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Old 06-13-2023, 11:25 AM
Alan L's Avatar
Alan L Alan L is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Posts: 988
Announcing the Seacond Annual Bowie's Memorial Hammer-in!

It's been a while, but I am back to announce:

[FONT="Franklin Got
hic Medium"]The State of Franklin Blacksmith Guild
In association with the

Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths

Present the second annual

Ron “Bowie” Claiborne Memorial Hammer-in

September 29, September 30, and October 1, 2023

Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens, 121 Covered Bridge Lane, Unicoi, TN 37962


ABS Mastersmith Jason Knight

ABS Mastersmith Burt Foster

ABS Journeyman Smith Bill Wiggins

ABS Journeyman Smith Stephan Fowler

ABS Journeyman Smith Brandon Franklin

Mark Zelasky

Gerald Boggs

Mike Rose

Robin Lynch

Alan Longmire

And many more to be announced!*

*demonstrators subject to change

Chuckwagon cooking and Mrs. Lynch’s home cooking on-site!

Cutting Competition!

Iron in the Hat!

: or

Who we are:

The State of Franklin Blacksmith Guild is a registered IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Tennessee in 2019. We began as a blacksmithing club called Bristol Forge at Rocky Mount in 1990, and we are the first and longest-running member club of the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths. Our members range from nationally known professional blacksmiths to those with a mere interest in the craft. We have some 75 active members who attend our monthly meetings, coming from three states. Our reach extends from Knoxville, Tennessee to Wise, Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina.

What we do:

Our purpose is to promote quality metalworking, preserving the traditional methods set forth, and to train and educate others who may be interested to join our group so they can pursue the craft as a trade or as a hobby. Our members have taught classes in blacksmithing, bladesmithing, axe making, jewelry making, the creation of Damascus steel, casting metals, engraving, woodcarving, horn working, leatherworking, and many other aspects of the craft. If it involves metal, heat or hammers, we do it.
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Last edited by Alan L; 06-13-2023 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 06-13-2023, 11:26 AM
Alan L's Avatar
Alan L Alan L is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Posts: 988
You can find the threads about the location, amenities, and more from last year's hammer-in here:

It will still be at Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens, the food will still be excellent, and the list of demonstrators will be similar. We will try to have a more coherent schedule for the benefit of the demonstrators, but I expect Stephen Fowler will remain true to form and show up unexpectedly to demonstrate whenever he sees the chance. : Not that I mind, he's great.

They are also a campground, if you do the RV thing, or even primitive. Here's where to book a spot:

And Facebook, if you do that:

The Lynch family, who own the place, have a commercial kitchen and will be selling us food. Buy lots so they appreciate us! They also have a herd of buffalo, including a white one, if that's your thing. They are great folks, and it's a great place. We're lucky to get the space.


We will have hardwired 240V power at the demo area. No generator noise and no bizarrely variable speed from my single-speed grinder! We will also have the option of actually using my Evenheat oven, so this year Curtis Haaland can do his hamon thing.

We will have a sound system, so the demonstrators who don't have my thundering voice-projection abilities will be able to talk over the noise and be heard in the back.

We have a new firepot in the coal forge, so Gerald can actually finish his demo! Last year the clinker breaker got clogged and broke loose from the shaker rod, rendering the forge unable to get welding heat. :unsure:

We will actually have the vendor who didn't show last year, Somehow he ended up at a hammer-in in Kentucky, and was properly embarrassed about it.

We have two sets of bleachers, and a better tent in case of rain.


This year it will be advertised more widely. That means more people. This may be good, this may be different. We'll see.

Things staying the same:

This is an official event of the Appalachian Area Chapter of Blacksmiths,

This event is completely supported by Iron in the Hat. And, we (State of Franklin Blacksmiths Guild) are a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, so all donations are tax deductible.

The original Bowie's was supported this way as well. All the makers would donate one (or more!) of their best pieces, the vendors would donate things like complete forges, exhibition-grade handle woods, salt pots, steel, and so on. It was not uncommon to see a bunch of thousand-dollar blades on the table.

We want to continue that tradition. Bring your best work, a nice tool, good wood, books, or whatever you think it's worth to you (as long as it's legal, of course!) to get access to the collective knowledge of the event. I haven't made the hawk yet, but it will be a fancy pipe hawk in the $1000 (msrp) range. You could win it for a $1 ticket.

Last edited by Alan L; 06-13-2023 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 06-13-2023, 11:30 AM
Alan L's Avatar
Alan L Alan L is offline
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Posts: 988
Pics and video from last year's event:
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