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Michael Rutkowsky / Pond Branch Pottery
Studio Potter since receiving an MFA from USC, Columbia, SC in 1979. Makes functional and decorative reduction fired stoneware at...


Black Mountain, NC

Ronald McMahan

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Media: Wood

Ronnie McMahan is a woodcarver from Black Mountain, NC. He has been carving since 1979 and became a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in 2012.  He is a member of WNC Carvers.



People often use the term”looks real” when describing my woodcarving work. Regardless of detail level or size, each piece includes a touch of life and a sense of “this could be real”.  A personality is given to each piece. Careful attention is given to habitat and display even in the more simplistic carvings. Artistic balance, flow of lines, colors and other composition details are considered.


The works are hand carved, normally from basswood or tupelo wood, utilizing traditional wood carving hand tools and power tools.  The textures are achieved using a wood burner, power tools and hand tools. Acrylic artist colors are used for the color. Hand painting is achieved through a layered wash technique utilizing artist brushes. Driftwood, flowers, moss, leaves, rocks, and other habitat are hand carved or handmade from other materials such as paper leaves. Glass taxidermist eyes are used for the birds. Feet are fashioned from metal, putty or wood. A hardwood furniture mounting base is the norm.


 I began carving birds in the late 1979. Because of my God given creative talents and my love of what I do, many have enjoyed my wildlife art works. Since retirement from a 34 year career as a North Carolina State Employee, I have been blessed to receive numerous awards in carving competitions. A long time dream of becoming a professional arts and crafts person was realized in 2012 when I was juried as a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.