Will's ‘hobby' is in big demand
FROM 10m copper dragons, to spaceship replicas and elephant head water features, you name it Will Ponweiser has made it.
Mr Ponweiser began creating his copper and metal sculptures 32 years ago, displaying them in salons while he worked as an apprentice hairdresser in Armidale.
Since then his hobby has flourished into a successful business based along the Pacific Hwy at Woodburn.
Specialising in Australian birds, weather vanes, copper artworks and candleholders, Mr Ponweiser has sold his sculptures to companies such as Warner Brothers, NASA, Hard Rock Café as well as to hotels and clubs as wall features.
Despite the high demand for his works, Mr Ponweiser still calls sculpting his hobby.
"It has always been a hobby. I began small, selling things through the salon windows, and it has taken off from there and I haven't looked back," he said.
Mr Ponweiser finds his inspiration from things he sees, ideas he comes up with and suggestions from prospective buyers.
"I have made giraffes for zoos and tropical open woodfire ovens, but the most popular sellers are the Australian birds - my favourites are the flamingos," he said.
Mr Ponweiser said Woodburn was a great location to have his business positioned, right along the Pacific Hwy.
"Woodburn is very small so it is obviously not the town that is making me successful but the highway. I have had buses stop to have a look as well as people just wandering up to have a look on their way past," he said.
"It is also a great spot to live. My workshop is in my yard and I can travel into Evans Head to the beach. I have the Woodburn River for fishing and I am close to lots of things."
As well as buying copper and brass from Brisbane, Mr Ponweiser also likes to use recycled materials.
"I like to recycle things if I can. I visit the tip to see if there is anything I can use. I recently picked up some metal poles I can use as legs for the pelicans I am making," he said.
Mr Ponweiser said his best advice for those trying to sell their creative works was to persevere.
"You will get a lot of knock-backs trying to sell your work, but once people start buying your work, you know you have something to work with," he said.