from HABA President Richard Boswell
I am very pleased to annouce that Tee Hines will take the reins for awhile as our President, and I will drop back and give Dave a break as our Secretary. With Les Cook as VP and Ed Malmgren as Treasurer we have a very strong Executive Office running our show for us.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to have served our Members while I was able to learn a lot from being there. And I really appreciate the help everyone has contributed to get this job done. We are collectively in good shape, with good morale, and we are more experienced because so many of you have helped push and pull this cart down the road.
And I want to thank especially our Board and Officers these past several years for their support and encouragement. We did a good job of it, keeping it between the ditches and moving HABA forward.
Yes, it's been fun. And I look forward to our continued progress.
Regards to all,
The Houston economy has kept many people I know very busy this year, and we are fortunate that HABA Volunteers have been able to maintain an increasing level of blacksmithing activity and involvement. This would not be possible if there were not some meaningful fulfillment in what we do. I call this abundance and am thankful to be a part of it, and I thank all of you for sharing yours. But this also means it will likely pass and we might be back to where we thought we were last year. But while the fireís hot, letís keep hammeriní!
Much of what I could tell you about has already been posted on the web pages. Please keep clicking there to keep up with the activities. Dave Koenig is still keeping several irons in the fire for us, including his great HABA Letter. And Dave has a role in most of everything we do. Thanks Dave!
The Round-Up was a lot of fun. Many visitors and new Members attended from all around. We will be back in the Fall for our Forge Fest which will feature Frank Turley from Santa Fe. This will be significantly special event for HABA and I really encourage your attendance, so plan now.
HABA received a request to demo blacksmithing to the fourth grade classes at St John's School in Houston in support of their study of Colonial Crafts and history. Tee Hines and Les Cook volunteered and had an enjoyable day visiting the school. We thank Ms. Clare Casademont for organizing the opportunity and to Tee and Les for their efforts.
Tee Hines and I demoed at the Magnolia Depot and we hope to see many more great opportunities grow from this relationship.
Mark Finstad did a great demo in Alvin at Troy Morganís shop. Again, new members and guests were there and we all learned a few more parts about how Mark creates and makes the great stuff he does.
HABA conducted two workshops for the Museum of Fine Arts as part of an outreach program for eighth grade students from the Houston community. Students immersed themselves in American history at Bayou Bend during a weeklong program. The art and craft of blacksmithing was one component of each weekly program. The students were chosen based on an essay competition. Tee Hines and Dave Koenig were there June 15, and Les Cook and Dave Koenig demoed for June 22. HABA received an $800 Honorarium for the effort.
Our annual June Hammer Extravaganza was hosted again by Robert and Betty Killbuck in Magnolia. The demo featured William Bastas who is Professor of Art Metals at Austin Community College (ACC) and brought wonderful examples of completed work including the magnificent dozen panel grill, and demonstrated architectural details including scrollwork and joinery. He also talked about forge hardware and tools. Overriding themes of the demonstration were illustrating the system of moving metal that William teaches in his class at ACC, and incorporating skills expected of a journeyman.
This was a special ten-hour demonstration! William is a fantastic demonstrator and teacher. He works to make the metal his own, and his hammer never misses. There was not a dull minute! Metal Moving Demo projects for the day included nails, leaves, scrolls, assembly, and a hammer.
Congratulations to Dave Cruey for his having the lucky number for the special Ice Pick custom made by Mark Finstad!
The attendees were numerous, generous, and happy it did not rain all day long....
Our limited auction was not for the weak of heart and included a Bastis hammer William worked with all day (Congrats to Rudy Billings!), the demo scroll (in completed condition), and a mobil by Alan Lee made for the joint HABA-LAMA meeting last year. Long distance awards were considered for Gary Evensen from Austin (Balcones), Jerry Baker from Lafayette (LAMA), our own Reynolds Cushman from Salado, and James Porter just returned form Venezuela to list a few of the 60+ attendees.
As we round the summer bend, remember to stay hydrated, and come out to the next meetings!
Thanks as always,
The Chief asked "are we having fun yet?"
ďLike a hot iron in a bucket of oilĒ said the other Chief.
We are having an abundance of fun! It's springtime again and every young smith's fancy lets them put more irons in the fire than they have time to forge. We are all busy with life and we appreciate your help more than ever. As always, we need more of you to get behind the wagon and push, or pull as the case may be. Makes the load easier for all of us.
