Northwest Blacksmith Association

President’s Message

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.)

President’s Message 1st Quarter 2017

Hello, Everyone!

Each year elections bring changes to the Board of Directors. Sometimes the changes are big and sometimes small. This year we needed 4 Directors but had only three names on the ballot. John Paul has agreed to accept appointment to the vacant seat. We need no less than five nominations for next 2017. Do expect to hear from our Elections Committee as we earnestly seek out candidates!

As always, PLEASE DO let your Board of Directors know how we may better serve YOU the membership! Feel free to contact any board member with questions or ideas. Our contact info is inside the front cover.

Here are just a few of the excellent ideas Members just like you have brought forth:

Bringing back the Potluck at our Conference; Taking our Archives to the public with travelling displays; Using the Mentoring Center not only for teaching and learning smith craft, but teaching and learning how to demonstrate; Holding an event this coming October.

That’s right; there will be a special event in October! Long time NWBA members Andrea and Dave Lisch have, for many years, hosted the Blacksmith’s Swap Meet under the bridge where their shop was. They’ve moved, of course. They also tell us the area under the bridge has had changes and no longer works for a swap meet. The NWBA will be helping to fill this void with an event in October. This won’t be a Conference, but it will be fun! In addition to opportunities to haggle and trade, there will be demonstrations and open forge time in the Mentoring Center. Look for details in this and future issues of the Hot Iron News and also on our Website (

The NWBA Conference is right around the corner (May 12 through 14 – Save the date!)

We’ll need help at the Registration desk, especially in the mornings. We also need volunteers for late-evening fire-watch. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Peggy Gudgell, and offer your help with these details! (You’ll find her contact information on the inside of the front cover.)

Speaking of details, you can find plenty beginning on page 11 of this issue of the Hot Iron News.

Don’t forget the County Fair in July (26th-29th)! We’ll be re-arranging the Mentoring Center to accommodate the public. Contact our volunteer coordinator, Peggy, and let her know which day you would like to greet the public.

Stay Inspired!

-Lee Cordochorea

(You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)

NWBA President


President’s Message 4th Quarter 2016

Hello, Everyone!
    The NWBA Conference is ON TRACK for May 12 through 14. (Save the date!) We’ll have a Friday potluck dinner, of course, in addition to Saturday’s banquet. There will be forging contests with prizes. Our repousse station will be open as usual. Randy Cryderman will provide a bronze-pouring demonstration on Sunday morning. We’ll have dandy hands-on classes. And naturally we’ll have our spectacular headliner demonstrators, Dave Lisch and Maegan Crowley!
Be thinking about your auction item! It doesn’t have to be big or fancy to help out the cause. Most of last year’s auction was comprised of smaller-ticket items, and the auction was highly successful. Our gallery will be available for showing off your special pieces. Gallery and Auction display will once again share the space with our NWBA Library.
It wouldn’t really be a Conference without Tailgaiting. This year, we’ll be asking a 10% fee for items other than tools and materials. For example, if I’m selling sucker rod or tongs, I’ll pay no fee, but if I sell wall-art I would contribute 10% of receipts to the NWBA. This will be on the honor system, and our treasurer will happily provide a receipt.
Please do consider volunteering to help out with the Conference! We’ll need help at the Registration desk, especially in the mornings. We also need volunteers for late-evening fire-watch. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator and offer your help with these details! (You’ll find her contact information on the inside of the front cover.)
Since you’re thinking of volunteering (you ARE thinking of volunteering, right?) The Mentoring Center is still in need of some Registrars and some Coordinators. Registrars will greet folk, accept the daily fees, and record attendance. Coordinators will make sure materials and consumables are stocked, make sure repairs and maintenance take place, and draw up schedules for our volunteers.
In the meantime, be looking for your ballots in December. We’ll be voting to fill four seats on the Board of Directors. In January, the new board will meet, determine who is to fill which of the offices, and will continue working on your behalf. PLEASE DO let us know how we can achieve that goal more completely! Feel free to contact any board member with questions or ideas. Our contact info is inside the front cover.
Stay Inspired!
-Lee Cordochorea
(You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)

President’s Message 3rd Quarter 2016

A Word From Whats-His-Name

Hello, Everyone!

I hope you are enjoying the summer, I certainly am! In July I was one of a few NWBA members demonstrating our craft to the general public at the Cowlitz County Fair. Had me a blast! Our lease with the Fairgrounds allows for two options during the Fair. One is to evacuate everything from the building during the fair so the building may be put to use. The better option is to have our Mentoring Center open to the public. Being open to the public promotes our craft, generates interest and new memberships, and saves us a lot of packing and unpacking!

