“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. blacksmith.org) 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!
-Lee Cordochorea (You pronounce that just like it’s spelled.)