Welcome to the
Michigan Artist Blacksmith's Association
This site was established to provide the public with information about our group, blacksmithing in the great state of Michigan and to keep our members up-to-date on events in a timely manner.
This association is organized exclusively for educational purposes:
- To provide instruction and information for aspiring smiths
- To share the art of blacksmithing with the general public
- To serve as a center of information about blacksmiths in Michigan for architects, interior designers, and other interested groups
MABA is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization.
To learn more about our group and blacksmithing in general guests are welcome to attend an activity listed on the calendar. Please contact an officer for more details. This great group of people continues to provide instruction and share information to anyone interested in learning the art and craft of blacksmithing.
Safety comes FIRST when attending an activity. Safety glasses are required. Ear protection, closed-toe shoes and cotton clothing are recommended.
MABA is also an Affiliate of ABANA, The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America, Inc. We are one of over 70 affiliates of the now world wide organization. For more information please check ABANA website at www.abana.org.
Michigan Artist Blacksmith's Association History
In the late 1970's, if one searched for information on blacksmithing, there was little to be found, especially locally. People were drawn to the craft through historical societies, educational groups at colleges or trade schools, family history, and personal interest. Two men from Michigan (Steve Alling and Ed Schutz) heard about an event now known as Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil's (SOFA) Quad State Round-Up and ventured to Ohio to check it out. While there, they saw demonstrations by the soon-to-become blacksmithing legend Francis Whitaker and "talked the talk" with a group of folks that were just as interested in bringing back the craft as they were. The men were amazed at what they saw and heard at the Round-Up and likewise were amazed to find other folks from Michigan who had also ventured down to see what they could see.
Ed and Steve collected names and decided to see if it would be possible to start a group in Michigan. Meeting at each other's houses or anywhere they could, the group gathered as much information and equipment as could be had. That was in 1979.
Eventually, the Michigan group grew from those charter members and became more organized. They elected officers, drew up by-laws and became the diverse group of individuals that we know as MABA today. MABA eventually joined the Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America (ABANA) a "young" national organization for blacksmiths and blacksmithing enthusiasts. MABA today is dedicated to furthering the craft of blacksmithing through education, training, and public demonstrations. We serve as the source of information our founders didn't have. While membership fluctuates year-to-year, the membership roster averages 300 members including full and part-time smiths, educators, hobbyists and people interested from a purely historical perspective. We have machinists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, farriers and others as members; retirees, students and actual working smiths; men, women and children, all involved in an organization that keeps the art and craft of blacksmithing alive and available to those who seek it out.