The Artist-Blacksmiths Association of North America began 30 years ago with only 20 blacksmiths. The members pledged to preserve a meaningful bond with the past, serve the needs of the present, and forge a bridge to the future through blacksmithing and creativity. At the time, blacksmithing was regarded as something of a lost art. But today its resurgence is unmistakably evident, and the nonprofit ABANA has seen its membership rolls grow to more than 4,500 strong.
In July 2004, ABANA held its annual conference on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmondthe first time the conference has been held in Kentucky.