For more than 50 years Ron has been crafting his beautiful works from a wide variety of Australian Native Timbers, not just the usual selection available, Ron would know where to find the cream of the crop, travelling far and wide, to create the fine examples we came so accustomed to receive from him. Many of his favorite timbers included magnificent Red Gum Burls, WA Banksia was another challenging favorite to carve as were the Grass Trees and beautiful Red Mallee Burls. The unique creations that appeared from left overs, like the Echidnas, cracked egg shell bowls, the many beautiful desk clocks, Tea Lights and candle holders. Each and every one of Ron’s products was a work of art, loved by our customers.
Unfortunately we have only been associated with Ron, his lovely supporting wife Anne and their son Brett who was always very helpful in conveying messages, for twenty years a wonderful 20 years of friendship and business. We have been so fortunate to have known and worked with them.
We wish them every success in their retirement with many happy years ahead.
We can’t thank you enough Ron, Anne and Brett for your wonderful friendship, products, support and association.
In appreciation of Ron’s beautiful work we are leaving some examples here for you to admire.
Wood Turner, Ron Coles, was born in Kiama, New South Wales in 1939. After many years as a market gardener, Ron began wood turning in 1989 to follow a passion held with wood since his childhood.
Ron and Anne now reside in Dorrigo, northern New South Wales.
The sometimes harsh conditions that Australian timbers endure create vibrant colours and fascinating shapes which dictate the form of the turned or carved piece, thus enabling the collector to appreciate and preserve part of our Australian heritage. Ron works with timbers from most areas of Australia but burls from Western Australia and New South Wales are his preferred choice. These burls are an unnatural growth on the trunk or root of a tree and are very highly prized by Turners.
Ron’s work is represented in galleries throughout New South Wales and Victoria, with pieces being purchased by collectors from around the world as well as within Australia.
The store I went to is located in the heart of Melbourne CBD in one of its oldest and finest arcades. But even finer and more attractive was the craftsmanship of the bronze and wooden sculptures and figurines made by whole hearted Australians using age-old processes. If you are fond of good quality handicrafts then this truly a place to visit. Wish well to the business and it's manufacturers.
I work for an international company and am often asked by colleagues visiting from other parts of the world where they can find genuine, Australian made pieces to take home. Australian by Design is a winner every single time. This beautiful store and gallery in more spacious premises is a bit more challenging to find in its new location, but it's worth it. If you're looking for authentic, high quality Australian arts and crafts, with price points for everyone, this gem is worth seeking out.
- Sonia Edwards
Very cool little shop tucked away upstairs. The art here is really authentic. I've purchased a hand carved boomerang with beautiful art. I don't think you can get much better crafted boomerangs by aboriginal artists anywhere else.
We noticed the display case while touring the Block Arcade and made a point to return for a visit to the shop. It was well worth it. Beautiful works of art and unique souvenirs of our trip to Australia. The proprietor was most friendly and helpful tucking in some information on the artist whose work I had purchased. I highly recommend seeking out this shop. You won't be disappointed!
- Mary Murphy
Spent some time to find this shop, remember to take the Lift 1(No.1) in Block Arcade and press 3rd floor, follow the sign then you will find it. The owner is very friendly and passionate of explaning different kinds of workpiece and the decoration of the shop, he is also very patient on explaining different wood types among all those pens as well. By the time I visited, there were not much various types of paintings, but there were many different handiwork such as coasters, earrings, sketches, pens, wood carving etc. I bought a handmade roller ball pen made with red mallee burl wood. And the prices of those Australian handiwork are cheaper than other shops as it is located upstairs. Good customer service as well, highly recommend to visit this shop!
- Jacky Fung
Gorgeous pieces to add to a collection or as a solo feature in your home. Wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable staff. Highly recommended to tourists looking for a unique souvenir or to locals wanting to up their decor game. A must visit shop!!!
- Steph Hiltz
You really have to find this store. Search for it when you're in the Block Arcade. it is situated on the third floor. Take the elevator and enter a world of Australian made exquisite paintings, jewels and art. All at (in my opinion) affordable prices.
- Philippe Francois
Friendly and welcoming staff. Eager to explain and guide everything they have
- Angga Dewa
Hard to find a store like this in Melbourne these days. Great service, lovely store! Will come again!
- Cathy Zhang
A true gem of Melbourne a must visit for the person who wants to gift themselves or others with uniquely Australian made arts craft and design collectables.
Absolutely lovely shop for authentic, hand-made Australian art and gifts. If you are looking for Australian art in general, or a meaningful, hand-crafted souvenir to take back home, this is THE place!
- Tibbo Dent
Loved shopping at this shop. Great artwork.
- Scot Duke
Perfect and the best place to buy original Australian made souvenir, not Chinese ones. Such nice and friendly staff. Thanks heaps!
- Orod Akhbari
A great wee shop with very friendly and most helpful staff. Lovely to see gifts and souvenirs that you know are made in Australia. Highly recommended but its tucked away. F loor 3 in the lift opposite Hopetoun Tearoom in the Block Arcade.
- Fran Hadden
Very good range and friendly service but a little tricky to find but well worth the effort.
- Tony Taouk
Two small rooms on the 3rd floor. A little difficult to find but well worth the effort for the authentic art and charming staff.
- Linda B
Just happened to see the display/ sign while at The Block Arcade. We went to the 3rd floor and found this wonderful shop carrying only Australian-made items. The proprietor was so very nice and helpful and provided great advice and information on the various items she carried in her store. I would highly recommend visiting this establishment for any keepsakes that are authentic.
- A. Dalal
The quality of the souvenirs were amazing for the price paid which was accompanied by fantastic service
- Daniel De Oliveira
Simply the best if you are looking for Australiana. Lovely art, souvenirs, jewelry and gifts for any budget with none of the cheap dreck in the typical souvenir shops. Everything truly Australian, good quality, and obviously chosen personally with care and attention. The staff is especially friendly and quick to offer information, recommendations, and a friendly chat. Be sure not to miss it tucked away upstairs!
- Leigh Moyer
(Translated by Google) Great service! The Lord thanked us that we found the store, unfortunately it is not easy but it is worth the effort because you can buy souvenirs made in Australia here! I recommend! (Original) super obsługa! Pan nam podziękował że znaleźliśmy sklep, nie jest to niestety łatwe ale warto się wysilić ponieważ można tu zakupić pamiątki wyprodukowane w Australii! Polecam!
- Karolina Modrzejewska
This place is a brilliant find! Excellent service and beautifully crafted things to buy. I highly recommend this shop.
Wonderful little shop filled with unique Australian art and souvenirs at very reasonable prices. Prefect for gifts!
I love this store. Unique, high quality items made by actual Australian artists. Good prices too.
Unique, beautiful, Australian made, with fabulous service from Bill. A real treasure trove - well worth the effort to find the shop (Level 3 in the Block Arcade). Highly recommended for those looking for gifts or treasures for the home. ** Eamonn Vereker glass bowls, vases etc are spectacular (photos don't do them justice).
I love this store! Incredible range of unique quality gifts and artwork all made in Australia and at affordable prices. A gem in Melbourne for residents and tourists alike. Go visit on Level 3 (Room 303) Block Arcade (Take Lift No 1 opposite Hopetoun Tea Rooms), you won't be disappointed. Friendly staff too.
I bought a magpie pin to celebrate my husband's citizenship, and I couldn't be happier with the product. I received it on the following day and the quality is amazing! I'll definitely shop here again! Thank you, guys!