ABANA Heading In Wrong Direction?

The New Artist Blacksmith Association of North America?

ABANA Now All Inclusive (short version)
ABANA Now All Inclusive (long version)
This is a discussion regarding whether ABANA should remain true to Article II of the by-laws, by demanding all aspects of ABANA deal solely with forging/blacksmiths.  This would mean that ABANA would not promote other forms of metalworking processes, i.e. electric welding, fabrication, etc.
Click on the “ABANA Now All Inclusive (short version)” above to read the shortened letter to ABANA members.
For the revised and and more complete version, based on feedback, click on  “ABANA Now All Inclusive (long version)”
This was updated on February 8, 2014.
Though we may have different opinions, thanks to all who have responded.  This discussion is long overdue.  I will leave this to ABANA’a Board of Directors, and to the membership to sort out.  I am willing to continue in this discussion.
…Dan Nauman

3 comments to “ABANA Heading In Wrong Direction?”

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  1. travis - February 5, 2014 Reply

    Very well said Dan, When I saw this article I did wonder what it was doing in the Anvils Ring, anyway I think you are right in all aspects. Travis Fleming

  2. happyhavenforge - February 6, 2014 Reply

    I have not seen an Anvil’s ring nor Hammer’s Blow for over a year since I moved to Albania, but I wholeheartedly agree with you Dan. I see more and more work that is being produced in “Blacksmith Shops” and they are nothing more than a fabrication, welded together with welds that not only are visible, but are welds that appear to be not well done and you can see this in a picture on a computer. I can only imagine what it looks like in hand. I am no Maestro such as yourself, but I do have a high regard for ironwork, forgings that are well done. ABANA must not succumb to the mass production trend for the sake of a few memberships. Forging with a hammer and anvil must remain the focus. Once again you have written an eloquent yet piercing letter that I hope rallys others to action. Yes Action. we know the board will need to hear from all of us to stop this tide.
    Sincerely yours,
    Vince Nakovics

  3. Rome Hutchings - February 14, 2014 Reply

    Dan, we have had this discussion before. Below is my post to the ABANA Blog.
    What ever happened to The ABANA Education & Standards Development Program Committee?
    The ABANA Board of Directors adopted in 2010 a procedure to setup this committee, including the first round on members. Dan Nauman, Peter Ross, Jay Close and several others who had worked with Dan on the Controlled Hand Forging lessons.
    The ABANA Education & Standards Development Program Committee would have taken ABANA to the level Dan is discussing in his letter to the ABANA Board. Even though the ABANA Board had approved the procedure and the members of the committee the Board covertly opted for using the Western State Curriculum headed up by Mark Aspery.
    This action by the ABANA Board is one of several reasons that I resigned from the Board, dropped my membership and never looked back. To say this is deja vu is an understatement.
    My hat is off to you Dan! You have continually brought this issue to the attention of the ABANA Board and as you are witness to, the issue still remains. One can only hope that we wake up and smell the coffee before its too late.
    As for me, I stand with Dan. Each summer I run the Blacksmith Shop at England Prairie Pioneer Club showgrounds. I demonstrate traditional forging as it was in the Horse Farming days and as it still applies in the world of the 21st century, its all about forging. There is no substitute for quality craft, made by hand and by hammer.
    To those of you who are trying to make a living from the craft of Blacksmithing, embrace the craft and learn to forge. There is no shortage of customers who want, and are willing to pay for quality, hand crafted work.
    To the ABANA Board, please keep the focus on the time honored craft of forging, stay true the the mission set forth by the founding members and don’t become a second rate NOMMA, as some of the comments have indicated. There is no shortage of talented individuals who are willing to step up and work towards keeping the craft of forging alive and making ABANA a first class organization, dedicated to the fine art and craft of Blacksmithing.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Rome Hutchings

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