Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blacksmiths Seeking Knowledge: Traveling to Conferences and Hammer-ins

In two weeks time I have made two trips, spent 6 days driving, and covered 2,400 miles to get to Blacksmith’s conferences and Hammer-ins. My travels illustrate the lengths to which Blacksmiths will go to network and add to their skills. There are events large and small at all times of the year and all across the nation. This is the culmination of a long road that began with the first National Blacksmithing Conference in 1973.

One on one tutorial classes such as we offer at The Farmers’ Museum are one of the fastest ways to develop new skills. Memberships in educational organizations are another good way to learn new skills and meet others interested in blacksmithing. There are over 50 organizations nationwide. All hold educational workshops called “hammer-ins”. They may teach everything from basic skills to advanced classes in forge welding, tool making, or other needed skills.

Here are a few notable Hammer-in’s and events planned for this year by organizations that seek to preserve and teach about blacksmithing.

April & September 2010. Northeastern Blacksmiths spring Hammer-in at Ashokan, NY.

April & October 2010. New York State Designer Blacksmiths Spring & Fall Hammer-ins. More information should be available on the web site in coming months.

June 2-5th, 2010: Artist Blacksmith Assoc. of North America’s conference in Memphis, Tenn. This is huge event, with demonstrators and attendees for around the world.

Sept. 24, 25 & 26 Quad State Conference 2010: Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil’s Quad State Roundup. This may be the largest annual blacksmithing event in the U.S., and possibly in the world. There are at least 4 demonstrators presenting at a time, near 1,000 guests, and is a great place to find new and old tools.

This is just a small sampling of the conferences and learning opportunities this year.

1 comment:

  1. great blog. glad I found it. farmers museum is one of my favorite places to visit. I watch the blacksmiths as long as my wife will let me stand there. I just signed up to take a class in Brookfield, its a little closer to me. Keep up the good work.


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