Northwest Blacksmith Association

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.)