We had a big turnout for knife making at Cowboy's Knife and Blacksmith Shop in Bellville. All were glad it was indoors and a few of you even enjoyed the rain outdoors. The Annual Auction was great for the bidders and for HABA. Thank you for your generous support coming and going! And especially I want to thank our Sponsors for their continued contribution. I will get the Sponsors page appropriately updated to show your support.
Bowl making with Clint Jones was another dreary day outside, but we were under the roof again at Ed Malmgren's shop. I learned a lot from the demo and from the "show and tells" brought in by A.J. Garrett and Mark Finstad, Les Cook and Dave Koenig. Our donated bowls were well received by the Empty Bowls Initiative. By the way, Ed Malmgren has been showing us how to welcome our guests and new members in his new role as Membership Chair. Good work Ed!
Texas Independence Day was special this year at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park and the Barrington Living History Farm. Nearly 2,000 visitors came through the Farm and stopped to visit us in the barn on Saturday and Sunday. This is always a fun place to work. The gates weren't ready to hang with the new hinges we made, but we stayed busy. Les said he was like a tree in the Fall with all the leaves he made and gave out. I made some shackles for the small hog hanger gambrels. Tee made a lot of everything. And I believe Dave may have even talked more than he made 'cause he always had a large crowd gathered around listening. The ad-hoc syncopated anvil serenades from the trio each day were inspiring. We also repaired the cultivator which broke a link pin right on schedule while we were there, and the oxen never got to have the day off!
We finally got to wear our new tee shirts for the March HMAG meeting at HCCC, and we showed our colors well (we like black!). The joint meeting with the jewelers was a most pleasant and rewarding day, because they were so enthusiastic and happy to work with our Big Fire and Big Hammers, as they themed the event. Lawrence Childress joined Dave, Les, and myself with busy forges for the day. Take a look at the photos on the meeting page to see some of the great work they did, and the happy faces. We signed on several new members during the day, and several other new members attended their first meeting with us. We look forward to seeing each of them again soon.
HABA has donated $1600 to the ABANA Relief Fund. This was based on a portion of our bank account rather than a set amount, and we know it will be put to good use. Our thanks extend to everyone who made this possible, and our best wishes to those who receive. Thanks go to ABANA for managing this function.
And HABA folk have been busy with the school demos and this has become a regular request. If you can help on these please contact us.
Our bi-annual Oldenburg visit is coming up soon. We are changing the name of the Spring rendezvous to be the Blacksmith's Round-Up to reflect what we are actually doing. Everyone is invited for the weekend. We have a covered pavilion now so it is a rain or shine opportunity. And it is usually breezy!
As before, we continue to appreciate the time everyone puts in to this endeavor. I especially want to thank Dave Koenig again for being the instigator and active distributor he is. Tee Hines is always an inspiration, and he and Les Cook are solidly in motion supporting our efforts. The entire Board and our Advisory Committee is running on ten cylinders this year. Yes sir, Yes mamn, this is fun. We learn a lot, and we share a lot! Have some fun with us!
Thanks as always,
I am behind as usual with a note to the Membership, and I hope that our regular web site updates will fill in that gap. But if I can manage to keep after all of it one step at a time, we will surely get caught up someday.
HABA continues to thrive and have great meetings as a result of the many volunteers you have come to know well. This year we have seen the great support from Tee Hines serving as your Vice President, and we look forward to his continued contributions of time and talent. Your Board has been very active in hosting and organizing the packed agenda, with several multiple program months. Reports for 2005 and several past years are available for your full review by going to our Calendars and Meetings page links Calendars and Meetings page links ( http://www.habairon.org/Meeting_2005.html ) where you can catch-up on the meetings since last August when I last reported to you. Each summary can take you to the full page site with photos. I am sure you will agree that we have had a good year...an amazing year no less.
I am not sure I can even point to which activity I have enjoyed most. Maybe it was the Oxen team pulling our cultivator project through the cotton field at Barrington Farm, or the Fall Forge Fest under the new big pavilion at Kennie Hallís Oldenburg place. Maybe it was bringing home some information and practicing what I learned at the forge. Actually, I think it is seeing the thrill new members express when they learn HABA is here for them
A new year begins! We start with my all time favorite meeting, The HABA Annual Knife Making Workshop hosted this year in Bellville by Cowboy Szymanski. Please bring out stuff to sell and contribute to Auction, bring your forges, tools, and be ready to forge some knives. It will be worth the travel time!
