What is BAM?

BAM is a group of individuals interested in learning, teaching, preserving, and promoting blacksmithing. Membership is open to all individuals regardless of skill level or abilities. It is an affiliate of ABANA, The Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America, although ABANA membership is not a requirement for BAM membership.

It was organized in 1983 by Bob Patrick and a small group of people who were interested in this ancient craft. Since then this group has grown to over 500 members in Missouri and other states. BAM’s members vary from full time professional blacksmiths to weekend hobby blacksmiths, all from a variety of backgrounds. Experience levels vary from several decades to just starting.

BAM has organized and hosted blacksmithing events ranging from regional workshops to national level conferences with international demonstrators. A statewide conference is held annually.

The benefits of a BAM membership include:

Bimonthly meetings which start between 8:30 am & 9:00 am (lasting 6-8 hours). Included are demonstrations, a business meeting, usually lunch, “Iron-in-the-Hat”, “Trade Item Exchange”, and “Open Forge”. Meetings are held at various members shop around the state, and occasionally in a neighboring state. To volunteer to host a meeting contact the president or the newsletter editor.

“Iron-in-the-Hat” which is a means for BAM to obtain additional money to support the association related activities. Tickets are sold ($1 ea. or 6/$5) for chances to win donated items.

“Trade Item Exchange” (i.e., an idea & skill exchange) where members make a designated item and exchange it with other ‘smiths who have brought a similar item.

“Open Forge”, a time after the official planned activities where the forge is available for impromptu demonstrations or for someone without equipment to get into the fire.

Award-winning newsletter Published six times per year, edited by Mike McLaughlin. The BAM newsletter’s responsibility is to support the goals and purpose of BAM. Letters to the editor, tech tips, tools for sale or anything else to further these ends will be considered for publication.

Annual Ozark Blacksmith Conference on the first weekend in May. It consists of well-known ‘smiths, vendors, tailgate sales, banquet meal, and benefit auction. To volunteer, contact Ashley Farnsworth.

Blacksmithing & blacksmith related workshops, hosted several times a year.

Mobile Training Station (MTS) at various sites throughout Missouri. For more information, contact Don Anders.

Experienced blacksmiths for demonstration at other functions (e.g., State Fair) and groups that show interest in blacksmithing.

Tuition assistancs for the education of members, to promote the advancement of blacksmithing. For more information, contact Orry Harbit.

Blacksmithing coal for the members. Locations in each newsletter.

Bamsite.org blacksmithing web site containing a newsletter archive, links to electronic blacksmith information, buy/sell/trade, members galleries, and much more.

Around-The-Anvil blacksmithing news group. A great way to network with other members between meetings, get advance notice of equipment sales, demonstration opportunities, sales opportunities, etc. Around-the-Anvil is the primary method of communication with members between the bimonthly meetings and the newsletter publish dates. To sign up for the news group send an e-mail to Terry Humphries at thumphr@south40.org or sign up using the automated process listed on the web site.

Blacksmithing related library of books and electronic media that can be checked out by the members. The library is available at each meeting. Any items checked out are due back at the next bimonthly meeting.

The annual fee for regular membership and the bimonthly newsletter is $30.
Membership inquiries:
Bart White

Newsletter inquiries:
Mike Mclaughlin