Keeping with our established theme of recruiting volunteers early and often… It is not too soon to volunteer to help with the fair in 2017! If you would like to demonstrate or to simply greet the public next July, contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Peggy Gudgell is our Volunteer Coordinator. (Thank you, Peggy!) You can find her contact information on our Board of Directors page. She’ll be happy to hear from any member who wants to volunteer for any task. In addition to next July’s fair demonstrators here are a few more tasks needing to be filled:

  • New MC Coordinator – Line up demonstrators and keep an eye on the needs of the Mentoring Center
  • Mentoring Center Registrars – working under the direction of our Treasurer, these folk accept funds at MC sessions.
  • Conference Registrars – come help out at the registration desk in May at the Conference!
  • Mentors for Youth – teach safety and very basic skills to young people one-on-one in the MC.
  • Survivor Support – assist spouses and families of survivors of members with appraisal of tools and equipment (more on this in the paragraphs ahead…)

We are also still seeking nominations for candidates to run for the board of directors. Distance is no longer an acceptable excuse turn down this duty! Several current directors are attending via “Google Hangouts” and the general membership is able to tune in on “You Tube.” No matter where you live, you can serve on the board of directors!

You, the membership, are the life-blood of this Association. Wouldn’t it be great if we could always be there for each other? We each eventually depart, though, leaving our friends and family behind, along with all those tools and equipment. A good smith knows the value of their tools and equipment, but the surviving family often needs help determining fair market value. If you would be willing to help an NWBA family in your area when the time comes, please contact Peggy. Also, let your family know they may contact the editor of the Hot Iron News to obtain free classified advertisement when the time finally does come.

Speaking of equipment, your Board of Directors is attempting to procure a hydraulic press for the mentoring center. We hope to have this in place by springtime. There will be more said on that in the next Hot Iron News (early December 2016).

There will also be more news regarding the NWBA Conference May 12-14 2017, (Save the date!) In addition to our Conference Demonstrators (Dave Lisch and Maegan Crowley) and Hands-On sessions, we’re planning a metallurgy seminar, a Sunday bronze casting demonstration, Friday potluck social, contests, craft demonstrations, repoussé, and much more!

My last bit of news for now concerns our archives. The NWBA is fortunate to hold an impressive archive of ironwork. These are pieces made by conference demonstrators over the decades – a truly amazing collection. Many of these works are on display at our Mentoring Center in Longview. The time has come to put some of these before the public as well. In 2017 there will be at least two public exhibits of the NWBA archives. One will be in the springtime in or near Spokane, WA. The other will be in September in Oak Ridge, OR. If you know of an additional venue which would benefit from an exhibit of the archives, please contact any board member.

Stay Inspired!

-Lee Cordochorea

(You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)


President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2016

NWBA President Lee CordochoreaHello, Everyone!

“Good vibes.” That’s the phrase I heard from multiple folk describing the 2016 Conference. People enjoyed the social opportunity provided by Friday’s potluck, and the forging contests. Our membership was “building friendship and goodwill,” just like our Mission Statement says. Your Board of Directors will absolutely keep this in mind when planning future events.

The demonstrations were great, the auction was both fun and fruitful, the gallery inspiring. What more could one ask from a conference? Preview screening of a jaw-droppingly amazing video featuring “impossible” welding techniques? We had that too!

We have some Nominees for the Board of Directors, we would like more. If you know someone who loves this association and wants to give a little back, please get their name to our Nominating Committee. (Names of folk on the Nominating Committee are just inside the front cover of this issue.) We can “video conference” now, so distance is no longer an obstacle!

Special thanks to Ben Tosto who is now the NWBA Librarian. (Hunter says Ben’s arm will be fi ne, it was just a “submission hold.”) Don’t forget to return your borrowed books! Also, consider becoming the NWBA Librarian yourself, especially if you live close to Longview! (Ben is a trooper, but would appreciate less travel.)

Our 2017 Conference will be held during the second weekend in May (Save the Date!!). One of our headliner demonstrators will (tentatively) be sharing with us some fascinating ways to forge tube and structural shapes. The other will show how to develop and defi ne good patterns in “Damascus” steel. We’re going to need some help at the registration table. Please consider volunteering some of your time on Friday morning or Saturday morning.

