This year we have six excellent candidates offering time, energy, talent and organizational skills to the continuity of our group. There are 5 positions open, with 6 nominees and a space for a write-in candidate vote. Please participate and cast your ballot for the five volunteers you feel best represent what you think the NWBA should become as we grow and move forward.
Positions are a two year term, 2018 & 2019
I have been a serving board member for two years now and have spent the last year of that as Vice President. As I see it, there are two halves of the NWBA: Conferences and the Mentoring Center.
CONFERENCES- I’m a conference guy and absolutely love to see them go off well. I feel that with the occasional exception, they have been getting better every year recently. Adding Swaptoberfest to the schedule really filled a void for us and I want to work to make it a Fall staple for us and the tool selling community. The Spring Conference is already running fairly smoothly and I would work to maintain that as well as expand on aspects like competitions and merchandise. Planning these events and having boots on the ground during them would be my main focus if I am reelected.
MENTORING CENTER- I live a little too far away to make many of the mentoring center events and would expect that trend to continue for me. I do feel that it is time for a change in how it is ran and managed though. If the NWBA is committed to the success of the Mentoring Center it is time to hire and pay someone to manage it. When we needed the website and the HIN to run smoother we hired Amy Mook (who does an outstanding job!) to solve our problems. This is no different. If reelected I would advocate for making this happen.
BIO- I currently live and work as a Sole Occupation Blacksmith in Bend, Oregon with my son Silas and my dog Doon. Beyond the NWBA I am also on the Board of Directors for CCAC on Mt. Hood, where I am working towards expanding craftsman programs, helping to put on events like Blacksmith Week, and acting as liaison between the NWBA and CCAC. I am also the Education Czar for the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild (COMAG).
Cheers and happy forgings,
In my opinion, the real job of a director of the NWBA is twofold. A director must serve the best interests of the collective general membership. A director must impliment the Association’s Mission Statement. I have not always been successful at these. Not always.
I do think I’ve done a good job overall. If you agree, please consider voting for me to continue for a third and final term.
Whether you think I’ve done a good job or not, PLEASE consider running for the board of directors yourself next year! Serving on the board is the single best way I know of to insure the continuing success of this terrific Association.
In the early 2000’s my first real exposure to blacksmithing was attending an NWBA conference in Mt. Vernon. This was a life altering experience. I was already hooked on metalworking but had little idea of what blacksmithing was. The energy and enthusiasm at those first few conferences that I attended nudged my path in life and led me to the road that I currently travel.
After travelling the country to train and work with different smiths I ended up back in the Northwest working for blacksmiths in Seattle and eventually opening my own business, Forge & Nail, in 2011. I have since moved to Sedro-Woolley, WA where I am self employed doing architectural blacksmithing and assorted other pursuits.
The NWBA gave me the exposure to blacksmithing that started my journey and has provided me with some of my best friends and access to some of my blacksmithing heroes. I figure it is time to pay it forward and help to keep the NWBA the best and most active blacksmith association in the land.
During the Spring Conference I was nominated to serve on the NWBA board. The NWBA is very special to me and I can’t imagine what my career would have been without it. I have been a fulltime smith for 35 years and a member of NWBA since 1988. Most of my work is interior architectural/ sculptural in nature. Many of you celebrated these good years with me and helped me through the lean ones. You are my core friends. Thank you.
We live in confusing times. I believe that there is a strong desire from the pubic, particularly young people, to learn smithing and to get in touch with a worthwhile life focus. During the last few years I’ve refocused my work into teaching and tapping into the expertise of other smiths. If elected, I would like to focus on education and training.
I’ve been a member of the NWBA since around 1995. In that time I’ve had varied levels of involvement, and have seen a lot of changes- some good and some not so good. One thing that has not changed, has been the need for a core group of people both professional and non professional, to keep the club moving forward. I served on the board in the early 2000’s just prior to our groups journey into the dark ages. I’m happy to see that we have mostly recovered from that episode, and thanks to the determination of some of the board members that followed that chapter, there have been some new and exciting things taking place.
By re-joining the board, I hope to help generate even more momentum, so that we can not only continue growing as a group, but also meet a much bigger challenge, which is to create events that are higher profile, involve the public, and bring a more modernized and contemporary perspective into our unique and amazing craft. I am of the opinion that this would benefit professionals and part-timers alike, by challenging many of us to get out of our comfort zones, and try new things. In my numerous conversations with smiths and other tradespeople both in our country and abroad, there have been a number of parallel themes. One that stands out for me, is that ultimately it is up to us as blacksmiths and designers to understand the ideals and esthetics that come with todays architectural trends. If we can’t speak their language, we are doomed. Likewise, we must know how to communicate to our clients, both literally, and physically to show that we are up to the task of participating in the dialog of contemporary architecture, sculpture, or what have you, and be a relevant part of the conversation.
As both a participant and an observer, I have numerous thoughts on how we can implement some of these concepts as a group. However, it will take a concentrated and coordinated effort between our board and our membership to see these things come to fruition. Among the ideas that I have are bringing more interdisciplinary craftspeople into the loop at conferences, so that we have an opportunity to gain perspective on how our work can interact with the work of others. Also in the forefront of my mind is how to tackle the challenges associated with involving the public either at our conferences, or by bringing a group, or groups of smiths to events that could support the building and completion of sculptural work that would be for permanent public display. We have so much potential as a craft and as an art form, and though I have seen some things moving forward over the years, I believe that we still need to be wary of stagnation if we are going to keep going in this world. Let us make our presence known!
I am Jim Von Mosch, and have been the NWBA treasurer for this term. There are a lot of details to the treasurer’s job and a long learning curve. I have met some of my goals, not so much on others. I am interested in serving a second term in order to complete these goals in order to pass on to future treasurers a turn-key system of record keeping and budgeting.
Thank you for your support.
Jim von Mosch
NWBA Elections 2017 ballots are in the mail, you should receive yours by mid-December.
If you are a current NWBA member and you do not received your ballot please contact Jim Garrett, the Election Committee Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org
RETURN YOUR BALLOTS POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 31, 2017