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ABANA conference cancelled


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April 1st isn't until tomorrow???:unsure:

RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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interesting.... but not the good kind ofinteresting.

RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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Airline tickets and rental cars are stupid expensive right now. I'm traveling to do some elder care, and it's 3x what it was in January. I can imagine that the cost to get there is keeping a lot of people home.

The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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It's the airfare, the hotels, the everything. We debated going for a while but couldn't make it happen. 

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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While travel costs are certainly a big factor for many, there's also the politics and some very bad publicity ABANA has received over the last few years.

 

When Dan Nauman, the editor of Anvil's Ring and The Hammer's Blow, refused to publish photos of Ellen Durkan's work on near nude models. Ms. Durkan took to Facebook to attack both the editor and the ABANA board . She was joined by several prominent and active members of ABANA. It avalanched into a public nightmare for the board with many nasty things said about them. The end result, Mr. Nauman resigned as editor and Ms. Durkan's photos were published. The fallout was many people wrote on Facebook they were quitting ABANA and would never attend a conference again. Less then a year later, after the 2020 conference was canceled, then was again a Facebook posting about the Board, I don't know all details, but the entire working group for the conference publicly canceled their ABANA membership. Some have since come back, but the damage was done.

 

There's a certain amount of irony, that some of those whom have benefited greatly from ABANA, and others that have worked so hard on the conferences, might be the straw that breaks ABANA. As the conference funds is the money ABANA uses to run daily operations and to publish the magazines, two conferences in a row are going to be hard to survive.

 

Add to the fact, at least from my point of view, having worked at the last five conferences, this year's lineup is not really interesting* I don't say that to put down anyone, because it's a talented lineup of demonstrators, some of whom I've either taken a class with, planning take a class with or have seen elsewhere. It's the later that's the problem, at least three have previously demonstrated at ABANA and most of the rest have been recent demonstrators at regional conferences. This is where the cost strongly becomes a factor. If I've already seen someone and really like them, I'm more likely to spend that money and take a class with them.

 

*This has been a ongoing problem, trying to make everyone happy, leaves a conference with feelings of MEH.

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Don't forget several years ago when most of the southern affiliate groups cancelled their ABANA affiliation over the decree that there could be no anvil shoots at conferences.  I agreed with the decision for insurance purposes, and Tim did blow his thumb off a couple years later (after the TV folks monkeyed with his setup to add drama, I must point out), but the imperious way the decree came down really turned off a great many people.  

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I'd forgotten about the Ellen thing, that really ticked me off. She's a friend.

 

My feelings on this are, the art is getting handed to a new generation. I'm almost 50, and I'd really like to see these organizations run by people younger than I am. It's all well and good that tradition was handed down to us, and as talented smiths get older, teaching younger people remains critical to keeping our traditions alive. But it can't stay rooted in stodgy old mindsets, or a "one true way" kind of thinking. My local guild is almost completely run by 30-somethings now, and I think that's just fine. Our organizations need to modernize just like our craft does, or else we collectively run the risk of alienating new blood, and dying out if we cling too hard to old habits.

I like an anvil shoot as much as the next person, but I think that's a silly reason to boycott an event when there are other legitimate reasons getting in the way. They need to figure out how to virtualize like everyone else has had to these last 2 years.

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The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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