The Mentoring Center is still in need of some Registrars and some Coordinators. Registrars will greet folk, accept the daily fees, and record attendance. Coordinators will make sure materials and consumables are stocked, make sure repairs and maintenance take place, and draw up schedules for our volunteers.

Our outreach program continues to take shape. One or two of you have considered volunteering to help with the Youth Mentoring Grant. We’ve begun discussing options with representatives of the Wounded Warrior movement. Two Scout Troops are interested in potential relationships with us. We continue to investigate the possibility of co-sponsoring hammer-ins in areas far from Longview. Outreach is an excellent way for our Association to “preserve and promote the art and craft of blacksmithing.” I hope more of you will take interest in this and volunteer to help.

The next Board of Directors meeting takes place in late August. Please consider joining us, whether in person or “virtually.” Among other things, we’ll be discussing the 2017 Conference, outreach eff orts, asset inventory valuation, and the Mentoring Center. Make your opinion known! Watch the website (www. for details.

Phone numbers and e-mail addresses for folk on the Board of Directors can be found on the inside cover of this Hot Iron News. It’s easy for you to contact us for questions, feedback, or to volunteer.

As always, we will be happy to have your help in any form you feel comfortable giving it. The NWBA runs on neither propane nor coal. The NWBA runs on BLOOD, SWEAT, AND VOLUNTEERS! Contact one of your Directors to ask how YOU can help keep us running!

Stay Inspired!

-Lee Cordochorea  (You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)

President’s Message 1st Quarter 2016

NWBA President Lee CordochoreaA Word from What’s His Name by NWBA President Lee Cordochorea

Hello, Everyone

Your ballots have been counted. New Directors and new Officers are now settling in. Our contact information is listed inside the front cover of this newsletter. As always, call or write if you have a question, a comment, or a complaint. (Especially contact us if you have a complaint! We can’t fix a problem we don’t know about!)

With the passing of the torch completed, it may surprise that I’m going to ask for nominees for 2017’s election. Why so soon? Well, it’s not really all that soon…

There’s been discussion of increasing the Board from 9 Directors to 11. If that comes to fruition, we’ll want at least two more nominees for next time. Regardless of quantity, we’ve solicited nominees at the Fall Conference in years past. Now, we’ll be soliciting at the Spring Conference. We hope to get some good response. Especially, we hope to avoid some familiar reasons for folk declining. There are two reasons which seem most common when someone declines to run for the Board. One is a misperception that we fight amongst ourselves. Second objection is the road trip to attend quarterly meetings. Let’s take those one at a time.

Of the ten board meetings I’ve been to (nine as a Director) I’ve seen neither guns nor knives pulled out. Voices were raised only once, and we learned from that event. Yes, there are occasional differences of opinion, but we resolve them in a civil manner. Usually, we don’t even get to disagreeing – we just try to work out what will be best for the Association. When we keep that goal in mind, it’s a lot easier to work harmoniously. And generally we do work together quite harmoniously. So please consider serving on the Board if you’ve avoided it for fear of infighting.

We’ve also been working the bugs out of a system enabling Directors (and anyone from the General Membership, if so inclined) to attend electronically. Very soon, distance won’t get in the way of anyone attending. These modern electronic marvels might not respond well to hammer-blows, but they do respond to perseverance. We’ll have this new tool working soon.

What kind of folk do we need on the Board? We need folk who love this Association and want to see it continue. We need folk who can listen, ask questions, and make suggestions. We most especially need a couple folk who can handle either numbers & accounts, or who can handle notes and correspondence. (We always have trouble finding a Treasurer and/or a Secretary. We’ve taken steps to make those jobs less challenging.)

If you think you or the folk you know lack “what it takes” to be on the Board, please reconsider. ALL of us are volunteers. The NWBA has been an all-volunteer outfit for more than thirty years! Volunteers go to the mailbox, write the rent checks, find the demonstrators, and sweep the floors. Everything done by our Association is accomplished by volunteers.

While I’m on the subject of volunteers, I’d like to thank the folk who have stepped forward to assist with running our Mentoring Center. We have five Stewards now who will insure the place is safely, properly, and timely opened up, safely run, and safely & properly closed down. More Stewards would be even better.

We also need volunteers to act as Registrars for the Mentoring Center. These folk will greet participants, collect fees, and coordinate with the Treasurer. If you can help out with this, please contact any Director using the information inside the front cover of this newsletter.

Our Librarian, Anne Bujold will be taking graduate classes out of the region soon. We’ll miss her! We’ll need someone to step into her shoes when she leaves to pursue her M.A.

