The IVBA 2018 Summer Conference is right around the corner!

Mark your calendars for the IVBA 2018 Summer Conference, going on in Pontiac, IL on June 8th-10th! Eddie Rainey of Gallop Forge will be demonstrating. There will also be a beginner’s class, raffles, forging contest, trade item, and auction. Reserve your spot now, and we’ll see you there!

Blacksmith needed for RR Crossing & Country Fair on June 16 in Mendota, IL

The Mendota Museum & Historical Society will be hosting their annual event of RR Crossing & Country Fair day on June 16, 2018.  In past years they had a blacksmith as part of the vintage craft area, but missed having a blacksmith in attendance last year.  This is a small but growing event, it encompasses both the Union Depot RR Museum and the Breaking the Prairie Museum.  Events and attractions include:  tours of the museums and vintage rail cars, vintage agricultural equipment, rope making, corn shelling, Cowboys, food, etc.  If any blacksmiths are interested to come and spend part of their day at the fair, please contact Dar Wujek at 815-539-3373, or send an email to

Boy Scouts of Decatur, IL needs Blacksmiths for Spring Rendezvous at Wolf Creek State Park, May 19th

Each Spring the Lincoln Trails Council Boy Scouts of Decatur, Illinois hold a Spring Rendezvous at Wolf Creek State Park near Findlay, IL on Lake Shelbyville. The focus is on teaching skills to youth and parents, skills that may get lost if they were not taught and passed down to new generations and practiced.  The event hosts a Civil War vintage cannon crew, a Blackhawk War vintage cannon crew, Praireland and Frontiersman re-enactment groups, Buckskinners, Flintnappers, the Central Illinois Raptors who hunt with birds of prey, the Illinois Tomahawk Throwers Association, the Dutch Oven Gathering Club, blacksmiths, plus the IL Army Corp of Engineers conservation, State Conservation groups, and members of Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Tri-County Quail and Rocky Mountain Elks.

This year we have selected blacksmiths and “Forging Links to the Future” as our slogan. We hope to “Spark Your Imagination, Ignite Your Skills”.  In previous years there has been a single blacksmith and forge in camp. This year we would love to have an expanded blacksmith area with multiple forges and smithing activities ongoing. The area would focus on demonstrations and instruction. We do have scout groups that camp for the weekend and are also open to the public. On Saturday, May 19 all demonstrations and activities will take place between 9:005:00.  Annual attendance is between 400-500 people.

I invite your members to consider joining us at this event. Maybe 4-5 people or more depending on their availability and interest in teaching blacksmith skills at our event.

If interested, please contact Valerie Green at 217-620-7205 or Melanie Byers 217-454-0797.

Crystal Lake Park District/Historical Society looking for demonstrators for Summer Sundays events

Each summer, the Crystal Lake Park District along with  the Crystal Lake Historical Society and City of Crystal Lake host Summer Sundays at the Colonel Palmer House located at 660 E. Terra Cotta Road in Crystal Lake. The Colonel Palmer House is open year round and is a historic building housing built in 1858 that sits on five acres of open land. The property is what remains of the 300 acres once owned by an early McHenry County pioneer and farming family—the Palmers. The Palmer home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and provides the perfect setting for ongoing Victorian teas, many school educational events and historic presentations.

The Colonel Palmer House gets close to 500 people attending each summer event.  We were wondering if anyone from the IVBA would be available to have a Blacksmith presentation/demonstration at any of our Summer Sundays held June 3rd, July 15th or August 12th.  Each Summer Sunday is from 1-4 pm but we could be flexible if someone was only able to be present for part of the event.

If you have questions or are interested in attending, please contact Sherri Van Vlierbergen at 815-459-0680, Ext. 1218.

Summer Sundays Flier 2018

Blacksmith Demonstrators/Vendors wanted for Heritage Day June 9th in Momence, IL

Momence, Illinois is having their 2nd annual Heritage Day on June 9th and is looking for blacksmiths to attend.  They are open to Blacksmithing demonstrations as well as a chance to sell your wares.  If you are interested, please contact Ted Petersen at 412-726-1816.

Blacksmith demonstrator needed for Jubilee Celebration in Deerfield, IL

The Village of Deerfield is looking for a blacksmith to participate in demonstrating blacksmithing techniques at an event on Sunday, May 20, 2018, from 11:00 am. to 3:15 p.m.  The Jubilee Celebration is in honor of the Deerfield Area Historical Society’s 50th anniversary. The event will be held at the Deerfield Historic Village, 517 Deerfield Road, Deerfield, IL 60015.

If you are willing and able and/or have any questions, please contact Jean Spagnoli at 847-719-7483 or email:

Blacksmiths needed for 35th Annual Old Fashioned Tractor Show & Swap Meet

River Valley Antique Association will be hosting their 35th Annual Old Fashioned Tractor Show & Swap Meet on August 25 & 26, 2018 at Butler Haynes Park located at 9424 S. Mapleton Road, Mapleton, IL  61547.

Members of the IVBA are invited to come to the show and set up a blacksmith tent if possible.  This show attracts a lot of people from the area and it would be great to showcase blacksmithing to those unfamiliar with this trade.

The show this year will be featuring the tractor brand John Deere, events include an Antique Tractor parade, Antique Tractor pull and a peddle tractor pull for the kids and craft show.

If anyone from the IVBA would be  able to attend and set up a blacksmith tent or have any questions please call Michelle May at (309) 696-2171.  The event is free to vendors and patrons.

New Websmith in Town

Hello IVBA family,

My name is Chris Vranek and earlier this year I was asked if I wanted to take over the day-to-day operations for the IVBA website.  I decided to give it a shot, so I’ve been handed the keys to this buggy and I will attempt to keep this site a great place to meet and come together as smiths, colleagues, and friends.

To that end, I’ll also be working on our Facebook page.  Please come visit and share your latest smithing projects, ideas, photos, and local events so we can all enjoy them together!


See you around, and keep smithing!