Uri Hofi, the innovative blacksmith educator, is known internationally for his contributions of ergonomics and efficiency in the practice of blacksmithing. Hofi's ergonomic approach to tooling and methodology is designed to work with the natural motions of the body. The system focuses on efficient process, using minimum energy and time for maximum moving of the material, while protecting muscles, nerves, joints, and bones from damage.
In his fifties, Hofi was a student to the legendary Czech blacksmiths Alfred Habermann. It was here that Hofi met the stubby, square-faced hammer that he was to further refine and use to great effect in his own teaching.
In 2002, Uri Hofi came to the Center for Metal Arts where in the weekend between two week-long workshop marathons he helped to set up a blacksmith’s learning center tooled in the tongs, anvil bases, hammers, and other sets of blacksmithing tooling that he considered to be the best practice in ergonomics and efficiency. This is the studio where students of the Center for Metal Arts blacksmithing program now take workshops.
Hofi is well known for his emphasis on ergonomic tools and techniques. The DVD Ergonomic Techniques for Moving Metal was filmed in one uncut sitting between workshop sessions at the Center for Metal Arts, and is a chance to sit in as Hofi discusses and demonstrates best ergonomic process, tooling and technique as he has synthesized what he has learned and developed. The DVD can be purchased here.
The current blacksmithing program at the Center for Metal Arts has been further developed by a new generation of artist-blacksmiths for an exciting synthesis of process and practice; see the workshop schedules for the current Blacksmithing and Small Metals programs.