Northwest Blacksmith Association

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Bridgetown Forge

Bridgetown Forge
Phone: 503-804-1524
Location: 1812 North Columbia Blvd., Portland, OR, 97217
Bridgetown Forge has been established by its owner and operator, Arnon Kartmazov.  Arnon has spent 12 years in Japan, where he has apprenticed to a knife -maker, and then a sword-maker, prior to establishing his own smithy in the hills of Northen Kyoto. Arnon has arrived in Portland in 2000, and has been at the same location ever since.  He counts Uri Hofi of Israel as one of his main teachers, as well as Ashli Hiroshi of Japan. 

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2017-3 Hot Iron News

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Blacksmith Week 2017 Gallery

Blacksmith Week 2017, at Government Camp, Mt. Hood Oregon.

Photos are taken by Amy Mook, and are basically in chronological order, and unedited.

April 2017 NWBA Board Meeting Minutes

Attached are the minutes as approved from the April 22, 2017 board meeting in Longview, WA.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Date Change for August Mentoring Center Event!

The Fairgrounds are host to a car show on the 26th. No one gets into the grounds without paying car-show admission. 
We moved the maintenance day to Aug 12.


Help NWBA maintain our Mentoring Center.

Put in a few hours of work fixing the fuel lines at the center and a few other maintenance tasks in exchange for an afternoon of open forge, no charge… And you will be doing a great service to YOUR organization, helping the NWBA to offer many more great events in the coming months.

9:00 AM: Mentoring Center Cleanup
Noon: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM: Open Forge

Cost: $10  We’ll waive the normal fee for folk who are willing to help clean-up in the morning.
Attendees must be current NWBA members due to insurance requirements

In praise of ‘Thomas Wilson’s Ironwork Notebooks: Inspiration from a Master’

by Sally Adam, forward by H. Russell Zimmermann, Review by Amy Mook

Stunning and comprehensive, this book is an invaluable resource and a treasure trove of inspiration for students and aficionados not only of ironwork, but of all arts, crafts, and design. Wilson is a master artisan in the old world European sense of the term, through decades of study and apprenticeship with some of the most accomplished in the fields of drawing, ironworking, and sculpture. With tireless dedication to inquiry and practice, he has traveled widely to observe, draw and feel the masterpieces of many great artists, from the ironwork of Cyril Colnik close to home in Milwaukee, to ancient and modern European masters of ironwork and architecture. Wilson has synthesized his broad-ranging experience and phenomenal skills, earning his place as a world- renowned and distinguished blacksmith, architectural designer, and an astounding drawer. In addition, he is an important historian and archivist, preserving a vast panoply of historical ironwork with his prolific drawings.

The book is well designed, dividing the drawings into sections: seating, tables, grilles, doors, etc. This is helpful for easy reference, and many cross applications of design and technique become apparent (e.g. elements of a chair that could easily be adapted to a window grille or brackets that might become parts of a table). His drawings range from realistic to fanciful, practical to impossible, but every one shows his command of the pencil and pen and unfailing eye for detail. For those interested in how the drawings translate to forged metal, there are several photos of finished work.

The progression of drawings on each page, and in each section, reads as an instruction manual for design development. We are invited to an intimate view of Wilson’s imaginative process when we follow his torrent of ideas spilling out onto the page, leading to unforeseen solutions, unconstrained by preconceptions. Students of design and architecture, who commonly are assigned a Chair Design Challenge, will take special interest in the extensive seating section. Every possible configuration is represented, hundreds selected from thousands of his original drawings. The dreamers who imagine that innate skill and creative vision will carry them to success will be hit over the head with a reality check; work this good takes innumerable hours of unflinching dedication to repetition, experimentation, trial and error, which Wilson has pursued with a rare passion.

When you hold this book in your hands, when you turn the pages, you will know youare in the presence of the work of a great artist, an unusual mind, and an exalted passion. You will be inspired, and hopefully not paralyzed by the enormity of Thomas Wilson’s example. I highly recommend you add this one to your library!










Sally Adam resides in the Puget Sound region and invites inquiries at She is available to sign books or display original drawings by request.

President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2017

Hello,​ ​Everyone!
Our 2017​ ​Conference​ ​was quite successful. Folk really liked it. I wish to again thank everyone who worked so darn hard to accomplish so much! This was a fine example of teamwork among many volunteers. Hopefully even more members will want to join in our ongoing endeavors as a true “association.”