The Spring Conference (May 13, 14, & 15 – save the date) will need your help as well. We need folk who can help acclimate new members, act as a fire-watch (especially later in the evenings) and help keep everyone safe. It’s easy work and you get to wear a spiffy high-visibility arm-band! We’ll also need some volunteers to keep an eye on the Gallery & Library. I know some of you hang out there for hours at a time anyway. (I know that because I do so myself and I’ve seen you!)

As for what’s planned for the Conference, it’s gonna be good! There will be a shower on site this year. (We’re still working on hot water – one thing at a time…) Black Smoke Alley will be smokin’. (Bring your solid-fuel kit and join in!) A friendly competition is being planned. Friday night will see a potluck social round the fire-pit. Saturday there will be the Banquet, the General Membership Meeting and, of course the awesome entertainment of our Auction. Auction proceeds support our NWBA Outreach, including our Mentoring Center, the Al Bart Grant, and a new grant for youth which I dearly hope to announce soon.

In order to make that new youth program work, we need (you see this coming, right?) VOLUNTEERS! Specifically, we need Mentors for the Mentoring Center. These Mentors will teach young people safety and very basic skills on a semi-formal 1-on-1 basis. If you can help out with this during the Mentoring Center’s open forge sessions, please contact any Director. Our Mentoring Center is an ongoing success, and we’d like to expand on that.

Here are just a few examples of that success: Young recipients of the Al Bart grant have been teaching other young folk (and old farts) what they’ve learned. Several people are now certified to use the tire-hammer, fly-press, and other tools. And look at all those poppies produced for the big memorial monument in Ypres! Rashelle has scheduled demonstrators for February, March, April, June, and July. It’s gonna be great! (Check the website or your monthly NWBA email announcements for the schedule.

I am very proud of the work that all of us in the NWBA are doing, and both excited and humbled to be a part of it.

Stay Inspired!

-Lee Cordochorea

(You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)


President’s Message 4th Quarter 2015

Lynn Gledhill NWBA President 2014From the Presidential Scrap Heap by NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

Greetings All Blacksmiths:
Well another year is about behind us and looking ahead to the future, here are some items to note:
Ballots will be out soon for the NWBA Board of Directors election. The board is responsible for the day to day operations of, and determines the future direction of the NWBA.  Be sure and vote and make your voice heard.  When looking to the future, consider that maybe You would be an asset to the board. We are a volunteer organization and it is you, our members, who make the NWBA great.

We are looking for some folks who can serve as “stewards” at the Mentoring Center events.  These people will be slotted to open the Center, collect fees, assist the demonstrator and generally supervise during open forge time.  Ideally we would have 2 people at each event.  If you can help with this contact Rashelle Hams. (360-901-1365

Speaking  of  Rashelle, she has been doing a great job of coordinating the Mentoring Center events.  Sadly her day job is preventing her continuing in that role, so we are looking for someone to step in and replace her as coordinator.  Contact myself, or one of your board members.
Planning is well underway for the Spring Conference 2016.  Keep your eye on the website, for more information.
Good forging,


President’s Message 3rd Quarter 2015

Lynn Gledhill NWBA President 2014From the Presidential Scrap Heap by NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

Greetings all Blacksmiths:

It was great to see a number of you at Government Camp for Blacksmith week! Great demos and a good time of forging iron, forging new friendships and re-kindling old ones. Thanks to Darryl Nelson for organizing this terrific event!

We have been having some great monthly demos at the Mentoring Center and more to come, along with some dates that will be open forge all day. Keep your eye on the website for more great events.

I need to let y’all know that we suffered a break-in at the Mentoring Center. Thieves broke into our equipment trailers and the Mentoring Center. We lost some sound equipment and a number of other items. The insurance company required a list of items lost along with receipts and dates of purchase, which we did not have, so with a $500 deductible and no way to prove what was lost, the board chose to not file a claim. What we did do is organize a work party and inventoried and documented items of value, including our library. So, if thieves ever hit again, we’ll be covered. Thanks to all who helped with the inventory!

Nominations are open for the upcoming board elections in January. If you love this outfit and would like to help steer it, contact one of your board members. This great organization couldn’t exist without you!

Hope you are all having a great summer!

Good forging,



President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2015

Lynn Gledhill NWBA President 2014From the Presidential Scrap Heap by NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

Greetings all Blacksmiths:
I recently returned from the NWBA Spring Conference in Longview, WA.  All in all it was a great time!  Sounds like from the feedback I’m getting that everyone had a good time and learned something to take home.  Thanks to all who had a hand in organizing and putting it on!

