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 have started a three month online mentorship program which pairs mentees with more experienced blacksmiths in order to foster a supportive community. We will also host events, workshops, seminars and projects of various scopes, some for 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.