ABANA 2014 Conference Wrap Up

With anticipation of the new Anvil’s Ring Fall edition arriving in my mailbox any day now and hearing that it is about the recent ABANA Conference in Delaware….. it made me remember my own experiences I had at the ABANA conference.

I shot a quick video the first day I was there, you can view it here.  This was my first ABANA conference and it was overwhelming!  So many people to visit with and meet for the first time, so many demonstrations happening at the same time, so many tools to comb through at the tailgating tent, so much of everything!  Luckily I had 3 1/2 days to fit it all in!

The conference was held at the Delaware state fair grounds in Harrington.  The grounds were perfect for holding 15 vendors, a covered pavilion for tailgating, 10 tents for demo’s and teaching, an exhibit hall for the gallery, and several smaller meeting rooms for lectures and slide shows.

The demonstrators were from all over the world Spain, Russia, Chili, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, US and Mexico.  They were all spectacular to watch.  Here is a full list of the demonstrators and what they demonstrated:

  • Antonio Diaz Garcia – forge pressed sculptures
  • Matt Harris and Michael Robear – 6 ft sculpture focused on joinery
  • Joe Szilaski – Bladesmith
  • Kerry Stagmer – swordsmith, silversmith
  • Matt Stagmer – Bladesmith, master grinder
  • Sam Salvati – Bladesmith, blacksmith
  • John Patrick Mitchell – Swordsmith
  • Ilya Alekseyev – swordsmith, armorer
  • Tony Swatton – bladesmith, swordsmith
  • Anatolly Rudick and Bruce Jarrell – Table with “Cabriole” legs
  • Roberta Elliot – dysfunctional spoon
  • Mike “Smyth” Boone – forged figures
  • Jeffery Funk and Rachel David – joinery
  • Francisco Gazitua assisted by son Manuel Hubner, Andy Dohner, Zack Noble, David Fisher, Sven Bauer – Cruz del Sur or the Southern Cross sculpture
  • Jiri Bat’a and Artisans of the Anvil Chris Loscar, Patrick Weiss, Andrew Molinaro, Paul Janusz and Ryan Caldwell – Ancient Tipee sculpture
  • Daniel Miller and Eric Dewey – fireplace set using a flypress
  • Brett Moten and Dennis Dusek – hybrid tension joint
  • Punzo Family –  Coppersmiths from Mexico
  • The Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths – Coffee Grinder
  • Colonial Williamsburg Blacksmiths – Steve Mankowsk and a teram of 3 – 18th century weathervane
  • Lee Sauder – iron smelt
  • Darryl Nelson – Rams head cheese slicer
  • Gerald Boggs – wizard bottle opener
  • Mark Aspery – teaching tent
  • John McLellan – teaching tent

Clay Spencer and I were talking about what he thought of this year’s conference compared to the past conferences, he said the most impressive part of this conference was the quality and quantity of the pieces in the gallery.  They were exceptionally impressive, here is a video of the women blacksmiths that submitted their work in the gallery, click here.

All in all it was very nicely organized event, the one and only food vendor left little to be desired and I’ve already heard that there will be gourmet food vendors at the next conference in Salt Lake City 2016.

I’ll leave you with this silly video of me having a little fun in the tailgating tent.

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