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Edition 39 - Page 2 of 12 August 18, 2005
Uri Hofi
Professionalism, Education in Blacksmithing
Hofi at ABANA EKU Conference 2004 I recently spent a week with Uri Hofi at the Power Hammer School in Mooresville, NC. The following is based on our many talks.

For those of you that do not know Uri Hofi he spent most of his time in the US in the 1990's teaching at the Ozark School of blacksmithing and demonstrating at various blacksmithing events. Today he demonstrates for BigBLU Hammers who sell his die system as standard equipment on their hammers and teaches at Ed Mack's "Center for Metal Arts" in Florida, NY., as well as in his own school in Israel and in Berlin, GDR. His demo sponsored by Big BLU Hammers was the hit of the 2004 ABANA Conference in Richmond, KY, USA. He is scheduled to demonstrate again for Big BLU at the 2006 NOMMA convention in Savannah, GA next spring (2006).
PROFESSIONALISM: The first point Uri wanted me to know is that often there is NOT several ways to "skin a cat". There is usually ONE good way or the RIGHT way and then many other ways that are not so good or possibly wrong. In our posts on anvilfire he has often seen examples of what he thinks are not professional responses. He is right, many on our Hammer-In are not professional answers. We try to leave that page open for all opinions. Our Guru's den should always be professional and as accurate as possible. This was a reminder to help keep it that way and for all of us to act as professional as possible. He was not picking on just anvilfire, he also had examples of bad information from the ABANA's Anvil's Ring.
EDUCATION: There has been a change in how blacksmiths are educated and the techniques they use. Old European systems that we in the US often point to as the best way to train craftsfolk are failing. The old Master, Apprentice, Journeyman system no longer works. The student is expected to be able to work sooner and the Master is often too busy in our ever increasingly complicated and fast paced world to properly train the student. The result is that trade schools with the proper curriculum are ever more important.

GERMANY: In 1992 when Hofi started teaching at the EIN-SHEMER forge he founded in Israel he almost immediately had a number of students from Germany including George Wolf. In the
Horst Köhler, President of Germany (GDR) striking a spike supported in a swage block while Hofi looks on.
Hofi in the News, German Television

RIGHT: Hofi's German Guild certificate.
year 2000 he was invited to teach in Berlin. In order to teach his method the school purchased tools including hammers, punches, tongs and power hammer dies from Hofi for 10 students. Later 10 German masters took Hofi's class to see what it was about and afterward he was made a Master of the German blacksmithing guild. Now Hofi teaches twice a year in Berlin as well as in his school in Israel and other places. In May 2005 Hofi was honored by Horst Köhler the President of Germany who visited him at the school of professions in Berlin and took a swing at upsetting a big spike.

Hofi's techniques and teaching methods are so prized by the Germans that sending students to his school in Israel has been institutionalized in their system. Hofi is quick to point out that he is not replacing their system but adding a layer to it, helping bring it into the 21st century.

For those in the US that think we need a system like the German guild system this should be a wake up call.

Links: press_10.html

Who is Uri Hofi? On the Big BLU site

Uri Hofi Israel Trip

Uri Hofi at ABANA 2004 - anvilfire NEWS pages, 10,11, 15, 27-29.

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