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I won't be going; and probably wouldn't drive over an hour to attend an event being marketed to the forge in fire audience.

On the other hand I plan to drive 1500 miles each way to get to Quad-State next year.

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I have not been to any event or even any other smithy since I have started this journey. I know I could learn a lot if I could get around more smiths. But I also don't want to drive 5hrs to a "fair" type event. Quad-State would be a trip of much more value. 

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I've not met a smith IRL or seen any other shop off of the internet. I'm just self taught. Nothing stopping me maybe.... But with bad anxiety and the sense that I don't really belong with all the guys.... *shrug*

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2 hours ago, Helena said:

I don't really belong with all the guys.... *shrug*

Nonsense, you probably belong better than 50% of the "guys" I am familiar with. My wife started Smithing/Bladesmithing about 5 years ago and she fit right in with the group here. She said the only thing she had to learn was to communicate by grunting. :D

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Helena:  I echo what Thomas and Irondragon have said.  In many ways women make as good or better smiths than a lot of men.  for one thing, because they don't have as much muscle mass they tend to develop better technique rather than trying to power through things.  Also, women often have a more "artistic" eye and can design things that are more pleasing to look at.

I too was and am a self taught smith.  I didn't meet another smith until I had been forging for 15 years or so.  That said, you can learn a lot by watching someone else work and then following along.  Muscle memory sets quicker and lasts longer than mental memory.  It is a lot easier to learn today with the internet and available videos than it was in the olden days when you had to start your computer by firing up the steam boiler first. ;-)

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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Helena, plenty of bad anxiety to go around these days, so plenty of us who can relate.  besides, you belong wherever you choose to belong.  Work at building your confidence in your self, and do not let the old norms rent space in your head.  A great friend of mine is regularly reminding me about those who seek to rent space there, they do not pay their rent, and they usually trash the place........

Robert and Sheila Taylor

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Helena: You'll be surprised how welcome a bunch of blacksmiths will make a woman who attends a gathering. Ladysmiths are pretty rare and offer a lot to the craft. Less strength means more hammer control and better planning. 

I'm really hoping to meet some of the IFI gang at  Quad State next year. Hanging out with a group of blacksmiths tends to be enjoyable for ll involved. We don't bite. Except maybe another blacksmith who crosses the line with one of the ladies in attendance. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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QuadState is a large 4 state blacksmithing meeting, sponsored by the Southern Ohio Forge & Anvil (SOFA) This from their web site.

Quote

QuadState is, in a word, incredible. Fairgrounds, competitions, demonstrations, food, fun, family, all packed into three extraordinary days in the perfect Fall weather. No wonder blacksmiths from around the globe make this a must-attend event, year after year.

 

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QuadState is fairgrounds, competitions, demonstrations, food, fun, family, all packed into three extraordinary days in the perfect Fall weather. No wonder blacksmiths from around the globe make this a must-attend event, year after year.

September 18-20, 2020

The SOFA Board of Directors has decided that due to the current Covid-19 pandemic & the regulations being put in to effect by our local health board we will be unable to have Quadstate 2020. 

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I hear many people talking about attending and getting much out of Quadstate.  However, I hear much less about the annual ABANA conference.  I have never attended either but I am wondering how the two events compare.  If you could only go to one which would it be and why?

This may be a false impression of mine but I get a sense that ABANA is more "artsy."  Am I correct or am I just plain mistaken?  It wouldn't be the first time and certainly will not be the last.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Quad-State is much cheaper; Entry is a fraction and you can even camp on the fairgrounds for a trivial fee. (They have showers and bathrooms.)

Also; anyone who has paid for entry is allowed to tailgate. It's common for folks to "clean the shop" and have a table or a tarp with a money can on it. Many of the major commercial dealers are also there selling new stuff.

Quad-State has a number of demonstrators doing simultaneous demonstrations, usually at least 5? (Generally: beginners, "traditional", contemporary, bladesmithing, and a wild card like repousse or sheath making/leatherworking.) You don't have to sign up or pay extra for the demos and can rivet yourself at one that grabs your interest or bounce back and forth between a couple, or ignore them and discuss stuff with other smiths or wander the tailgating.  (Last one I remember asking there were about 1000 smiths registered. "Adjunct family members" were charged an even lower entry fee. )

I've been told that tailgating is better at Q-S than the ABANA Conference.   It can get pretty wild; I remember one year there was a dozen powerhammers for sale on site, another a fellow drove in with a flatbed of concrete filled swage blocks---manufacturer use to discard their "seconds" as fill for casting more shop floor...Boy those seconds sure looked pretty nowadays! Or one of my favorite: Ballistic missile penetrator nose cones being sold for cone mandrels.  Generally there are several hundred anvils for sale, old, new, ?  But prices has been high lately compared to what Ohio used to have.  (The first year FM went to Quad-State he bought 30 anvils and a trailer to haul them back to NM on...)

When I lived in Ohio I never missed one; having moved 1500 miles away I still try to get to one every couple of years.

Can someone else cover the ABANA Conferences?

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Mr. George N.M.,

I agree with you when you wrote,

"This may be a false impression of mine but I get a sense that ABANA is more "artsy."  Am I correct or am I just plain mistaken?"

Check out their two publications,

Namely:  

The    "Anvil's Ring"

and,   "The  Hammer's Blow".

They are excellent publications that display superb  artful metal creations.

But they seem to be more suitable for metal's sculptors,           Bachelor of Fine Arts students,  (and staff),    and sculpture collectors.

Not my cup of tea.

Regards,

SLAG.

 

 

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 Quad-State...been there,done that, got the T-shirt....If memory serves, there was even a pic of IFI members taken. Seems like I was in that pic with some guy wearing a "kilt"....but it's been a while and the ole memory fails me a bit. I even ran across a guy named Ben Carlson, that tried to help me learn to sharpen plow shears. I make it a day trip and wished I had more time each year.......        Life is Good                Dave 

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