David Ponsler

At this year’s FABA Conference we are reviving an old-time tradition to showcase our own Florida-grown talent shoulder to shoulder with the worldwide blacksmiths we bring from afar.

Our first Floridian demonstrator is David Ponsler.

David, a long time active FABA member is a Jacksonville native. He learned the trade of metalworking in his father’s shop. By his early teens, he had joined the family business (Wonderland Products, founded in 1950) where he spent 25 years designing and crafting objects and architectural elements in wrought iron, steel, bronze, and copper. He eventually set up his own studio.

While he continues to produce functional objects (railings, gates, staircases, and archways like the one in Stockton Park, Ortega), his artistic activity has grown steadily. Unlike his carefully planned out architectural work, his sculptures allow for a more spontaneous creative process.

David’s Three-day demonstration will focus on a larger scale, abstract sculptural piece in his signature style. While his four-hour Sunday workshop is dedicated to introduction to foldforming. What is fold forming some of you might ask? Foldforming is a technique of metalworking whereby metal is folded, repeatedly forged and annealed, and unfolded; at which stage it generally has a dramatic new three-dimensional form. This technique-based workshop is designed for any skill level!

Students will have the opportunity to create multiple three- dimensional forms which they might choose to combine or leave as individual pieces. The shapes created and skills acquired may be used for sculptural, decorative or architectural applications.

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