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ABANA 2013 Convention < Month

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I, being an aspiring smith want to take full advantage of the 2013 ABANA (Lumpkin, GA.) conference being so close to Florida this year. I have a few questions as to what events are in store, what to bring, and basically if it's worth it to me to go?  (rhetoric aside as I'm going anyway)


I understand that there is a raffle for an anvil, there are daily demos, and I might see a couple of you diehards there, but what exactly should I expect? Are the demos for spectating or will there be chances to get involved? Should I bring my anvil and a hammer? Should I bring extra money for the chance to buy equipment or bring my surplus equipment to trade? I have a friend that's on the fence about it, as he himself is unsure as to what awaits us...


Thank you all for guidance, hope to see a lot of you in tangible form as opposed to screenames. 

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I've seen tailgating......but I don't know how it works. There is so much going on , so many demos I don't think you would want to spend to much time  standing by your truck trying to sell, but I would bring plenty of cash, there is a lot of stuff you will want ! ! 

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The ABANA Convention is a bit different than the Conferences they host every other year. This convention is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the organization with a long weekend event focusing on demonstrations by the founding members able to attend, and area affiliates forging as well in a "hammer in" kind of feel.


Use this link to help glean some information:



And also consider calling/emailing Central Office. JoAnn is a wonderful lady that can answer any and all of your questions!


Phone: (423) 913-1022


Hope this helps.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I and my father had a great time at the event. Everyone was very kind and inviting as well... There were three individuals whom befriended us from the initial start of the event to its closing, Curt and Noah of The Red River Smiths and Mr. Carothers of Salt Fork Craftsmen Artist Blacksmith Association, and hopefully those established relationships carry on strong to the 80th ABANA convention.. I really enjoyed their company and priceless advice, and look forward to seeing them again.

As far as the event was concerned, it had it's moments of of bordem along with lengths of excitement. Politics and the arguments of purists fell silent to the real magic of the weekend; The Founding Fathers of ABANA and their commitment to the craft and it's preservation. It sounds so cold and damp when translating the event in words hardly doing it justice, but to tangibly see it with my own eyes, and feel the warmth of those that carried on the craft from 1973 to present was just awe-inspiring. I've never felt such a sense of purpose in my life, and the resulting thoughts of smithing myself to death pleasantly haunted my thoughts on the drive home. There is such romance in the pursuit of mastering the medium of iron, and I, for once in my life, found comfort in the idea of never being content with the ascertainment of skill and knowledge, and invited the notion that acquiring said benchmarks would not, by any stretch of the imagination, bring me any closer to the end of the proverbial rope. The craft may yield very little in way of fruit, but the struggle of it all seems quite sweet and filling...

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