The 2018 Conference is already being worked on. We’re lining up demonstrators and a “dessert dash.” Of course there will be contests and a potluck. We still need a presentation for Sunday morning. What would YOU like to see at the 2018 Conference? Contact your Board of Directors and let us know! Just peek inside the front cover of this Hot Iron News to learn how to contact us.

As I write this, we still need a ninth Director. (Lynn Gledhill has had to step down in order to be a full-time caregiver for his Dad. Our hearts go out to him.) If you know someone who could fill this void for the remainder of this year, please step forward! Also remember – we are CONSTANTLY on the lookout for folk willing to serve on the board. Elections happen every year, per the Bylaws.
I sometimes wish we called the board something other than “the board.” I think it might put folk off. It sounds like we’re important or something. What we really are is this: a hand-full of folk who love this Association enough to help keep it in existence. We’re a timid & confused lot, but we’re a determined group who wants the best for this Association and is willing to work toward that end. If this describes you, YOU should consider serving on the board.

There’s lots of excitement among the board right now concerning Swaptoberfest. What’s “Swaptoberfest?” Check page 42 of this issue and find out! We’re soliciting a few folk to help out with the Swaptoberfest “Orphans’ Booth.” This will be compensated work. Contact Peggy Gudgell or Kellen Bateham if you would like to help out in the Orphans’ Booth. Don’t forget to start work on your mask for the Masquerade Metallique competition!
One need not wait for October for NWBA excitement: August is Maintenance Month! Each year in August we waive the Mentoring Center fee for those who will help out in the morning. This year will see more than just handle-replacements & un-mushrooming of the top tools: Professional pipe-fitter extraordinaire Jim von Mosh will lead us in upgrading our fuel system. We’ll have open forge as usual in the afternoon.

In July, after the Mentoring Center demonstration, we’ll be re-arranging the Mentoring Center. We do this annually to accommodate the public at the County Fair. Your help will be appreciated! As for the Fair itself, we’ve got a few volunteers lined up to represent our Association before the public, but we could certainly use more.

One last note: Have you noticed how BIG this issue of the Hot Iron News is? Keep those contributions coming. Active participation by folk like YOU is what’s keeping every part of this Association great!

Stay​ ​Inspired!
-Lee​ ​Cordochorea
(You​ ​pronounce​ ​that​ ​just​ ​like​ ​it’s​ ​spelled.)

Berkley Tack March 2017

Mentoring Center Demonstration

Berkley Tack: Scroll Jigs and their use, and heat treating

Photographs by Dan Bowyer

Terry Carson April 2017

Mentoring Center Demonstration

Terry Carson: Handles, Hooks and Door Pulls

Photographs by Dan Bowyer

Mini Maker Faire

Calling all makers!

Whether you work with tech, crafts, cars, robots, sculpture, robots, mad science, or something in between, we want to show it off at the 2017 Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

We’re seeking makers of all ages including individuals, hobbyist groups, schools, non-profit organizations, and commercial businesses. Exhibits that are interactive or highlight the process of making things are especially desired.

As you prepare to apply for the Call for Makers, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Be descriptive as possible about your project
  • Think about what your exhibit space will require to run
  • Provide good photos or video content, if available
  • Ask questions if you’re not sure about something (contact us at

For examples of projects, visit our Makers page or browse the archive.

See you at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire September 16-17 at MoPOP.

Application Deadline: June 26, 2017

Become a Sponsor page for more information.

Here are just a few of the things we’re looking for:

  • Robotics
  • Wearables, E-Textiles, Fashion Tech
  • Biology/Biotech and Chemistry Projects
  • Drones & RC Fun
  • Homesteader & Domestic Arts
  • Kinetic, Fire & Installation Art
  • Digital Fabrication – 3D Printers, CNC, ETC
  • Open Hardware Projects
  • Design: Industrial, Fashion, Product, Urban
  • Young Makers & School Maker Clubs
  • Music Performance
  • Hacks of Any Sort
  • Glass
  • Ceramics
  • Foundry & Blacksmithing
  • How-To Workshops, Panel Discussions and Presenters
  • Electronic Projects
  • Textiles and Arts and Crafts
  • Rockets and RC Toys
  • Sustainable Transportation
  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
  • Electronics
  • Puppets
  • Bicycles and Human-Powered Machines
  • Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines
  • How to Fix Things or Take them Apart (Vacuums, Clocks, Washing Machines, etc.)

Our standard setup for a Maker exhibit is a 10’ x 10′ outdoor space.  If you need more space for your exhibit or project, please let us know. Use this space to display your work and/or demonstrate how you make something.

