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!