Feb 22, 2016
Guest Intro paragraph
John McLellan is the
owner of McLellan Blacksmithing in Loomis, California. He's also
the president of the California Blacksmith Association and is
serving as co-chair for the 2016 ABANA Conference taking place in
Salt Lake City in July. John began his business shoeing horses and
now primarily does high-end architectural and interior design
What We Talked About
- John's interest in blacksmithing began when he was 8 years old
and inherited his grandfather's ranching equipment. He taught
himself the trade by reading library books. In the 1970s he joined
the California Blacksmith Association.
- McLellan Blacksmithing opened in 1977 and focused on shoeing
horses, a skill John learned in a high school regional occupation
program. He took the class for two years and then taught it for
five years after graduating.
- He got into architectural blacksmithing in the mid-1980s, hired
several employees and now works almost exclusively designing
intricate metalwork for high-end homes. He spends most of his time
now doing design, drawing and bids and does less hands-on work than
in the past.
- About 10 years ago, John hired a staff of 12 employees to work
on the renovation of a local cathedral. Built in the 1880s, it
needed a complete refurbishing. His crew did all the metalwork
including light fixtures, railings, crosses, hand rails and door
- McLellan Blacksmithing is in an 8,000 square foot shop in
Loomis, which includes a machine shop, a fabrication area, a place
to paint out back, a showroom up front and class space upstairs.
They offer monthly basic blacksmithing classes from September
- John is currently serving as the 2016 ABANA Conference
co-chair. The conference will be held July 13-16 in Salt Lake City.
John's been working on arrangements for attendees including
transportation, lodging, and food. He says they will have several
food vendors including food trucks with gourmet options. The
Saturday night banquet will be a catered, sit-down meal.
- The conference is still accepting donations for the auction as
well as pieces to showcase at the gallery. Please see the ABANA
website for details.
- John says there's a great lineup of demonstrators and sponsors
this year and about 350 people have signed up to attend so far.
Registration is still open and the cost will increase after April
- One of the features of the conference is the Education Tents,
which will offer demonstrations throughout the day with hands-on
project work after each demo. Some of the demos include Level 2
grill work, punches and chisels, animal head work and making bottle
- There will also be some forging competitions in the evenings.
Topics include chain making, animal heads and tong making. These
competitions are free to participate in with conference
Thank you to today's sponsor the ABANA 2016 Salt Lake City