The Mentoring Center is going great guns.  Rashelle Hams is doing a terrific job of organizing demos and has scheduled some days which will be just open forging all day.  There will be a charge at the door to recover some of the cost of our propane, a full day of forging for only $10.00, a real bargain.  Check the website, for the dates.
You may have noticed that the Library is now housed at the Mentoring Center.  Feel free to peruse, checkout and return books there.  I believe you can still checkout books and return through the mail.  Contact Anne Bujold with questions.

We’ve received just a few completed surveys that we put on line and had available at the conference.  It’s important for your board members to know what you, the membership, want out of this organization, so, it’s not too late to fill out a survey.
Along the same line, several of your board members terms will be up in January.  Think about yourself, or someone you know that you would want representing you on the board.  We are looking for people who love the organization, have some thoughts and ideas on where they want to see it going, and aren’t afraid to work a little bit.  We will be creating a Nominating Committee at the July 11th board meeting.  If you care, jump in!

We’ve recently road tested an idea for board members to participate in meetings via Skype or some other computer/Internet thing.  Looks like it is going to work.  This will allow someone to serve on the board without having to travel long distances to attend meetings.

Mark your calendars for Blacksmith Week at Government Camp August 19th – 23rd.  It’s a great time of demos, hanging out with other blacksmiths, and the camping is free.  Darryl Nelson and Cascadia Center for Arts & Crafts has done a great job of organizing and putting on this event.  Don’t miss it!
As summer is nearly upon us, we are working to have NWBA sponsored demos at some of the State Parks.  All in the name of outreach and letting the world know that blacksmiths do still exist.

If you are interested in participating as a demonstrator, contact Rashelle Hams.
Good forging,

President’s Message 1st Quarter 2015

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

Greetings All Blacksmiths:

Well, here we are, 2015, a new and exciting year with the NWBA!

We have a new board of directors who are enthusiastically jumping in with both feet.  We really want to know what you want from the NWBA, please take a moment to reply to our the survey (you must be a current NWBA member and be logged in as a registered website user)

We are working to move the library to the Mentoring Center so it will be more available to our members.

Rashelle Ham is our new coordinator for the Mentoring Center events so if you have a great idea for a demo or workshop, get a hold of her.

We took a look at the hand tools at the Mentoring Center and we are lacking in square punches, fullers, etc.  February’s event will be Rashelle demonstrating making the tooling and then we’ll all jump in and get some tools made for the center.  The rest of the day will be open forging.

Plans are firmed up to have another workshop with Mark Aspery in March.  He will be doing our 4th Saturday demonstration at the Mentoring Center, and in the week prior will be giving two, 2 day workshops. (See info
Mark your calendars for the Spring Conference May 15 – 17, 2015. I am looking for a few volunteers to bring extra forging kits and allow others to use them so we could offer more than 4 hands-on classes.  I’d like to offer beginner and intermediate classes.  Get a hold of me if you can help.

We are also looking for volunteers to help run the registration desk.  Contact Scott Rash if you’d be willing to help out.

Don’t forget the Western States Conference, April 23-26, in Hollis, Ca.  Should be a great time!”

Hope to see you all at the Mentoring Center in February.

Good Forging,

President’s Message 4th Quarter 2014

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

From the Presidential Scrap Heap

Greetings All Blacksmiths:

Well, another year is nearly behind us. As we’ve just celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday, I am reflecting on the many good times and the good things that have happened with the NWBA.

The mentoring center has been a great success! We’ve had very well received demo’s by some of our own, including Dave Lisch, Jeff Holtby, Darryl Nelson, and Dean Mook. Mark Aspery’s workshop filled up so fast that we had him do a second one nearly back to back. Members Doug McGuire and Ronnie Selby have donated equipment and Simpson has given a grant for equipment. All in all, things are going great!

With the passing of another year, we are losing 4 board members; Bill Apple; Dean Mook; Brent Christiansen; and Jay McGowan. Thanks so much for your service to the NWBA!

We are also gaining 4 new board members. Ballots will be in the mail soon. You have the opportunity to choose who will be representing you on the board for the next two years.

As the New Year approaches, I am looking forward to more great times and great things with the NWBA. Remember, your board members are responsible for where this organization is going, and how we’re going to get there, but it is you, the members, who make this association great.

