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 - Bealer Award
Alex Bealer's favorite tool was not a hammer but a froe, and when he had his fatal heart attack he was indeed using a froe to split shingles, one of his favorite pastimes.
The purpose of the award is to honor the recipient for "service to the field of blacksmithing." This covers a broad range and is not only service to ABANA, though that would not be discouraged by any means, but serves to keep Alex Bealer's name alive in the blacksmithing world. The award is given when the ABANA Board of Directors deems it appropriate and the Board follows the committee's recommendations of awarding it once a year although the Board could present the award more or less often. The Alex Bealer Award is the most significant and prestigious award given by ABANA.
Criteria For Recipient
The committee looks for people who have served in the field of blacksmithing and made a significant impact and contribution, viewed from a long range of time. There is a quasi-historical perspective to see how the field has progressed, grown, and developed, due to the recipient. It is not awarded to the most popular person in the field on a given year, nor even something some one can try to "win." The award is earned and time is the key to showing who the candidates should be.