Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America
Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America

John C. Campbell Folk Art School   

Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Scholoarship  



This is a courtesy announcement of the Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Scholarship at the John C. Campbell Folk Art School.

Bill Clemens
ABANA Member Services


John C Campbell Folk Art School


Francis Whitaker Blacksmith Scholarship


A $500 scholarship will be awarded for the Traditional Joinery Projects class  at the John C. Campbell Folk School, October 30 - November 4, 2011 taught by Clay Spencer. Francis left some money at the Folk School to provide for scholarships for this class. It has grown to the point where we can award 2 or more scholarships each year.


Traditional Joinery Class 


This scholarship is for intermediate and advanced students who have a solid foundation in basic blacksmithing skills, can manage a coal fire and forge weld.


Interested blacksmiths should complete the following application and e-mail it to:


Clay Spencer 


Contact Clay at  256-558-3658, e-mail or 73 Penniston Private Drive, Somerville, AL 35670 on any questions.


Include your name, address, e-mail and phone number.




1. Describe your blacksmithing experience, how many years, classes taken, jobs, kind of work you do, how many hours you forge in an average month.

2. Goals for your blacksmithing career, what you wish to do as a blacksmith.

3. Make a scale drawing of a proposed project (your original drawing, not copied from another source). Should show 2 or 3 views with stock sizes and specify proposed joinery. Include a cut list for the stock. This does not have to be the project actually made in the class.

4. Describe your participation in the blacksmithing community: teaching, demonstrating, craft shows, writing articles, belonging to and attending local groups, attending conferences, etc.

5. Explain why you need a scholarship to attend a class.

6. Do you sell blacksmithing items you make? What type items? How do you sell?

7. Include at least 3, no more than 5, photos of some of your work.


The completed application should be e-mailed (e-mail preferred, regular mail accepted)  no later than September 22, 2011. Successful applicants will be notified by September 28, 2011. Your application will be judged against other submissions to determine the winner.

The money will be paid directly to the Folk School. You will be responsible for all other costs such as fuel fee, materials, transportation, etc. The school has dorm rooms and a campground.

After the class you are requested to write a 2 page article explaining some of the blacksmithing techniques used in making your project, (include some photos or sketches) and send it to your state organization.


Francis required that students prepare a drawing before the class and send to him so that any problems could be worked out before class. He emphasized that drawing was another skill that a successful blacksmith must acquire. You must be able to make a drawing to present a proposal for a client or draw your project on steel table so you can make it. Most everyone has done some sketching, doodling or drawing, it is nothing to be afraid of and your first attempts do not need to be professional. Just start sketching, sketching, sketching, refining your ideas until you figure out the joinery and stock sizes you think are right. Then start making it to scale, easiest way is to use quad paper. You can get large sizes, about 2' x 3', with 1" squares


Chances to win a scholarship have been 100% for the last 3 classes. Good luck.

Blacksmithing Classes at John C. Campbell 

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Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon!.

Bill Clemens
ABANA Member Services