Good forging,



President’s Message 3rd Quarter 2014

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

From the Presidential Scrap Heap

Greetings All Blacksmiths:
Hope all are having a great summer. We had a blast at Blacksmith Week at Mount Hood! There were some great demos from some really talented smiths, and I learned a lot, even how to stick iron into hot rocks! Thanks to Darryl Nelson for organizing such a fun event and for demonstrating and sharing his tricks… He demonstrated ‘til he nearly dropped!
I’ve heard from several members that they would like to go back to two conferences per year but I think Blacksmith Week fills that bill really well.
The Mentoring center demo’s and open forging have been really well received. It has been a great success, in my opinion. Thanks to Bill Apple’s negotiating, we didn’t have to move out for the Fair! Instead we were able to move in some of the archives and share blacksmithing with all the fair attendees. Thanks so much to those who set up the archives and staffed the building during the Fair! A great organization like the NWBA wouldn’t run if it weren’t for you folks who generously give of your time.

We have a couple more demo’s coming in September and October at the Mentoring Center as well as a possible workshop with Mark Aspery in November. Hope to see you at the Mentoring Center end of this month.
As an organization, I want to develop plans for outreach and education… Maybe in the form of workshops held in various locations or…
We were in Astoria, OR for the Metal Fest event in July… What if the NWBA were to sponsor Metal Fest; Portland, Eugene, Spokane, etc.? …Just some ideas to kick around.
Many of you may know that we lost one of our founding members, Don Kemper Sr. in July. He was held in high regard as one of the great presidents of the NWBA. He will be sorely missed.
Good forging,

President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2014

Lynn Gledhill NWBA President 2014

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

From the Presidential Scrap Heap

Greetings All Blacksmiths:

I just returned from the NWBA Spring Conference. What a great conference!!!  I think most everyone really enjoyed this event.

Dorothy Stiegler and John Williams worked for 3 days forging and assembling a gorgeous bronze bird bath. Dorothy had designed this piece with a glass bowl created just for this piece. Initially it seemed our budget for the demos was getting stretched too thin, so we came up with a less expensive bowl.

Dorothy, as the exceptional artist that she is, felt strongly that the piece wasn’t what it should be with the substitute bowl and very generously gifted the original bowl to the NWBA. Now the piece is perfectly completed in the mind of this wonderful artist, which is how it should be. Thank you so much Dorothy and John!
Our own Ben Czyhold put on a great demo producing 3 items using a variety of forging and joinery techniques. His craftsmanship is as perfect as his speech!

I want to thank all the people who gave their time, energy, and talents to make this conference great: our conference coordinators, Bruce Crittenden and Brent Christiansen; Anne Bujold for the library; Lisa Geertsen for the gallery; Mark Manley for the sound systems; Scott Rash and Darryl Nelson for registration; Eric Sprado and Larry Langdon for the auction; the hands-on instructors; and a host of others who worked behind the scenes.

I am already looking forward to the monthly hammer-ins and demos and certainly Blacksmith week at Government Camp August 21 thru Aug. 24.
As we head into summer I am thinking of how we can do more outreach and education. Our mentoring center is a great start and has been very successful. I want to see us reaching more younger people. Let me know your thoughts and ideas.

Good forging!

President’s Message 1st Quarter 2014

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

NWBA President Lynn Gledhill

From the Presidential Scrap Heap

Greetings all blacksmiths,

Well here we are… We have a new board at the helm of this great organization. I am excited for the people we have on the board! I think we’ll make a great team!

I want to thank all the past board members, and each one who gave of themselves to make the NWBA what it is today. I especially want to thank Bill Apple for his work toward the Mentoring center, and Darryl Nelson for the same, and as treasurer, for getting us out of the red and into the black! Seems I heard a classic rock song with that thought.

I walked into my first board meeting last month and walked out the new President of the NWBA. Surprised at first, however, I’ve always liked a challenge, and I appreciate the confidence that the members placed in me to lead this great outfit! I hope to do a great job.

The monthly hammer-ins at the Mentoring Center have been very well attended. The forge welding demo by Darryl in January had a huge audience. Thanks to Darryl for teaching us so much! You make it look soooo easy.

We have a bronze forging workshop coming up in May with Dorothy Stiegler, a first step in what I hope will become many more workshops at the Mentoring Center.

Also in May, we have a 4 day conference extravaganza. We’ll have 3 full days of demo’s, and we are planning to have even more hands-on classes, both beginner and intermediate skill levels!

Hope to see you all there!

I am proud to be a member of the NWBA. This is my organization… And it is yours… The NWBA belongs to every member. It is the contributions of each person that make the NWBA great. I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can do things even better. Please feel free to ask any question you like. There isn’t a question or comment you are thinking of that someone else isn’t also thinking. Just go to the website: and start a thread under “For the Good of the Order.” I think that is the easiest way for us all to communicate. I’ll be happy to hear from each one of you.

