The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA)        


ABANA is dedicated to perpetuating the noble art of blacksmithing. A blacksmith is one who shapes and forges iron with hammer and anvil. ABANA encourages and facilitates the training of blacksmiths; disseminates information about sources of material and equipment; exposes the art of blacksmithing to the public; serves as a center of information about blacksmithing for the general public, architects, interior designers, and other interested parties.

Business - President's Message


David Hutchison

President's Message

Spring 2014


Connections and Blacksmithing's Loss


In 1974, I connected with the late Bill Gichner at our local steam show where he was doing a blacksmithing demo. He made a leaf and gave it to me. Then he helped me make one. That sparked my interest in blacksmithing, and created a friendship that lasted almost 30 years. Through Bill I made a lot of connections with blacksmiths from all across the country and even a few from around the world.

Bill hosted a hammer-in every January at his shop in Ocean View, Delaware. In the late 80s early 90s Bill started bringing in one demonstrator from west of the Mississippi. His event had grown to where he needed a program for Saturday night. Bill decided Toby Hickman would be a good one to bring in and I was elected to pick him up at the airport. I had a description of Toby so when I met him at the gate, I had no trouble picking him out of the crowd. I drove him around for the three days he was here and got to know him. When he left, I considered him a friend.

I would see Toby at the ABANA conferences and we'd talk. When I went to a California conference a few years back, Toby took me under his wing and made me feel right at home even though I did not know many people there. That had changed by the time I left. I was privileged to be able to take a power hammer class from Toby. He was a wealth of knowledge and a great teacher.

I called on Toby several times for his opinion and got it. I also got it a couple of times when I didn't request it! Toby was a great supporter of ABANA and blacksmithing.

I know my life was enriched by connecting with Toby. Those who met Toby, were touched by his commitment to teaching and willingness to pass on his knowledge. Toby won the Bealer Award in 2012 and it was well deserved.

The ABANA conference is August this year and I will miss that booming voice and firm handshake.

Conferences gives us a chance to make new connections from around the country, and around the world . . . connections that can last a lifetime.

Hope to connect with you in August!

David Hutchison

ABANA President's Downloads

This message and previous presidents messages are available for download in Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word formats:

Date President Acrobat Word
Spring 2014 David Hutchison Spring 2014.pdf Spring 2014.doc
Winter 2014 David Hutchison Winter 2014.pdf Winter 2014.doc
Fall 2013 David Hutchison Fall 2013.pdf Fall 2013.doc
Summer 2013 David Hutchison Summer 2013.pdf Summer 2013.doc
Spring 2013 David Hutchison Spring 2013.pdf Spring 2013.doc
Winter 2013 David Hutchison Winter 2013.pdf Winter 2013.doc
Fall 2012 Peyton Anderson Fall 2012.pdf Fall 2012.doc
Summer 2011 Peyton Anderson Summer 2011.pdf Summer 2011.doc
Spring 2011 Peyton Anderson Spring 2011.pdf Spring 2011.doc
Winter 2011 Peyton Anderson Winter 2011.pdf Winter 2011.doc
July 2010 Paul Boulay Jul-2010.pdf Jul-2010.doc
April 2010 Paul Boulay Apr-2010.pdf Apr-2010.doc
Jan 2010 Rome Hutchings Jan-2010.pdf Jan-2010.doc
Oct 2009 Rome Hutchings Oct-2009.pdf Oct-2009.doc
May 2009 Rome Hutchings May-2009.pdf May-2009.doc
November 2008 Rome Hutchings Nov-2008.pdf Nov-2008.doc
April 2008 Chris Winterstein Apr-2008.pdf Apr-2008.doc
February 2008 Chris Winterstein Feb-2008.pdf Feb-2008.doc
December 2007 Chris Winterstein Dec-2007.pdf Dec-2007.doc
November 2007 Chris Winterstein Nov-2007.pdf Nov-2007.doc