The FABA Conference Gallery is our chance to show each other our best work–kind of a Show-and-Tell for blacksmiths. Please bring your work for all of us to see. Joint efforts are welcome!
Contact us in advance, and we’ll highlight your fine forgework with a special display and lighting in the gallery. Featured work needs to be in the gallery from Friday afternoon by 5 PM until 10 AM on Sunday morning. We’ll need to know the size of your work, and whether it is freestanding, wall mounted, or tabletop sized.
The SATURDAY EVENING Fine Metal Art Live & Silent Auction is a prime fundraising event benefiting the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association. The Auction begins with a public viewing with many of the artists in attendance. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced smith, we ask each of you to consider donating at least one piece of your work to the auction. Big, small, simple, elaborate–we need it all. For further details please check our Benefit Auction page.
Trade Item Exchange
At the 2013 conference, FABA began the tradition of a Trade Item Exchange. The Trade Item is chosen by the conference chairperson, and it is announced ahead of the conference date. Anyone interested can then make the item, interpreting it through their own imaginations and skill sets. The participants bring their item to the conference, where all Trade Items will be displayed. The names of all the participants will be placed in a “hat,” and each will draw a name. Each participant then gets to take the item made by the person whose name they drew.
This is beneficial to all participating blacksmiths. Everyone has an equal chance of getting any piece, and a beginner may take home a masters work to be inspired by, while someone else takes home the work of an up-and-coming smith!
The 2018 Trade Item is a Forged Belt Buckle. The possibilities are endless–anything that does the job qualifies, whether simple and portable or complex and massive. Let your imagination run wild!.
Iron in the Hat
One blacksmith’s trash is another blacksmith’s treasure! Iron in the hat is a raffle of donated items. Often the items are things that one is tired of looking at taking up space in the shop. Items vary from antique steam engine gauges to new boxes of welding rod or pieces of saw blade and wrought iron. Blacksmithing-related clothing, books, CD’s and other items are also welcome.
Tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5, or 15 for $10.
The Iron in the Hat drawing is scheduled for Saturday at lunch time. If donations are sufficient, a second drawing will be held Sunday at noon.
Vendors and Tailgaters
Save your nickels and dimes; you’re guaranteed to find things you just can’t go home without at the conference vendors and tailgate sales.
Have extra blacksmithing equipment you’d like to turn into cash? Looking to add to your collection? Either way, the tailgate sales area is not to be missed. The tailgate sales area is located on the east side of the dirt access road, adjacent to the main conference area.Vehicle access from the main parking lot is around the left side of the hotel building.
Tailgate sellers must be registered conference participants. There is no extra charge. Just set up in the designated area.
Please note that only demonstrators and registered commercial vendors are permitted to display goods for sale outside the tailgate area. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or interested in being a commercial vendor at the conference.
Friday evening forging competitions for individuals and smith/striker teams to test their speed and accuracy for prizes.
There will be one team contest, and one or two individual forging contests.
Come prepared to sweat! Or grab a chair and watch somebody else sweat!
Bring your favorite hammer. Stock will be provided.
Family Tent Area
This year’s FABA CONFERENCE is offering special activities and youth blacksmithing workshops for the youngest of our members in the dedicated Family Tent Area.We will be offering a one hour “Blacksmithing Experience” program for youth 6-11 years of age and an “Introduction to Blacksmithing for Youth” 2-hour class for youth 12 – 14 years of age
There will be a variety of other activities to inspire all age groups and families to play together. Activity schedule will be posted daily on the activities board by the registration tent.
Want to try out a technique you saw demonstrated? Or work a bit more on what you learned in a class? Stop by the Open Forges section of the teaching area. You’ll find forges, anvils, and friendly helpful experienced blacksmiths.
The Open Forges section will be available for self-directed work on Friday and Saturday.
Use of the Open Forges area is available to registered conference participants. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Users must provide their own stock and tools.
If this is your first conference and/or you’ve never hit hot metal before, please take a class or two before using the open forges. Open forges are NOT a class. We expect you to know basic blacksmithing skills and safety precautions for working around hot metal.
Safety is a concern when dealing with metal often in excess of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. No synthetic fiber clothing! Synthetics melt, stick to your skin, and burn you! Natural fibers only! In Florida, that means wear cotton. Jeans and a long sleeve cotton shirt are suggested, most of us wear jeans and a cotton t-shirt. Wear shorts at your own risk, they are not recommended. Closed toe shoes are required; we recommend high top boots. If you show up in flip-flops we will ask you to change your shoes before entering the forging areas. A hat or a bandanna to hold up long hair and keep the soot off your head is desirable. Gloves and a leather or heavy canvas apron are optional depending upon personal preference.
Safety glasses are required at all times in the forging areas. Earplugs are highly recommended. If you have your own, great! If not, they’re available at many stores, and will be for sale at the conference.
FABA History Project
FABA members are invited to record their blacksmithing memories with a friend or loved one or with FABA historians. Young or old, great endeavors or small, take the time to bring FABA to life. Opportunities for up to one-hour interviews will be available Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Schedule an interview with David Reddy at email@example.com or 813 875 2098.