Good forging!

President’s Message 4th Quarter 2013

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hello Blacksmiths,

Another year has come and gone. This has been a busy year for the NWBA. We have gone a year already with the MentoringCenter. We have received $20,000 in grant money. We have a new web page . We put on the Western States Blacksmith Conference on Mount Hood. We have had demonstrators from all over the world; Alec Steel from the UK and Freddy Rodriguez from Columbia SA, and many others from all over the US. Thanks to all of them and the many hands that helped in every and any way. Thank You!

I would also like to thank all of the board members, past and present, for all of their hard work. To the current board members who’s terms are up: THANK YOU for all of your efforts and input.

Moving forward, I am hoping we can get some workshops going in the MentoringCenter in 2014. It is our hope to have workshops and demo/ open forges on alternating months. Darryl Nelson will do a forge welding demo/open forge on January 25, 2014. Tri Ficker will be doing a tong making workshop on February 22nd, starting at 9AM in the Mentoring Center, Longview, WA. Our demonstrator for the Spring Blacksmith Conference, Dorothy Steigler, is conducting a bronze forging work shop the weekend prior to conference. Contact Bruce Crittenden or Brent Christiansen for more info about this event.

We are only going to have one conference this year so there will be a extra day, Thursday through Sunday, with a lot happening every day. Slide presentations, hands-on workshops and much more. Show up early and get a spot in one of these workshops while there is still room. Do not miss this event, save the date – May 14-18, 2014.

Well, as we move into the holidays I hope all of you and your families have a great and safe celebration.

That is about it for now, I’ve got a forge hot and had better get to it. See you at the tail gate,


Keep Hammering

President’s Message 3rd Quarter 2013

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hello Blacksmiths,

Summer is about gone as we move into Fall. Western States Blacksmith Conference was a great time, for those that couldn’t make it you missed a really fantastic event. Thanks to all of you who helped in any way: from our great demonstrators for a great show, to all of the members that lent a hand along the way. It takes all of us to make these things happen. Membership participation is the only way we can keep all of this going.

By the time you get this we will already be moved back into the MentoringCenter. My hope is to get back on track with our monthly hammer-ins. Mark Manley will be our lead-off demonstrator, with induction forge and tool making as his demo. At Mark’s request I will be demonstrating how I put a hammer handle in, as a follow up on what to do after you make the tool. Immediately after the demonstration we will have a membership meeting and nominations for Board of Directors. Open forge will begin after the meeting and nominations. I hope to see some new faces. I really like to see the boy scouts there, they have a passion going on that only a young person has. I guess I like to see anyone of any age fi nding their path in blacksmithing.

The time to get started blacksmithing is now. The schedule of demonstrators will be posted on our website and sent to you in our monthly email announcements. Lisa Geertsen will be our demonstrator for October, she will be showing techniques of forging pre-cut steel shapes. The demonstration will be followed as usual by open forge time. A board meeting will be convened at 2 o’clock in the building next door, while the open forge is going on. Come and check it out, all current NWBA members are welcome to be at the board meeting.

Its not too early to start looking at the Spring Conference. The conference will be in May next year, more to come on that later. As it stands now, there will be no Fall conference in 2014. This is a big step moving forward. If you have any questions on this talk to any board member. There will be a hammer-in every month after January, so we will have more going on than we have ever had. The fourth Saturday of every month in LongviewWashington, mark your calendars.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Keep Hammering,

Bill Apple

President’s Message 2nd Quarter 2013

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hello Blacksmiths,

We have had another Spring Conference come and go. Thanks to everyone who helped in any way. Special thanks to Dean Mook, conference host and our great demonstrators, Alec Steele and Berkley Tack. And on that note, THANK YOU to everyone that came to the conference! We need you to come to these events to keep having them. Member support is very important to keep all of this going.

Next stop, Western States Blacksmith Conference. Put it on your calendar August 22-25 2013, Government CampOregon. We will have a great line-up of blacksmiths, knife makers, gunsmiths and farriers. Come down and check it out. Your participation is what keeps our conferences going. 2011 Western States Conference was a huge success (with a big help from smiths outside of our area, 1/3 of the attendees were non-NWBA members). Let’s make a big show in 2013 of smiths from the Northwest, and make Western States another great success.

