The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA)
is dedicated to perpetuating the noble art of blacksmithing. A blacksmith is one who shapes and forges iron with hammer and anvil. ABANA encourages and facilitates the training of blacksmiths; disseminates information about sources of material and equipment; exposes the art of blacksmithing to the public; serves as a center of information about blacksmithing for the general public, architects, interior designers, and other interested parties.

ABANA 2018 Conference

Why ABANA Contest
Social Media

Conference Division

2012 Conference Demonstrators

International Demonstrators:

Claudio Bottero - Blacksmith – Italy

Claudio Bottero will be working by hand and power hammer with a team of blacksmiths to create a large sculpture.

Some examples of Claudio's Work
Claudio Booterro Boterro Gate Boterro Gate Back

Håvard Bergland - Blacksmith / Knifemaker – Norway

Håvard Bergland will make a true Viking Axe. Håvard’s book, that has been translated into English, will be for sale.

Some examples of Håvard's Work
Claudio Booterro Boterro Gate

Becky Little - Nova Scotia, Canada      Website: Dragonfly Forge

Becky Little will create a coat rack with her whimsical style. I cannot wait to see what else she has prepared for us!

Becky Little Forging Becky Little Forging Becky Little Candle Holder Shoe hat rack


Punzo Family Copper Smiths:

6 members of the Punzo/Angel Family from Mexico : Abdon Sr, Carlos, Abdon Jr, Felipe, Marcos

Coppersmiths will take scrap copper and turn it into beautiful copper vessels. All work is done by hand with very few tools.

Knife Makers:


June 12, 2102 Update: Due to health concerns Ed Caffrery will not be demonstrating at the conference
For current info on Ed's status visit his Blog: http://themontanabladesmith.blogspot.com/

Ed Caffrey, ABS Master - MT      Website: "The Montana Bladesmith"
Caffery Forging Caffrey Finishing

Ed Fowler, ABS Master - WY      Website: Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
Ed Fowler Knife Test Fowler Knife

Kirk Rexroat, ABS Master -WY      Website: Rexroat Knives
RexRoat Knife 1 Rexroat Knife 2


Knife Makers will demo:

Making and patterning a damascus billet,

Making Mokume Gane ( Copper, Brass, Nickel Silver )

They will also be demonstrating other interesting and exciting variations of knives.


Artistic Smithing:

Jill Turman - CA      Website: Bella Ironworks
Jill Turman Jill Turman 2 TurmanGate

      Becky Little - Nova Scotia, CANADA      Website: Dragonfly Forge   See photps of Becky and some of her Ironwork above Under International Demonstrators

Traditional / Sculptural:

      Brian Brazeal - MS      Website: http://www.myspace.com/brazealbrothers
      Lyle Wynn (Brian's helper) - MS

Brian Brazeal Brian Brazeal Tools Brian Brazeal Hammers Brian Brazeal Hammers

Brian Brazeal and his assistant Lyle Wynn will do some hard hitting to make hammers and tooling.



Team of Three Teens:

In furthering ABANA's goal of perpetuating the noble art of blacksmithing, by promoting blacksmithing to youth, we have added a "Youth Showcase" Demonstration to our slate of Opening Demonstrations on Wednesday evening. Alec Steele, Daniel Riffe, and Kainon Baumer make up an international striking team which will put on both an entertaining and educational show to help open our 2012 conference. This team of three teens, all exceptionally talented behind the anvil through the tutelage of Brian Brazeal, will show what they know in dramatic form.

This is a first for these three young men and for ABANA as well. Young, old, beginner, and veteran smith will all walk away from this demo with a smile on their face, new techniques in hand, and comforted by the thought that blacksmithing is staying alive in their youthful hands. Bring your family in for this demonstration. It may even inspire your own youngsters to come out to the shop, or inspire you to recruit a few enthusiastic youths in your area who want to learn blacksmithing!

ABANA is taking an active role in supporting our youth through the development of our youth membership and now in this showcase demonstration. We are focused on preserving the traditions of the blacksmith through study of the past and the preservation of future smiths in the sharing of knowledge, skills, and experience. Come and be a part of history and ABANA's future at this Opening Demonstration at the 2012 Conference.


Alec Steele Daniel Riffe Kainon Baumer
         Alec Steele - UK                   Daniel Riffe - TX                     Kainon Baumer - Tx       

Alec Steele's BIO

My name is Alec Steele. I am a (small) 14-year-old of dual nationality (French and British) but born and raised in the UK.

From an early age, I have always enjoyed making things, my father is passionate about green woodwork so, before metalwork, I was working wood. Which has proved to be a good “grounding” in workshop etiquette and safety. My mother, being an artist, gave me a strong sense of what is aesthetically pleasing.

My forging journey began in the summer of 2009 at the age of eleven. My family and I were at a country fair where I was drawn to the rings of hammer on anvil from the local blacksmith's demonstration pitch. I must have stood there for a good sixty minutes... I was completely mesmerized and immediately wanted to do what he was doing. So the next day, with bricks, a section of railway track, a foot pump and some scrap steel, I tried it out. It was so much fun that I did more and more. A few months later I had bought myself a beautiful Peter Wright anvil and a local blacksmith’s redundant old forge and we had put up a lean-to shelter to keep me out of the rain. Throughout the next year I did more and more forging, I accumulated more and more tools and equipment by selling my work and putting together birthday and Christmas money. We eventually built a proper workshop.

Late in 2010, I was reading iforgeiron.com and I came across Brian Brazeal’s postings. Immediately, I saw what a great smith he was. After having read just a few of his postings, I was determined to learn as much as I could from him. So I searched for all of his old postings and read through them all, again and again. I read through everything I could find and I looked through as many pictures of his work, him forging and his techniques for moving metal as I could. Then, at the week end, I would practice these techniques in the forge. With the great support of my parents, we managed to organize for me to go and learn from the man himself in Mississippi.

