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Woodturning News: General News

IN MEMORIAM: Ron Kent, 1931–2018

Monday, January 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
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In Memoriam: Ron Kent, 1931–2018


Ron Kent, a long-time AAW member who lived in Hawai‘i and was known for his work with Norfolk Island pine, has died.


Early in his career, Ron used driftwood found on Hawai‘i’s beaches and focused on solid bottle forms. Then he moved on to bowls in Norfolk Island pine, which introduced us to the world of wood art. When we first saw his signature “star” in the bottom of each translucent bowl, we were mesmerized—and bought our first bowl.


A self-taught turner with an engineering background, Ron preferred to develop his own lathe and techniques. Unlike most bowl turners, he mounted the log endgrain and turned the interior of the bowl first, looking for the pattern of regularly spaced branches specific to Norfolk Island pine. With the log positioned just right, a natural star pattern emerged. Too much cutting obliterated the star, too little failed to reveal it. Then Ron would work the outside of the bowl, striving for thin, even walls.


AAW member #17

In 1986, Ron Kent became member #17 in the newly formed AAW and, later, was the first member featured in AAW’s Anniversary Profiles leading up to the organization’s 30th Anniversary celebration.


Ron was widely recognized in both the financial services industry, where he ran his own firm, and in artistic woodturning. He was featured in David Heenan’s Double Lives: Crafting Your Life of Work and Passion for Untold Success Stories of Extraordinary Achievement, a book that profiles people who achieved success and happiness “through pursuit of a second passion.” His turned work is included in the Vatican Collection, the White House Collection, and the collections of many major museums, including the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Honolulu Museum of Art.


Ever generous with his time and ideas, Ron warmly welcomed so many of us who crossed his path in both the wood and financial worlds. We will miss him deeply, but delight in finding his work in museums around the world.

Ruth and David Waterbury


A note from Ron’s family:


Ron found fulfillment by forging his own paths in art and life. Celebrating one of his great passions, woodturning, we have established a fund in Ron’s memory to support emerging woodworkers and encourage the artistic use of an invasive species of tree such as the Albizia tree. Because Ron and Myra were an inseparable team, the fund is in both their names.


The Hawaii Community Foundation will administer the fund, and the Hawaii Forest Institute will award annual prizes. If you would like to make a donation, here are the instructions.


Gifts by Check:

Please make your check to the Hawaii Community Foundation and mail to:


Eric Laa, Senior Development Officer

Hawaii Community Foundation

827 Fort Street Mall

Honolulu, HI 96813


Please be sure to note “Ron and Myra Kent Fund” in the check memo area.


Gifts Online (A 2.6% processing fee will be charged for gifts donated online):


  • Visit hawaiicommunityfoundation.org;
  • Click the “Give” icon in the upper left header; 
  • Once on the “Give Directly Online” page, click “Search for a Specific Fund”;
  • Enter “Ron and Myra Kent Fund”;
  • Click the “search button” and follow the prompts to complete your gift.


Thank you for honoring Ron’s memory with your friendship and aloha.


With gratitude,

Myra, Elizabeth, and Steven Kent

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