Hand-Turned Holly Bowl

Holly wood (not to be confused with Hollywood) produces numerous bright red berries on branches  with sharp prickly leaves. These branches are often made into Christmas wreaths. The timber is heavy dense, and turns and finishes well. Perhaps most famously known as the wood used to make billy clubs for British Bobbies. 

Hi Ron
Sorry it's taken me so long but I just wanted to say how happy I am with my bowl, just beautiful. 


P.H. Auckland - 22 March 2023


Hand-turned Horse Chestnut bowl

Horse Chestnut trees produce koncor nuts, useful and ammo for young boys sling shots. Though they produce copious numbers, they are bitter and inedible, unlike Sweet Chestnuts, useful for roasting and eating in the winter. Of the two (botanically unrelated) Chestnut trees), the Horse Chestnut produces the most outstanding wood grain and coloration.

Hi Ron

The bowl arrived last week and we gifted it to my mum for her birthday - she loves it! Thanks so much for being so helpful and for the lovely bowl. 


D.N. - Central Auckland, 1 February 2023

Hand-turned Holm Oak bowl

Quercus Ilex, aka Evergreen Oak, Holly Oak or Holm Oak, is a large evergreen oak native to the Mediterranean region. It takes its name from holm, an ancient name for holly.

Grows widely in California, comparatively rare in New Zealand. It is about the third hardest - heaviest tree that grows in New Zealand.


Got the Holm Oak bowl.  It looks fantastic! Great grain pattern and great color.

Thank you - L. B. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1 February 2023

Total Restoration of Rimu Shearers Dining Table

This Rimu Shearers Table was made by hand over 100 years ago. It was extensively damaged in transit. Once the damage was made good, it was stripped 3 times to remove the  mutton fat and lanolin which had saturated the top and even the lower portion of the legs. As you can see, the table has been fully restored and is now in pride of place in the living/dining room.

J. & R. M., - Central Hawkes Bay, 23 May 2022

Restored Rimu Coffee Table Badly Marred in Transit

My  coffee table was damaged horrifically when moved by furniture  movers. Ron restored it to its original condition and I am so happy  with it.

- G. A., Central Hawkes Bay, 3 November 2021

Repair and Refinish a Pair of Mid-century Vono Chairs

My two Vono chairs finally in their new home!

Thanks Ron. You two did an amazing job on them!

- J.B., Hawkes Bay, 18 Sept 2021

Hi Ron

Just wanted to thank you again for the great job you did repairing our nest of tables. They have huge sentimental value to us and we did not expect the repair to be so fantastic. Thank you again. I would happily recommend your service and skill. 


A & Digby - Palmerston North (25 May 2021)

Someone special liked the largest Orb we had on display at our stand QN82 during the February 2021 Martinborough Fair . . . and it came to pass that he received it for his birthday. 

"The Orb has arrived! The photo doesn't do it justice." 

- N.M., Wellington, NZ


“After the family went to bed, I sat for a while with "my music" and the lampstand, poured myself a Dalwinnie single malt and just enjoyed the "new" life you have bestowed in our family's humble and simple lampstand. The memories the lamp released through your restoration was quite powerful. The lamp has been a companion through my life and it is so nice to see it again as it once was when I was so young. Thank you for your unique skill in re-creating something important to who I am.”

- A.W., Hawkes Bay, NZ

"I love my lamp and get so much satisfaction when in the evening playing my vinyl. It connects me back to my parents. Thanks again" - Alan

This bespoke china cabinet was made to the exact requirements of the client could not find what she wanted to house her china collection and to fill a wall in her new home. The cabinet dimensions are 2100 x 1800 x 30, with hand-turned knobs and tempered glass panel doors.

“It's great, I'm thrilled to bits with it!”

- M.O., Dannevirke, NZ

This trestle table was made using the owner's Rimu slab with live edges. I stabilised the slab and used a Resene flooring finish to withstand the rigours of use in a commercial setting. You can view this table at The Saigon Restaurant & Bar, corner of High Street &  Barraud Street, Dannevirke.

“It's perfect.”

- Giang (Yan), Saigon Restaurant & Bar, Dannevirke, NZ

This kitchen island bench was made from an old oak workbench in The Auckland Museum. The client wished to up-cycle as much of the old wood (oak) as possible. The new top is made from new hard maple to contrast the dark colourings of the Jacobean stained base. The bench now has a dishwasher and an under-bench refrigerator on the cook's side, and three wide and deep drawers with soft-close drawer slides on the off-side.

“The kitchen bench is almost too beautiful to actually use.”

- J.B., Auckland, NZ

"I had Ron design and make two benches to match our dining table and also repair and refinish two antique armed dining chairs which had become very creaky and unstable. The benches look as if they were bought with the dining table; the colour match is excellent. The antique armed dining chairs now look and feel brand new, but in keeping with the others in the set. It is hard to tell them apart." - Helena E, Tararua

About Ron

I have been in the furniture industry since I started an informal apprenticeship in 1965 in Portland, Oregon, USA, repairing office and commercial furniture. I worked at five different workshops, culminating at Green Furniture Hospital. Green's is the pre-eminent furniture repair and antique restoration business in Portland, since 1914.

I started my New Zealand furniture adventure as Ashfords' Gallery & Workshops at Auroa, South Taranaki in 1974. I have considerable experience under my belt.

The beds I made were well known throughout the Taranaki Region and beyond. I became known for a flair and flamboyance in design and execution, which was reflected in the furniture I was commissioned to make, as seen in the photo above.

Today I am is located in Dannevirke, and to reflect my beginnings, there has been a name change to RoNZ Furniture Hospital.

Workshops and tooling have undergone changes and upgrades, but the traditional artisan work methods are still adhered to.

I am a great believer in permanence and sustainability, I still stand by the statements I made in 1974:

“Permanence is when your grandchildren pass on the furniture you had made before your children were born”.

“There can be no economy in throwaway articles, in fact, the environment is now feeling the effects of this new and dangerous practice. Items of long-lasting quality infringe least on the very limited resources available”.

I continue to help the environment by using workshop wood shavings as mulch around our veggies and fruit trees, to conserve water, buffer temperatures, and provide a healthy environment for plants and birds alike, during dry summer months.


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