I travelled to Mississippi in April of 2011, I stayed there for two weeks. In those two weeks I learnt more than I could have ever imagined! Brian is an incredible teacher, blacksmith, tool maker and person! Together with Lyle Wynn, they form an amazing tutoring team! I learnt the techniques to make so many things and these techniques have enabled me to work in the forge a lot more efficiently. It was a fantastic learning experience!

This past year has been spent working on the techniques of moving metal, while having to juggle forging with a busy school life, lots of sports and being a normal 14-year-old kid.

I hope for my forging journey to go on and on. I am thrilled with the opportunity which has been given to me to come to the states for ABANA this July and I want to thank everyone who is making it possible for all their hard work!

I can't wait to be with you all at the ABANA 2012 Conference!

Daniel Riffe Bio

My name is Daniel Riffe, and I have been blacksmithing since September of 2009 when I was accepted for a volunteer position as a cowboy and apprentice blacksmith at the George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, Texas. I am a tenth grader this year and home schooled to better accommodate both my dyslexia and my blacksmithing ambitions.

This past Fall I set up my own "smithy" near Booth, Texas, so that I can have more hammer time on the anvil. My blacksmith shop is primitive in that I have no electricity or running water, but I do have the tools I need to get the job done. And, when needed; I build my own tools and jigs to accommodate the job at hand. While I still volunteer for at least one eight-hour day at the George Ranch each week, I am also able to put in twenty hours or more at my smithy working on the processes and techniques that I need in order to gain both greater proficiency and efficiency. This past Fall I started my own business and I am selling my wares at the Sugar Land Imperial Farmers Market on alternating Saturdays all year round.

I cannot speak highly enough about the local metalworking communities' willingness to support and train young "smiths" and to demonstrate to the public what not very long ago was a dying art form. Consequently, I have joined both the Houston Area Blacksmith's Association (HABA) and the Artists Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA). I have also been very lucky to have been able to receive training from Brian Brazeal in Brandon Mississippi. Brian has provided me scholarship support to enable me to really further my skills. Like Brian Brazeal and so many others in the blacksmithing community, I truly believe that crafting can be of benefit to any and all young people, and to that end, I regularly provide free forging demonstrations to schools and civic organizations.

Kainon Baumer Bio

I am 17  and have been forging for a year and a half ( though it seems so much longer... I even calculated it!!! )

It started as a homeschool project, where I slowly developed from website blogs to digging a primitive forge in my own backyard. Eventually, I started volunteering at the Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Museum, so I could have a place to forge. Most recently, I volunteer with Laurie Wicker, at the historical blacksmith shop in Zilker Park's Botanical Garden in downtown Austin, TX. We practice techniques and demo to the public, 2-3 days a week, while representing our local Blacksmith organization, Balcones Forge.

I joined the Balcones Forge Organization, shortly after becoming interested in blacksmithing. They have been a great support to me, such as helping me with the opportunity to spend a week with Brian Brazeal. While at Brian's, I was able to spend time learning his unique style of blacksmithing, which gave me a new perspective on how to move metal. My goals are to learn and practice, as much as I can about blacksmithing and to help others learn and understand how to move metal, in a way that makes the most sense to them.
Oh, and of course, to one day have my own shop at home!

I really want to see this artisan craft of blacksmithing continue to survive and am glad to be a part of it.


Iron Smelt:

      Lee Sauder - VA
      Steve Mankowski - VA
      Shel Browder - VA

The Smelt Team will be building a furnace on site. The first smelt will be on Thursday along with a talk about theory on site. Friday will be the second smelt. The first bloom will be transformed in to sculptural piece; the second one will be made into steel and forged into an axe. Two smelts will give everyone a chance to see the process.

Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths:

Tom Latane Pete Renzetti Mike MaCarty Tina Chisena Carl Close
         Tom Latane - WI               Pete Renzetti - DE           Michael McCarty - NY         Tina Chisena - MD                Carl Close Jr - MA

The Patient Order of Meticulous Metalsmiths will be making a Scandinavian style door with hardware. They will be available to answer questions as they work


Teaching Station

Mark Aspery - CA
Darryl Nelson - WA
Gerald Boggs - VA

They will have the teaching station well staffed. The guys will be instructing the National Curriculum along with other projects.

Hammer Making Class - Jul 17, 2012

Nathan Robertson -

Hammer Making Class-July 17th, 2012

Location-ABANA Conference, Central States Fairgrounds in Rapids City, SD

Instructor-Nathan Robertson, Jackpine Forge

Class Size-Limited to 10 students

Class Duration- 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM (if required) with a break for lunch.


Class Description

We’ll be forging hand hammers in what I consider my “standard style” with an upset flat forging face and a variety of peen options. Students will be able to choose to make cross, straight, diagonal or rounding hammers. Choice of weights will be 1.75 or 2.25 pounds.

We’ll be working in pairs and using striking techniques with sledges and top tools. Grinding and heat treating as pertaining to hammer making will be covered and each student will go home with a completely finished hand hammer ready to use. The class will start with a step by step demo of a cross peen hammer which will be donated to the conference auction.

All materials including steel, handles, and abrasives will be provided. All tools such as sledges, punches, drifts and tongs will be provided. Students should bring their personal safety equipment and wear appropriate clothing. Bringing your favorite forging hammer is recommended for any hand forging or fine tuning required. If You have a touch stamp bring that as well.

Notice - June 23, 2012 - Class is full but Nathan is taking names for a back-up list

To register contact Nathan Robertson jpine@paulbunyan.net  directly. Class is limited to ten.