Estate of Ronald Wornick Makes a Generous Donation to Crucible Wood Shop

Cathy Niland | 10.12.2022

The Crucible is thrilled to announce the receipt of a large gift from the Estate of Ronald Wornick. The donation, which will greatly benefit our Woodworking Department, includes a number of machines such as a table saw, a drill press, and multiple dust collectors, a sizable quantity of lumber, and tools including hand planes, saws, and clamps, among many other items.

Saw provided to The Crucible from the Estate of Ronald Wornick

Michael Wornick, son of the late Ron Wornick, recently contacted The Crucible about donating the contents of his father’s wood studio. Donations like these have a meaningful impact on our organization by helping us reserve funds for community-based programs while ensuring our students have access to the tools and machines needed to explore their craft.

Ronald Wornick’s Passion For Art and Craft

In his professional career, Ronald Wornick spent years as a prominent food scientist, holding high-up positions at United Fruit Company and Clorox. In the 1980s and 1990s, he lead the Wornick Company which contracted with the US military to manufacture food rations known as MREs. He sold the company to his employees in 1995.

His success in food science allowed Wornick to develop his skills as a woodworker, creating furniture and artworks in his home studio. Throughout the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s, he and his wife, Anita, also amassed an impressive collection of contemporary craft artworks made from wood, ceramic, glass, and metal. The collection has been exhibited at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the American Craft Museum in New York, the Oakland Museum of California, and the McAllen Museum in South Texas.

Artwork included in the Ronald Wornick collection
A Table Made of Wood by Gord Peteran, 2005.
Wood. H. 37, W. 36, D. 17-1/4 in.
Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Photography by Lee Fatherree.
Artwork included in the Ronal Wornick collection
The Story Ladder by Tommy Simpson, 1991.
Wood and mixed media. H. 84, W. 25, D. 2 in.
Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Photography by Lee Fatherree.

The Legacy of Ronald Wornick

The Estate of Ronald Wornick’s gift to The Crucible is not the only philanthropic contribution made to the Bay Area woodworking community. Ronald and Anita also endowed a permanent annual woodworking prize at the California College of the Arts, offering students a significant scholarship for excellence in the craft of furniture design and wood arts.

At The Crucible, a small amount of the donated lumber is already being put to use. Woodworking Department Co-Head, Jolie Karno, has begun creating a set of small, woodturned boxes which will be gifted to the members of the Wornick family as a gesture of appreciation.

Small woodturned vessel with lid created at The Crucible.

Thank you to the Estate of Ronald Wornick for helping The Crucible keep the industrial arts accessible to all through your generous donation. It will be enjoyed and appreciated by our maker community for years to come.

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