Performances, presentations, or workshops receive 10, 20, and 30 minute time slots.  These can be demos, stories, how-tos, and group (panel) conversations. Any maker-spirited entertainers may apply to perform at Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

ABANA Conference 2018 Poster Contest Voting

2018 Conference – Poster Contest

Click here for Contest Rules

Voting has started and ends July 15, 2017
How can you vote?

Anyone can vote. You will need an email invitation to vote. These invitations will be sent to all who are signed up to receive Emails though ABANA’s Constant Contact and have opted to receive ABANA News and Announcements.

Scroll to the bottom of this (or any ABANA website page) and select the White Sign Up Now button, and follow the instructions that will require you to enter your email address, name and as a minimum your City, State, Country, and Zip/Postal Code. Be sure to select: ABANA News and Announcements.

Once you have signed up you should receive an email invitation to vote after the submission deadline or within one day if you sign up for Constant Contact after voting begins. Once you vote, if you don’t want to receive any additional emails from ABANA Constant Contact, you can click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the Voting Invitation Email or any other Constant Contact email you receive from ABANA.


2017-2 Hot Iron News

Sorry, but you do not have permission to view this content. You must be logged in, and be a current NWBA member. To access this content and you are already a registered web user and are a member of the NWBA, simply log in. If you are not already a registered web user, register now, and make sure your NWBA membwership is up to date. There are many advantages to NWBA membership. Find out more HERE

If you are a current NWBA member and you still do not have access to this page when logged in, contact  to upgrade your account.

Arnon Kartmazov: Lightweight Tongs

Arnon Kartmazov was the guest instructor for October 2016 4th Saturday event at the mentoring center in Longview. His Bridgetown Forge in North Portland welcomes visitors but does require a phone call setting an appointment (503-804- 1524) rather than just dropping in. Please check the Forge website for classes and product off erings. A mix of Uri Hofi (Israel) and traditional Japanese cutlery training have created a unique blend of techniques and the system that he presents, is not claimed to be anything more than what he does and what works for him. His systems have developed over a long period of study and practical application but are always growing and evolving; always open to a better idea or process.

read the whole article in the pdf below: 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Nitzan Lilie: decorative spiral, various animal heads, and flowers

From November 12, 2016 Mentoring Center Demonstration  Photos by Dan Bowyer

A pictorial essay of Nitzan Lilie’s demonstration:
Working bar stock into a decorative spiral, various animal heads, and flowers…

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Longview Outdoor Gallery

Beautifying Longview 

The Longview Outdoor Gallery program was inspired by the Visual Arts Commission trip to see the Puyallup, Washington outdoor gallery in 2009. A small task force started and has increased over the years. The City Council made a resolution to support the project and citizens and organizations have been supporting this important program.

Our Mission:
Provide a rotating exhibit of outdoor sculptures in historic downtown Longview and acquire new pieces for the City of Longview’s permanent art collection.

Our Vision:
Enhance the beauty of our community and attract more visitors and citizens to the downtown area.

Increase community involvement through volunteer programs, student education, tours, festivals, and other activities.


Artists contribute sculptures to be installed at various public spaces in the city of Longview.  The pieces remain on display for approximately 2 years. At the end of the 2 years the public votes on which 1 or two sculptures to purchase for the city of Longview. The city or donors fund the purchases.  Our very own Berkley Tack installs/welds the sculptures in place.  During the loan period your sculptural work can be for sale to the public.

Visit the Longview Outdoor Garden website for more information and to see the previous and current exhibits.

Contact in Longview: Janeen LeRay  360-414-3103
or NWBA contact: Billy O (Ottaviani)  360-701-8451


Bill Apple February 2017

Mentoring Center Demonstration

Bill Apple: hammer handle install, hinges, and door pulls.

Photographs by Dean Mook

January 28, 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Attached are the minutes as approved from the January 28, 2017 board meeting in Longview, WA.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Local Blacksmiths Star in ‘Forged in Fire’

Local blacksmith Nick Marcelja of Red Troll Forge crushed the competition in the “Forged in Fire” Episode that aired on April 11, 2017.  NWBA invited Nick to demonstrate at our Mentoring Center in July 2016, where he demonstrated blade making.  You can watch the entire episode HERE.

And, coming up next week, April 18, 2017, our very own Rashelle Hams will be competing on the show as well.  Tune in Tuesdays, 9/8c pm on the History Channel. 

GO RASHELLE, we are cheering for you!!

Conference Galleries

Mentoring Center Demonstrations