Northwest Blacksmith Association

NWBA’s Mentoring Center Update

NWBA’s monthly demonstration and open forge at our Mentoring Center in Longview, WA have been amazing.

Initially it was called our clubhouse, but since it is so much more than a place to hang out with one another it was decided to rename it. The main emphasis of having a permanent home for our hands-on equipment is to have an available space for teaching and sharing, to mentor one another in the art and craft of blacksmithing, throughout the whole year. Thus, the name Mentoring Center was chosen.

On the fourth Saturday of each month the Mentoring Center will host a demonstration followed by an open forge session. The demonstrations are from 9 AM to approximately noon, then the forges are open for hands on work, to either practice what was demonstrated or try something else. Plenty of experienced blacksmiths will be on hand to share their wealth of knowledge and talents. These monthly meetings are free to all NWBA members, and you must be a member to attend.


In January Darryl Nelson demonstrated ‘Finials, or what to do when you get to the end”. Darryl taught many techniques in a couple of hours, and had instructional handouts for reference. There were over 120 people at this event (more than twice the estimate of how many would come) and the excitement in the air was palpable. Handouts for this class can be found online, and can be accessed by current NWBA members registered as web a web user.

Dean Mook demonstrating at the Mentoring Center February 2013

February we had Dean Mook demonstrating “Wall sconces, lamp shades and party hats!” Dean showed how to develop a pattern for making a conic section and used that technique to create wall sconces and lamp shades.


Terry Carson demonstrating at the Mentoring Center, March 2013



In March, Terry Carson demonstrated how to make S-hooks, bottle openers and forks. His demonstration included projects with a range of difficulty allowing all present to take away something new to add to their knowledge base. Handouts for this class can be found online, and can be accessed by current NWBA members registered as web a web user.


In April the regularly scheduled Mentoring Center activity is replaced by the Spring Conference, three days of demonstrations and open forges. The conference is being held at the same location as our Mentoring Center, at the Cowlitz County Expo Center.



The Mentoring Center gatherings are scheduled to occur monthly with the following exceptions:

July 2013, when we must vacate the building for other events going on at the Expo Center.
August 2013, because Western States Blacksmith Conference is happening on the fourth Saturday, at Government Camp Mt. Hood. Don’t miss this great event, find out more at

There will be a demonstration and open forge in the months of May, June, September, October, and November (December is undecided). If you or another NWBA member you know is interested in demonstrating at one of these gatherings contact Bill Apple, or Dean Mook

The NWBA Mentoring Center is fulfilling our hopes to have a permanent home, a place to come to learn, share with fellow smiths, and build lasting friendships. The commitment to sharing the art and craft of blacksmithing is a fundamental element of the culture of the NWBA, and it is fun too! We hope to see you there!

Our mentoring center is located at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, 1900 7th Avenue, Longview, WA.