His formal education is varied: he received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo; a Bachelor of Education with a Geography Major at Queens University; and an Honours Technical Specialist in Advanced Cabinetmaking at the University of Toronto. He also attended Seneca College where he studied photography and darkroom techniques.
Ron’s qualifications in teaching led him back to Toronto where, for ten years, he taught Geography, Drafting, Basic woodworking, Building Construction, Industrial Arts, Elementary Education and Advanced Cabinetmaking.
When he moved to Owen Sound in 1989 to teach at OSCVI, he taught social studies, electricity, welding, auto service, small engine repair, drafting, machine shop, geography, math, arts and crafts, and photography. He presently teaches cabinetmaking at OSCVI.
His hobbies are as varied as his education and teaching. He loved to downhill and cross-country ski, was an ultra light pilot and did well in curling. His current interests include photography, snow shoeing and sailing, and, of course, woodturning.
Wood turning is one of the oldest means of transforming wood into various-shaped objects. Although used now for mass production by automatic copy lathes, woodturning has a long history of being done by hand. Woodturning has become the work of professional studio artists who make one-of-a-kind objects.
Ron is an artist whose skill and vision at the lathe culminates in beautifully designed and crafted items. He learned his craft in elementary school where he turned his first bowl. He built his first lathe at 16 from discarded farm machinery parts. His father, acknowledging his son’s passion, gave him his first set of hand turning tools as a Christmas gift. Sales at the young age of 18 years encouraged him to continue learning about woodturning. He attended many seminars over the years and opened his business, Sarah and Dad’s Workshop, in the mid 1990’s, where he custom makes cabinets and does his artistic woodturning.
He is a member of the Walters Falls Group of Artists and is a regular on the Escarpment Studio tour each year. His work is sold in Europe, Japan, China, US, Caribbean and across Canada.
His work is largely created from locally grown woods, especially the hardwoods of maple, cherry, ash, elm, walnut, and a small amount of mahogany. He specialized in bowls, Christmas ornaments, oil lamps, thin wall vases, Kaleidoscopes, turned bird houses and “whatever else catches his fancy.”