Love swinging hammers? Enjoy working in the heat? Can’t wait to smell of coal, ash, and hear the ringing of metal in your ears? Then join us!
As a member of FABA you will receive electronically our monthly newsletter, and optionally a printed version once a quarter. You will receive discounts at our annual conference and to select FABA sponsored classes. Finally, your membership also entitles you to one vote per household in our annual elections.
Your membership also assists us in bringing quality blacksmithing events and educational opportunities to communities throughout Florida. Coal and steel cost money and our equipment requires maintenance. We need your help to keep the fires burning.
Want to sponsor a blacksmith? Maybe you know someone that would really like to become a blacksmith but doesn’t know where to start? A sponsorship can get your protégé started on the right foot, attend meetings, learn from experienced smiths, tryout different equipment; all before sinking real money into this hobby/craft. Purchase and gift a membership today. Here
We do not offer cancellations or refunds on any memberships. All purchases are final.
FABA was established with 4 regions, NW, NE, SW, SE with each region holding a meeting each month for members and open to the public. The regions are only generalized for convenience and not exclusive. The typical meeting starts at 9 a.m. and features a demonstration by an experienced smith. There is a covered dish lunch and often a chance to work on projects at an open forge in the early afternoon. Beginning smiths can meet other smiths in their area, often have a chance to obtain equipment or tools and to learn a new technique. In recent years we have expanded and added a Far West region for rhe western side of the panhandle and a North North East region in the greater Jacksonville area. Meetings are advertised in our Clinker Breaker newsletter and on our FABA Facebook page and groups.
FABA began with 4 regions (NW, NE, SW, SE) as a convenient way to provide meetings in broad, general areas so the would be a meeting each month that was relatively close to anyone. With time and growth, FABA added the Far West Region (the western half of the Panhandle) and the North East region was subdivided into the Central NE and North NE regions. The boundaries are deliberately nebulous as anyone is welcome at any meeting and meeting locations are sometime in the border area and draw from multiple ‘regions’. You can find a rough map on our Regions page
Yes, anyone can attend any FABA meeting anywhere in the state. And you can attend even without being a member.
No, we have members from across the country and many of our regular attendees are from southern Georgia and Alabama.
The typical meeting starts at 9 a.m. and features a demonstration by an experienced smith. There is a covered dish lunch and often a chance to work on projects at an open forge in the early afternoon. Beginning smiths can meet other smiths in their area, often have a chance to obtain equipment or tools and to learn a new technique.
Yes. FABA has an annual conference in October where we offer demonstrations of skilled artists employing advanced techniques. We also have various vendors providing smithing equipment and tools, coal sales, and tailgate sales of various items. Family members can take advantage of other crafts and activities offered. And of course, we have our classes in blacksmithing ranging from beginning, to intermediate and some advanced classes. When possible, we have even offered Master Classes for our advanced and professional smiths.
FABA offers various classes at our annual conference and some regions have begun offering classes at their local meetings at times. Another option from attending FABA meetings however is meeting members who may be offering classes – and many members will welcome visitors to their shops to share knowledge.
Classes range from beginner classes that introduce students to the basic skills of blacksmithing, a refresher course for those who haven’t swung a hammer in a while, through intermediate skills and tool making. In addition, for those who already have a good grasp of the essentials, demonstrations by skilled smiths provide avenues to expand their skills.
One of the best things you can do is to meet and connect with an experienced smith. One afternoon spent working with an experienced smith is worth more than 6 months of YouTube videos and experimenting on your own. The other benefit is they can help you avoid wasting time, teach proper technique to avoid injury and help you connect with equipment. Another great option is to take one or more classes if you can. That can help you with deciding what interests you in smithing, what equipment you should buy or that you’ll need for your area of interest, and also give you a resource for asking questions as you develop your skills. The internet is a great tool for research, but it has just as many fools or those who don’t know what they don’t know as it does folks with real knowledge. Come to a FABA meeting. Meet others with your interests and get connected. That is the foundation for a great start.
There are no American certifications or national standards for blacksmiths in the United States. Great Britain still has a professional guild/association but the U.S. does not. The various guilds and associations in the U.S. are primarily educational and historic. There are some American groups that have created guidelines or recommended skills typical for a “journeyman” but there is no legal certification or standard of training. The various blacksmiths who offer instruction and classes across Florida and South George may hold membership in FABA but are not ‘certified’ in any way by FABA. The one exception is a small group of individuals who have completed the FABA journeyman requirements and have been awarded a document attesting to their possessing those basic and advanced skills of blacksmithing.
Your FABA membership gets you the member rate for our annual conference and classes, our monthly newsletter, the Clinker Breaker, and you’ll be joining a group of talented and motivated individuals who work to help others grow their skill and knowledge and spread the craft of blacksmithing. You can read more above.
The Clinker Breaker is our monthly newsletter. It contains articles and information from our smiths and FABA officers along with reports from each of our regions. It tells you what has been happening and what is going to happen in the various FABA regions. It is sent digitally each month, with a print edition sent out quarterly. It has the locations of the upcoming meetings and events and lots of useful information. Previous editions are available through our FABA website.
Interested in helping? A great way to learn and to meet skilled smiths is to pitch in and help out. At our regional meetings and at our annual conference, many things need to be taken care of that do not require a knowledge of smithing techniques. Helping set up equipment, assisting with various tasks and helping organize things for events lets you learn about what is required for various types of smithing and as mentioned before, is a great way to meet skilled smiths – who are more likely to extend a hand to someone who is working alongside them. It is also a great way to give back to the community. And if finances are tight, individuals who assist significantly for the annual conference can have their conference fees waived along with other perks.