In February we have a dual purpose meeting. This meeting is being planned in response to the Call for Bowls and Artworks and will be at Ed Malmgren's shop in Houston. If you are interested in making a vessel for the Empty Bowls Initiative, please contact Dave Koenig at 281-855-2869 or at email@example.com . Let him know what you would like to contribute. He will keep a list of expected donations from HABA members and inform the coordinator of this event, Tom Perry, as to what he can expect from the blacksmiths. Tom would like to collect completed vessels by the end of January if possible but will certainly accept vessels after this date.
Speaking of Ed Malmgren, he volunteered to serve on the HABA Board, and take a second job as Membership Chairman. This is really an important job to everyone. New members in particular need to know HABA is glad they joined and are part of what we do. After you have been around us for awhile, it might be forgotten that this is a people growth based organization, and that we need to make special efforts to meet and greet the newcomers and guests. Give Ed a hand when you can.
Tragedy struck the energy world once more. Next time you fire up your coal forge, give a little thanks and prayer for those who got that coal out of the ground for you. The Sago Mine near Buckhannon, West Virginia took 12 lives in an underground coal mine explosion to start off the year on Jan 2. Information is available at Mine Safety and Health Administration , and at photos of the site and Washington Post reports.
A nice on-line article, Coal Miners--an essay, by David Allen and other coal mining information is available on the Appalachian Blacksmiths Associationís web site.
Most of the HABA area community seemed to recover from our notable Hurricane Season. We know that many in the Louisiana Metalsmiths Association and Gulfcoast Blacksmiths Association did not. Actually, phone, e-mail or the post office cannot reach most members of these two organizations. The ABANA Relief Fund is open for your contribution. The folks hardest hit would appreciate anything you can do.
And Dave Koenig is doing a great job of getting those HABA Letters published. Thanks Dave for all of your work for us.
Lastly, I want to thank our HABA Sponsors who donated materials for our Auction, and to each of you who personally contributed your prized works for the rest of us to enjoy.
So saddle up, load your wagons, light a good fire, and letís swing a strong hammer again for 2006!
Thanks for all you do,
HABA President and Webmaster
As Summer ends I recall this yearís drought that let me ponder the Dust Bowl Days that occurred in the same time frame that community blacksmiths were selling their anvils and moving into new technologies. It has indeed been a hot and dry one, yet we have continued with great meetings each month and we are still going strong. You might say we have had a power summer starting in May with Tim Bailey hosting us in his shop in town and showing how his power hammers get the big jobs done.
Dave Koenig published at least two full HABA Letters this summer to tell you about what is going on. It was great to see The Letter again! Darryl Guertin is going to help us to keep our Membership data base in order and easy to use. One of the challenges we always have is pulling out the addresses or emails to send stuff to you.
In June Brent Bailey came to town, well, to Robert Killbuckís friendly shop not too far from Magnolia. It was impressive for me to see not only the quality of Brentís work, but how he goes about it with a non-stop 8 pound hammer all day and this was inspiring. I commissioned him to make three sizes of a touchmark for me in case I can ever complete something worthy of such. I am the first to remind you that being the HABA President usually means I get to sit up front in the classroom so I can learn from a lot of people. It is not a job awarded because I am a great or even good smith. But I do enjoy the job and I want to thank you all for helping get it done, and letting me help you. As you know, we are all volunteers at this, so your temporal contributions are very valuable to HABA.
For July we went up to Lifetime Member Bob Collierís shop up the road in New Waverly, and Vince Lusco demonstrated his air driven power hammer built from various found parts. Great hospitality was provided from Bob and Cathy, and we enjoyed viewing his tool collections and tools for sale from the Tool Shed.
August was yet another special event: The Blacksmith Legacy Tree Project with a tour of Eastham Forge in Beaumont. At the top of the list for our thank-yous are Pam and Alphonso Albacete for hosting us at their shop. Alphonso made the limb and attached all of the items brought and made to go on it. This was a joint project with our LAMA neighbors, and their President Jerry Baker (also a HABA Member) was the leading creator of the plan and made a tree to put the branch on. Clint Jones made the arrangements for the tour of the industrial forge shop. Take a look at the web page and the photos posted for a taste of the diversity of what was created.
Our HABA Annual Board Meeting continued late into the evening of Monday August 22. A lot of future plans were discussed for our activity as a non-profit organization in the coming year. It is never to late to hear from you as a Member what you would like HABA to do, and until then we will just keep on doing the best we can to organize and put on meetings of educational value as well as just being a lot of fun to do.
