Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America
John C. Campbell Folk School Fund Raiser
for the New Forge Building & Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop Renovation


This is a courtesy announcement requesting your help to support the John C. Campbell
Folk School's New Forge Building.  This building will greatly augment and strengthen the School's blacksmithing program and the legendary Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop.  As you may know, The Whitaker Shop is one of the premiere teaching blacksmith facilities in the country.  The Folk School 2009 blacksmith educational program hosts 56 classes.

This is a fantastic opportunity to help and I hope that you will join in with many other
ABANA members and our Affiliate Organizations and give generously!

Thanks in advance for your generosity!

Rome H. Hutchings, ABANA President
Chairman, ABANA Membership Services
About the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Shop

Originally designed as part of the school's farming and dairy program, today the
Blacksmith Shop is well equipped with 12 forging stations. The studio sports a
generous supply of hand tools, power hammers, saws, shears, grinders, drills,
welders, and other equipment and supplies. A new roof and improved lighting are
recent enhancements that keep this shop one of the premiere teaching blacksmith
shops in the country.
Francis Whitaker, known as the "Dean of American Blacksmiths," devoted his life to
keeping the art of blacksmithing alive in this country, and the existing studio stands as
his symbolic legacy. But, while blacksmithing has long been the most popular of some
50 programs the Folk School offers, the shop has suffered decades of wear and its
space is no longer adequate for the size and diversity of classes such a premier
program should offer.
The Folk School Board of Directors has decided that it is of the foremost priority that the School build a new Forge Building and renovate the historic Whitaker Shop.  This construction will allow the School to accommodate the ever-growing blacksmithing program, ensure student safety and continue the legacy of blacksmithing in America. 

About The New Forge Building Project
The John C. Campbell Folk School is proud to announce that the construction of the New Forge Building is well underway.  Thanks to the Timber Framers Guild of America, the massive timber frame is up and we have begun to dry-in the structure.
The new building is located directly behind the Whitaker Shop and is connected via a
short vestibule. Two historic grain silos frame the beautiful timber entrance and the
clerestory roofline allows natural light to pass through into the spaces below. The fully
Whitaker Studio Expansion - Creekside Elevationhandicap accessible building includes safe,
spacious work areas that can accommodate
large-scale pieces.  It will also provide a
"clean" area with air conditioned classrooms,
a library, a center for technical, safety and
design information and many more reference
resources.  This construction also includes
the relocation of a water main and the septic
system, excavation and drainage work
around the site and the purchase of new equipment for the shop.                                    Creekside elevation. Architect Don Ihrig

Whitaker Studio Expansion - Roadside ElevationThis project also includes the renovation of
the Whitaker Shop.  The aging structure
will be brought up to modern standards of
comfort while retaining its historic charm.
It will be completely re-wired and
re-plumbed, fitted with a sprinkler system,
and have improved ventilation and energy
efficient windows.                                 

                                                                         Roadside elevation. Architect Don Ihrig
Support the New Forge Building - Buy a Beam Today!

Buy-a-Beam Campaign

Buy-a-Beam for the New Forge Building!

The John C. Campbell Folk School's New Forge Building is well underway.  In June
2009, members of the Timber Framers Guild, community members, students and
volunteers began cutting and shaping the timbers needed to construct the building'sWhitaker Blacksmith Studio Expansion
frame.  After countless hours of preparation these
workers will join hundreds of hand-shaped beams
and pegs to form the massive shell of our new
Forge Building.

To commemorate the raising the Folk School has
launched a BUY-A-BEAM campaign.  We are
encouraging students, organizations and community
members to purchase and name the 258 beams that
compose this building's frame.  The Timber Framers
Guild has created a 3-D map of the design that will
help donors locate their beam once the building has
been constructed.

Beams can be purchased for $1000 each. If you are interested in purchasing a beam or would like more information please contact our development manager, Reed Caldwell, at (800)FOLKSCH or by email at  By supporting this endeavor you are not only helping the Folk School build a beautiful new shop, but playing a pivotal role in the future of blacksmithing in America.
Contribute to this Important Project

Kicking off the fundraising project. Instructor Lou Mueller (right below) presents a gift
of $1,000 to Resident Blacksmith Paul Garrett.
Whitaker Studio Expansion - Mueller and Garrett
The raising event is just the beginning of this
massive undertaking. Thanks to generous
donations from individuals, matching funds from
foundations and blacksmithing groups across the
country, we are well on our way to the $650,000
necessary to complete this project. Although we
have sufficient revenue to complete the
engineering, site and foundation preparation and
the bare frame raising, we still need your
assistance to get a roof on the frame, "dry in" the
structure and get it ready for classes.

Today, we ask all blacksmithing groups and
individuals to consider a donation to help us reach
our goal and complete this wonderful addition to the Folk School and to the world of

There are many ways for you to assist with this project, such as buying a beam or
timber, various naming opportunities of equipment, forges, or parts of the building,
and even the option of buying a floor brick that can be engraved with an individual's
name, a smith's touch mark or to memorialize a friend or loved one.  If you are
interested in supporting this endeavor please contact our development manager,
Reed Caldwell, at (800)FOLKSCH or by email at  For more
information about this project please visit our website at or our
blog at  We hope to see you at the Folk School soon!

The John C. Campbell Folk School is a tax-exempt organization under section
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations are tax deductible to the
extent allowable by law.
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Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon!.

Rome Hutchings
Rome H. Hutchings, Member Services Chair