The American Bladesmith Society held it's biannual hammer-the weekend of Oct 29-30, 2005. It was widely attended with visitors coming from as far as Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Brazil and many other locations.
A hammer-in is a "knifemaking seminar" held at the Old Washington Arkansas State Park facility that houses the only bladesmithing school in the country. The hammer-in includes hands on knifemaking demonstrations, classroom instruction, small knife show, a cutting competition, and lots of truck-bed socialization.
The weekend experience is enhanced by the home-cooking at the authentic 1800's era Tavern, restored early 1800's houses, churches, jail, blacksmith shop, and courthouse. Washington, Arkansas is best known as the originating town of the Bowie knife. Many call the city the 'Colonial Williamsburg' of the Southwest and certainly one of the finest historic places in Arkansas. At one time the town was a cultural, political and economic center of Arkansas. Washington, Arkansas was founded on the legendary Southwest Trail that connected St. Louis to Mexico. Notable visitors to the city are Sam Houston, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie who traveled separately through Washington, Arkansas, before they fought for Texas independence from Mexico.
During the rest of the year, the bladesmithing school holds classes teaching all aspects of knifemaking and bladesmithing. These classes are taught by some of the best knifemakers in the world. This school is a wonderful place for an aspiring knifemaker to get an "accelerated" training in the art of knifemaking.
KnifeArt.com is a strong supporter of the school, Washington State Park and Bladesmithing.