We welcome Ed Malmgren to the Board to fill the seat Lifetime Member Frank Walters is retiring from. We will miss Frank's contributions to the Board but he will not be absent from our activities whenever he can. Ed brings a lot of mature business and technical experience to help guide our activities.
Long term Officer and Vice President James Porter is continuing on the Board and handing off to Tee Hines who has accepted the nomination and vote to become our new VP. James will jump back in when he is not traveling to Venezuela as much for business. Cathy Porter continues with much appreciation as Treasurer, Dave Koenig continues with distinction as our Secretary, and Richard Boswell continues as President including his side job as your webmaster.
We are pleased to announce the new Editor for the HABA Letter: Alma Tuck of Bryan , Texas and we request all of you to send her some news and photos about what you have seen, done, and made to share with your fellow Members. You will find Alma and her sons and husband Vernon at the monthly meetings, so come out and meet the family.
A lot of people have been mentioned here. And there are many more working as a team to keep HABA rolling. Consider this as just a leaf on the tree full of thanks, from me and from HABA.
We have a lot of year left to go, and some great programs to fill it. Take a look at our web page(s) and make your plans to attend!
HABA President and Webmaster
Last year I mentioned that time flies when the fun is deep. I am very proud to confirm the fun is deep, and the company excellent. But first I must apologize for not updating this page often enough because I am updating the web site with every wink of an eye. Thanks to many of you we are a very active organization. The list is lengthy, so let me say briefly the HABA Board and newly created Advisory Board is comprised of some very great people. Thank you all, and thank you all for being HABA Members.
So, given my negligent updates here, please look over this vast web site for our activity and find time to be a part of it. Someday we will get the newsletter back to its glory days, but until then we ask for your help and patience. Until then, we have been sending a single page HABA Update to those who requested notification by U.S. Mail, and this appears to have been helpful. In the end these cost about $1 each plus the mantime. So we hope you will all be able to enjoy this with the internet someday, but until then we hope you appreciate the efforts to make your Membership always valuable.
And you may have noticed that our Newsletter Editor position is vacant again. If you have the time and the talent we could use some help with this job.
Our Spring HammerFest at Oldenburg was a lot of fun, and the weather was excellent if you like blustery and cool, and lots of sunshine. We had so many visitors on Saturday that our productivity was on the low side. But we visited a lot and welcomed new members. We also presented a healthy check to our Treasurer from our Mega Demo at the Art Fest. Thank you Cultural Arts Center Houston and Harris County (CACHH) for helping us out, and we sure enjoyed being there with you for the weekend. Again, I want to thank all of the HABA team that took care of the demo work! Dave Koenig put together a good summary you can download to appreciate what we did. See the web page for that event for the link.
Past President and current Secretary Dave Koenig has been busy this year organizing programs such as the Brent Bailey Demo coming up in June, and that great mega demo for Houston Art Fest we did in March. Thanks Dave!
Past President Les Cook enjoyed a vacation up northeast for a family wedding and gave me a call as he neared Birmingham. I provided some quick and poor direction on the sight to see which is the restored statue of Vulcan overlooking the valley where yours truly was born back in 1950. If you have not heard my story, I suffer from a late case of "Vulcanitis", hence the need to pound hot iron. Les took some great photos of the restored Vulcan. The restoration is an amazing story and I wish that we here in Texas could have found a way to be a part of it. So my hat is off to those who were behind it! Please visit there in person when you can and on the web at Vulcan Park and maybe even stop in to visit Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park while you are there!
Les is organizing our Fall ForgeFest in Oldenburg and your help will be needed. We are expecting to see some big changes in the setup so plan now to be there. He will be representing us in May at the Armand Bayou Fund Raising event. Thanks Les!
Vice Pres James Porter will be with Les at the Armand Bayou demo and has worked to keep our Membership List growing. His wife and our Treasurer Cathy Porter has been there to keep us straight at Oldenburg and our auctions. They will be moving up to the country in May and we will look forward to their new manor and barn grand opening soon!
Don't Forget: IronFest is about to happen in Grapevine and I hope everyone can make it and support the event.
Everyone is busy these days. Our petroleum economy is out of control and booming while draining the fun time out of our lives. We are hanging in there and we will have to help each other out more than ever to keep this work going strong. Thanks in advance for your help. We are having a great year!
HABA President and Webmaster
Les Cook's photos of the restored Vulcan....
from previous messages
Notes about this Website This website is Under Development and will continue to evolve for HABA Members.
This website is Under Development and will continue to evolve for HABA Members.