This will be an excellent time to see demonstrators from all over the country. These will be very skilled individuals, so do not miss this opportunity to see this event. There will be another Blacksmith Wars, a defi nite must see. We will have some very talented smiths working to win the prize money and bragging rights as winner of Blacksmith Wars. They will be using all of their tricks to win, so pay special attention. It will be a great battle of Blacksmithing On the Mountain… be there!

We have some good news. We have gotten two grants. One member’s employer has a matching fund for his time spent volunteering. This money will be used for our EducationCenter, (i.e. Mentoring Center). Funds will go to pay for monthly demonstrators, reaching out to groups that may be interested in blacksmithing, and paying for our venue. The Boy Scouts of America are on our support list again this year. The goal is to use this money for education not administration, in support of our non-profi t status. We also have no idea if we will get grants from these sources in the future. We would like to give a special thank you to all who made the grants possible; Betsy Priddy of Wichita Falls Community Foundation, Simpson Tacoma Kraft, and Tracy Lauricella on behalf of Microsoft. We plan on doing everything we can to keep this happening.

Now we come to a problem that has had your Board of Directors thinking long and hard… conference fees. We ran on a very tight budget this conference and still spent more than we received in fees. This is a trend that has been going on for quite a while. We were very close to making the budget with conference fees, but still fell short. Auction money is not intended to bridge the gap. That money should be used to supplement the library, teaching grants and outreach. This is where member participation comes in. This was one of the reasons that we chose the Longview facility, COST. We have hesitated to raise prices because of the economy, but we still h a v e t o p a y the bills. The conference has to pay for itself from its own fees. Bottom line, we have to raise the conference fees. The new single member fee is $85.00 and family $130.00. This is a big new step. We will go to one conference a year but we will beef it up. It will be held in the month of June. This will be a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday event. Possibly larger projects and more demos? Maybe look for more things in the area for other family members to do? I do not have an easy answer. We will have some 2 day events at Longview to offset the loss of the other conference. This is new ground! Just raising prices will not fix the problem long term. People have to come to these events to cover costs.

We can get through all this. We are trying new things, to increase membership and take care of our members’ needs by providing monthly Hammer Ins, overnight camp outs etc…

Do not hesitate to contact myself or any board member with your ideas and concerns.

~Bill Apple

President’s Message 1st Quarter 2013

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hi all,

Well a new year has come. We are off to a good start, had our fi rst Hammer In. We had a very good turn out with over 125 members though the door. As I sit here writing, I realize that this next week will be the second open forge. I am hoping for a lot of participation from the membership. Over the next year we are going to get a lot of people in the fi re. Come on down and hammer a bit, catch up with old friends and make some new friends.

I would like to thank the past Board members for their service, Bob Thomas and Harold Heia, thanks guys. I would also like to welcome our new board members Kelly Stearns and Jay McGowan. Bonnie Kline was elected, but declined the position due to schedule and travel plans that were not known to her at time of her nomination. Dean Mook and I were reelected. Read More→

President’s Message 4th Quarter 2012

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hi Blacksmiths,

Well, another Fall Conference has come and gone. We had great demonstrators: thank you Brent Bailey and thank you Bob Kramer for putting on outstanding demonstrations. I have heard a lot of great feedback. As always, there were a lot of people helping as all of this was going on. Thanks to the Board and all who helped. And special thanks to Tom Ferry for all of his hard work getting everything ready to go. Thanks Tom.

We have two new Board Members as we had two that had to resign for personal and business reasons. I wish them the best and we will see them in the future. Bruce Weakly and Bruce Crittenden are the new members. I would like to thank them for stepping in and helping. They have both had to hit the ground running. Thanks Guys. Read More→

President’s Message 3rd Quarter 2012

NWBA President Bill Appl

NWBA President Bill Apple

Hello Blacksmiths, 

Spring conference has come and gone, and although there are few issues to work through, we will be back in Longview next spring. Dean and I are getting that going now.

Let’s move into more recent events…

Our very own Darryl Nelson was presented with the Alex Bealer award at ABANA conference in Rapid City South Dakota. This is the most signifi cant prestigious award given by ABANA for the promotion of blacksmithing at all levels, not just ABANA. All that I can say is ‘way to go Darryl’. We in the NWBA are very lucky to have a individual with your drive and passion for blacksmithing. Congratulations from the board and the membership, we all hope you have many more years doing what you love doing, and giving back what you have worked so hard to get, the Craft of Blacksmithing. THANK YOU! (to read more about the Alex Bealer award visit business/bealeraward.shtml)

Read More→