Founded by a small group of professional women blacksmiths, The Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths is a non-profit organization dedicated to intentionally fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field of blacksmithing. We foster honest professional discussion and take actions to diversify the community.
There are demographically underrepresented groups in blacksmithing from the hobbyist to professional level, and this is detrimental to the field. The absence of the voices, creativity, and economic participation of these populations is damaging to the members of those underrepresented groups who do Blacksmith, in the form of increased likelihood of harassment or harm, and a decreased likelihood that they will continue to Blacksmith due to a variety of real and perceived barriers. This lack of diversity also limits the craft, and by fostering a broader participant base, the SIB encourages a community that expands and re-imagines what blacksmithing can be.
We believe that the following intrinsic conditions must be met for someone to be able progress in blacksmithing (wherein “progress” may be understood as learning, continuing to improve, trying new things, which we consider an essential part of blacksmithing for both hobbyists and professionals).
- They must believe they are capable of blacksmithing. (This belief may be influenced by role models, teachers, peers, and non – blacksmiths.)
- They must have access to appropriate tools, fuel, heat, materials, appropriate space, and time. (Access is influenced by money and connections.)
- The must have access to information. This may be in the form of a teacher / mentor / role model, peers, videos, books, articles, guilds, demonstrations, and/or access to iron-work. (Access is influenced by money, connections, and formal and informal education.)
- They must be able to practice blacksmithing regularly in a manner that allows them to make mistakes and learn from them. (Access is influenced by all of the above and requires a space where the Blacksmith may be safe and comfortable enough to focus on blacksmithing.)
We believe that there are social and economic barriers that prevent people in underrepresented groups from being able to meet these baseline conditions, thereby making it more difficult for people from these populations to progress in blacksmithing.
We believe that the Society of Inclusive Blacksmiths can make meaningful change by equitably reducing those social and economic barriers.
We are working to change the image of blacksmiths in the 21st century by supporting, promoting, and highlighting historically underrepresented populations and forward thinking work.
To achieve our goals we will host events, workshops, seminars and projects of various scopes, some with focused groups and others with wide-ranging demographics.
Goals and Objectives
When all metalsmiths can work together toward excellence in supportive environments without personal judgments and when professionals and the general public appreciates the value of our work, we will have achieved our goals.
Together we will thrive.