Conference Demonstrators

ABANA 2018 Conference

Meadow Event Park

Wed Jun 27 – Sat 30 Jun, 2018


Teaching Tent

            Mark Aspery, Gerald Franklin, Darryl Nelson, John McLellan and Gerald Boggs will be leading the Teaching Tent with an expanded format that will give more attendees the opportunity to participate in this well-received program.

            The teaching tent will be dedicated to teaching the basics of blacksmithing, from Forge Welding, Tool Making (and heat treatment) to Punching and Drifting. There are a number of “Take Home” projects that will also appeal to the novice/intermediate smith, with Darryl Nelson leading a Bear’s Head workshop and Gerald Boggs leading a an Axe workshop. The workshops are arranged in 3 or 4 hour blocks with staggered starts, beginning at 8am and ending at 5pm.

Competitions will be organized, for all levels, in the evenings 7-9pm – with a demonstration of the project before each start.

Each lesson starts with a one hour demo in the demo area. These demos will run for the first two hours of the morning and afternoon. Opening night will feature a short, fast paced, demo of 30 to 45 minutes from each instructor.


Current demonstrators include:

Michael Dillon

Creating sculpture for public spaces is Michael’s passion. As an artist/blacksmith living and working in North Georgia, he has more than 25 years experience creating both functional and sculptural works of art. Recent large-scale public sculptures include “Aileron” for Nashville, TN “Ascension” for the City of Duluth, GA and “Victory” for Bell Memorial Park in Milton, GA.

Through careful and intricate engineering, Michael strives to create pieces that are visually uncomplicated and graceful, that engage and inspire wonder within the viewer.  Michael’s public work is modern, and narrative. Most of the work is forged, using large industrial steam and mechanical hammers. These hammers are the same ones that were used in America’s industrial age.  They have been refurbished and repurposed.  Their mark making imparts a sense of history in each piece, speaking to the significance our past has on our future.



Chris Shea

Chris Shea designs and creates furniture and architectural metalwork at his studio in southern Maryland, outside Washington, DC. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery and in numerous private collections around the country. Shea’s work has been shown at Fuller Craft Museum, Woodson Art Museum, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the National Ornamental Metals Museum, The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia, and at SOFA Chicago with Maurine Littleton Gallery. A native of Marblehead, MA, Shea studied at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee and at Penland School. He holds a BA in English Literature from Cornell University, and worked for five years as education coordinator at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. Chris Shea’s glasswork is created in association with the talented artists of the Washington Glass Studio.



Andrew Kyte

Andrew Kyte lives and works in Ann Arbor MI. For many years he traveled and worked for professional metal smiths in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York City. He completed his blacksmiths journeyman work after spending a year working for Paul and Heiner Zimmermann in Plietzhausen Germany. Five years ago Andrew opened his studio Kyte Metalwerks on the west side of Ann Arbor focusing on commissioned decorative and architectural work.



Seth Gould

Seth Gould creates and ornaments utilitarian objects that range from simple tools to highly embellished pieces of cookware. His work, which is strongly influenced by historic metalsmithing design and technique, typically begins in a coal forge and is finished at the bench with a file in hand. He is originally from Harwich, Massachusetts, and in 2009 he graduated from the Maine College of Art with a BFA in metalsmithing and jewelry design. Seth has exhibited work both internationally and nationally, and has taught, demonstrated, and lectured at institutions including Peter’s Valley School of Crafts, Southern Illinois Metalsmithing Society, and the Society of North American Goldsmiths. Currently Seth is a resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina where he is pursing work that takes more time, research, and exploration to create than he was previously able to dedicate as an independent metalsmith.