Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America
Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America
Board of Directors Appoints John McLellan
to replace Bruce Woodward who resigned due
to personal health reasons.  Please Welcome John
to the ABANA Board of Directors!

Dear:  :

After receiving over a dozen volunteer candidates for nomination to the board
to replace the seat vacated by Bruce Woodward, who's term ran through to 2011,
the ABANA Board of Directors, in two rounds of Ballots selected John McLellan
for appointment to the Board.

Letter of Interest and Statement of Qualifications for John L McLellan, as written by
John on September 26, 2009 to the ABANA Board of Directors.

I got started in blacksmithing at the age of 8 when I inherited a forge and anvil from my grandfather. I read all the old books I could find on the subject and built my fires with small pieces of oak since I didn't have access to coal. The high school I attended offered a course in horseshoeing which I took my junior and senior years. This was the first time I got to use a coal fire. Since I already had years of experience in the forge the course was pretty easy for me and I helped teach it my senior year.

After I graduated I continued to teach the Farrier class while I was attending the local Junior College. My major was in agriculture, but the college had a great metal shop so I took most of the metals classes also.

In 1978 I joined the California Blacksmith Association. This was a real boost to my development. For the first time, I could talk to others that were doing the same things and having the same problems. The first conferences I went to were overwhelming. There was so much to see and learn. Working with the professionals in the group I quickly picked up many advanced techniques.

I Joined ABANA in 1980 for the Santa Cruz Conference.  That was my first chance to meet smiths from around the country, and the world.  It really opened my eyes to the possibilities.

From 1984 through 1986 I attended CSU Chico to finish my B.S. I drove back to Sacramento every weekend to shoe horses and do any jobs that had come into the shop. The horseshoeing was my major source of income throughout this period as the market for good ironwork in Northern California was nonexistent. It really helps to have a trade that can provide a reliable cash flow.

After I graduated from Chico I worked at Myers and Company in Basalt, Colorado for a short time and then went back to Sacramento to see if I could create a market for forged ironwork.

During the summer I started doing an educational exhibit at the State Fair. This proved to be a great way to inform the public that forged metalwork was still being done and was available. Between the fairs, some articles in the local newspapers, and a TV story on the news, orders started coming in for everything from nice fireplace sets to large gates and railings. And most of the orders specified forged designs instead of tubing and castings.

I also joined NOMMA in the mid 90's.  Their focus on the business aspects of the metal industry was very helpful.  Something the blacksmithing associations neglect.   The Metalfab conventions are very educational and we won a silver award for the Cathedral Renovation at the 2007 convention.

I still do almost anything that comes through the doors, but the horseshoeing is down to a few old customers

I would like to join the ABANA Board to bring my experience with the CBA to the national level.  I have served as a board member, Vice President and President of CBA.  I ran numerous Spring Conferences, doing my first while I was still in college.  

I have taught over 60 different classes in blacksmithing and had over 600 students over the years.  I also do demonstrations for school groups and scout troops.  The kids
never seem to get enough of watching hot metal.
I started and continue to run McLellan Blacksmithing.  I've run as a one man shop and have had as many as 12 employees.  We've done projects ranging from "grandma's" handrail for the front steps, to large commercial jobs like the Cathedral restoration in Sacramento and the new Cinematic Arts College at USC.

My business has forced me to become computer literate as well.  All design work and drawings are done in AutoCad.  We use Microsoft Office, and Corel Word Perfect.  The use of email has expanded our world.  Many of the quotes and designs are done by email now, allowing me to work from anywhere and send drawings and bids directly to the customers.  As well as allowing contractors and architects to email me plans and specifications for jobs.

So...I think my broad range of experience could benefit ABANA.

Welcome John to the ABANA Board!!
Quick Links...
On behalf of ABANA, we thank you for your
continued support of ABANA's mission to
further educational opportunities for blacksmiths
and share this information with all who are interested

Rome Hutchings
Rome H. Hutchings, Member Services Chair