How are you attracting young people to blacksmithing?

For those of you who are members of a blacksmithing club, ABANA affiliates
for example, what steps do you take to attract young people to get involved
and how successful are you at it?
I am fairly active in 2 ABANA affiliates, the Guild of Metalsmiths and the
Badger Blacksmiths. Membership in both clubs is fairly stable right now.
We lose about 15% to 25% of our members each year and gain about that many
On the plus side, we are seeing more young people getting involved over
the last few years, but we'd like to see more.
("Young" is a relative term. Anybody under the age of 40 fits that category
as far as I am concerned.)
Pete Stanaitis
Reply to
Pete S
Loading thread data ...
Hello Mr. Stanaitis,
Excellent question and I'm really surprised to see that no one's responded.
My answer to your question includes a certain amount of chagrin. I've been a member of ABANA for 4 or 5 years and of my local affiliate, the New York State Designer Blacksmiths for just over two years. But, I haven't been able to get to a single meeting or event of either one of those organizations. My regular work just kills any possibility of attending.
So, what I've done is to make an honest effort at talking up blacksmithing among co workers - especially the 'young bucks' in the crowd, when ever appropriate.
Though I only get the chance to wheel my forge table and anvil out into the driveway about once every couple of months, when I know that's going to happen I've let them know about it and have been having an increasing number of drop by visitors, all with increasing curiosity and interest. It's been fun and I think a couple of them are going to get more heavily involved.
Best regards, Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
Mr. Stanaitis, Pete,
This is not cool. I think you've hit on something here that needs to be addressed. Either the folks involved in blacksmithing who read these old newsgroups are so few and far between that you're not getting any response, or, you've isolated a problem that really deserves attention.
I'm hoping it's a die off of the Usenet thing, but if not, I'm with you on trying to encourage new comers to the craft.
Best regards, Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
I started a forum and classified site Not so much to attract young people but to build a knowledge base for my self and others. It seems Blacksmiths are pretty spaced out. (distance to one another) For me trying to find blacksmith tools locally was difficult. That and getting together with a current blacksmith to learn from. I plan to join ABANA soon. I like to get the basics under my foot before joining. Something like cart before the horse. Started the sites in late 2013.
formatting link
formatting link
are attracting users and I'm getting tools.
Victor Pitt
Reply to
Victor Plitt aka Hank Rearden

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.