Bealer Award

The Bealer award was named after Alex W. Bealer


Alex Bealer’s favorite tool was not a hammer but a froe, and when he had his fatal heart attack he was indeed using a froe to split shingles, one of his favorite pastimes.


The Alex Bealer Award is the most significant and prestigious award given by ABANA.

The purpose of the award is to honor the recipient for “service to the field of blacksmithing.” This covers a broad range and is not only service to ABANA, though that would not be discouraged by any means, but serves to keep Alex Bealer’s name alive in the blacksmithing world. The award is given when the ABANA Board of Directors deems it appropriate and the Board follows the committee’s recommendations of awarding it once a year although the Board could present the award more or less often


The committee looks for people who have served in the field of blacksmithing and made a significant impact and contribution in the field of blacksmithing.  The recipient should show a quasi-historical perspective to see how the field has progressed, grown, and developed, due to the recipient. It is not awarded to the most popular person in the field on a given year, nor is the award even something someone can try to “win.” The award is earned and time is the key to showing who the candidates should be.

The Committee

The ABANA awards committee chair will request nominations from the last five living Bealer Award recipients. Each past winner should nominate one potential recipient. The Bealer award committee will pick 1 from the 5 and that person will receive the award.  The award recipient is then approved by the Board of Directors.  If the award is determined before a conference year, they will be presented at the conference. If not, each non-conference years’ award will try to be awarded at a function where the recipient will be present.  The awards are then announced in The Anvil’s Ring.  The committee and the ABANA Board of Directors will keep the award secret until the award can be given at a blacksmithing event, in order to surprise the recipient.

Award Description

The froes are to be hand forged by a competent blacksmith and are to be engraved by a qualified engraver.

The froes are to be engraved with the following inscription:

The Alex W. Bealer Award

Presented to (name of recipient)

For outstanding service to the art of blacksmithing.

ABANA (current date)

* Gold indicates members that are deceased 

1982 Frank Turley *

1983 Brent Kington *

1984 Emmert Studebaker *

1985 Dimitri Gerakaris

1986 Francis Whitaker *

1987 Bill Gichner *

1988 Carl Jennings *

1989 Judd Nelson *

1990 Dick Quinnell

1991 Jim Wallace

1992 Manfred Bredohl *

1993 Clifton Ralph *

1994 Bud Oggier *

1995 Jack Andrews *

1996 Robert Owings

1997 Clay Spencer

1998 Dorothy Stiegler, Bill Manly *

1999 Daryl Meier

2000 Peter Ross, Michael Bondi

2001 James Batson

2002 Bob Patrick

2003 Leonard Masters *

2004 Albert Paley, Doug Hendrickson *

2005 Mack Beal *

2006 E.A. Chase *

2008 Tom Clark *

2009 Bill Callaway

2010 Elizabeth Brim

2011 Peter Renzetti

2012 Darryl Nelson, Toby Hickman *

2013 Judy Berger *

2014 Mark Aspery

2015 Philip Simmons *

2016 Dan & Judy Boone

2018 Joseph Koches *

2019 George Dixon

Award Recipients 1982-2016
Bealer Award History
2016 Award Winner
2015 Award Winner
2014 Award Winner
2013 Award Winner
2012 Award Winners
2012 Award Winners
2011 Award Winner

Dimitri Gerakaris presenting the Bealer Award to Pete (The Unknown Blacksmith) Renzetti. Dimitri and Pete are both founding members of ABANA.

2010 Award Winner