Blog by Dan Burke, FPD
When FPD was asked last year if we would sponsor a new farrier demo tent for the ABANA conference in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2016, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. We were excited to have the opportunity to help with their goal to bring farriers into the organization’s biennial conference and share their talents and perspectives. We are glad to report the event and the inclusion of the farrier demo tent were, by all accounts, a great success. The tent was a “hotbed” (literally) of activity, with featured demonstrators Dave Farley and Tom Willoughby on hand every day to share their talents along with a number of other farrier/blacksmiths who attended and were willing to do the same. Unfortunately, Roy Bloom, who was scheduled to participate, had some major flooding hit his area in Wisconsin and was unable to attend; however, he touched base daily to hear how things were going.
We were able to bring equipment from Kentucky for the demos, along with others that provided equipment and support: Roger Freeborn from Oregon, Travis Swenson from Utah and the Big Blu air hammer company from North Carolina, represented by Andy Phillips. Of course, the ABANA organizers and set-up staff were a huge help. Special thanks to Amy Pieh and Eddie Rainey for their support and encouragement.
It’s hard to know where to start with an accounting of all the activity so I’ll mention some of those that joined in during the week and let the images we have tell the rest of the story. Tom and Dave worked on a number of projects, including bowls made from plate steel and ornamental pieces forged from Kerckhaert horseshoes. Jim and Kathleen Poor from Flatland Forge in Texas forged a pair of tongs each day, showing the attendees how important and effective good teamwork can be. Jennifer Horn from Michigan forged some flowers from stock drawn on the Big Blu. Andy Phillips forged some leaves and other pieces on the Big Blu. Austin Edens from Texas made a pair of scissors from a rasp and Shayne Carter from Utah brought some amazing Damascus knives and shared some of the steps he goes through in the knife making process.
A very special “project” that took place in the tent was an evening where attendees were invited to join in making “Poppies” to help with the Ypres 2016 project. Visit www.ypres2016.com to get the details behind this effort.
There were farriers from all over the country that joined in this first outreach by ABANA. We are looking forward to stepping up again to support the 2018 ABANA conference to be held in Virginia. Joining with many of the farriers that attended this year, we can make it an even bigger and better presentation for the ABANA attendees. Congratulations for a job well done to all of those that participated this year.
Photos from 2016 ABANA Blacksmith Conference: