ABOUT RON NORRIS
Born in Swindon, England into a working class family with two brothers. Ron left home just before his sixteenth birthday. Being forced to leave art school to earn enough to support himself, Ron became an apprentice stone mason, carving grave-stones and bird-baths, and generally whacking away at large lumps of granite and limestone. After watching a movie in which convicts were also doing their thing on big bits of stone, Ron decided to take an easier---no--- more delicate path to fame and fortune, so he became a draughtsman (English spelling) at Morris Motors. Quitting that job to become a paper hanger and sign painter, he learned a bit about the building trade.
At eighteen Ron was conscripted into the Royal Navy’s Fleet-Air-Arm as an aircraft handler. Most of his time was spent on special projects such as painting house signs for officers etc..
While serving in the navy in Northern Ireland Ron met his future wife Mary, who was to become the mother of their four children, Coleen, Mark, James and Michael.
After the navy came a stint as an upholsterer, making armrests for Jaguar automobiles. Then came a big move---Canada, and a job making displays for large retail stores, cutting out hundreds of Rudolphs and glittering their noses. After that came a job as a technical illustrator producing exploded views of airplanes and rockets. Leaving Canada for the U.S.A. in 1960, Ron went to work as a lead illustrator, eventually working his way through management to run the company producing all the Yellow Pages for the State of California and Nevada. Responsible for designing workplace and workflow for 650 programmers, artists, managers, typesetters and many other disciplines, Ron didn’t have much time for his own artwork until he retired in 1993.
Since that time he has enjoyed model making, carving, designing and building trains, sign-painting, furniture making, and in general designing and making anything with his hands. Trying to work in a different type of art very time.
His work can be seen in Valley Center and at his home, which he designed and did a lot of the finish work. Ron has been lucky enough to have won two first places and a third place in the Del Mar Fair Fine Woodworking Show. These awards being given for a carousel Indian pony, a rocking horse and most recently for a mahogany and maple ark. Another project was the large scale modeling of two of the early California Missions. At St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Valley Center, Ca. can be seen some of his art including a mosaic of ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’, Ron’s first and only mosaic, plus a very recent Divine Mercy Icon, using many different sorts of wood veneer. This project was a joint venture with his friend Jim Rizzotto. Jim made the frame.
One and only lifetime ambition in business,
“To always be worth more than I’m making”....Ron
Me, aged four, in 1937.
Me aged - yes - aged.