, and
frankly for use anywhere…these pieces are the talk.  Come see and you’ll “see”
what Ted is all about.  Take a minute to check out the website: www.tedfrumkin.
com where you’ll find the music, the rub, and the wood…they way only an artist
named Ted Frumkin can do it.
George Nakashima
George Nakashima
This Bio was taken
from Home Town
News, A local
& it was writen by
Doug Varner