The Appalachian Area of Chapter of Blacksmiths meeting place at the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop

The Appalachian Area of Chapter of Blacksmiths meeting place at the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop

One of my favorite weekends of the year, along with Fall Festival, is the first weekend of November. On the first Saturday each Nov. The Folk School has the annual Blacksmith’s Auction, and the blacksmith shop hosts the annual blacksmiths meeting. This meeting is well attended, and is a chapter event for the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths (AACB).

This year the weather was perfect, and we had a fantastic turnout. We had Brasstown’s own Dave Smucker demonstrating heat treating and metalurgy as it applies to the fall class that he teaches here titled “Making Woodworking Tools”, a class popular for blacksmiths as well as woodworkers. There is a tailgate sales area featuring many related items for sale such as anvils, tools, and all manner of cool rusty old stuff. Gentlemen, you know what I am talking about. The AACB holds a business meeting, and then there is the “Iron in the Hat” drawing which donated items are raffled off as a fundraiser for the treasury of the group. One of the local groups that makes up part of the AACB, the Rutherford County Blacksmiths, Association, raised $1000 for the “Buy a Beam” program where folks can donate money to buy a beam in the new building. This is happening more and more frequently. Thanks to all who have donated! After the meeting, there is more fellowship, armchair blacksmithing, tall tales, and then the much awaited lunch of chili, cornbread, slaw, and key lime pie in the dining hall.

The afternoon brings a great fundraising auction, the Blacksmith Auction for the school, where the proceeds from donated items can be designated to go directly to the New Forge Building Fund. So remember, it is never too early to donate your hand forged or handmade items for the 2010 Blacksmith auction.
It is our hope to expand the event next year to possibly include activities on Friday night. This is still being discussed and we will keep you informed as to what will happen. Thanks to all for the participation and donations this year. It was a great weekend, and it was good to see everybody again, and to show off the progress on the new shop. See you next year.

Paul Garrett, Resident Blacksmith
About Paul Garrett, Resident Blacksmith