Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA)
Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA) is a premier organization in the field of blacksmithing and metal arts. Established in 1981 as the 13th Chapter of the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA), SOFA has been a cornerstone in the modern resurgence of blacksmithing. With a history that traces back to the efforts of co-founder Emmert Studebaker, the organization has grown exponentially, boasting a membership that quickly surpassed 50 individuals.
What They Do
SOFA is committed to the education and promotion of blacksmithing. They offer a unique blend of educational facilities and a home blacksmith shop, creating an environment that is conducive for learning and perfecting the craft. With a focus on teaching the basics and tending to members’ interests, SOFA has become self-sufficient over the years. They offer a variety of classes, including specialized bladesmith classes for those interested in the art of knife-making.
SOFA operates under the guidelines established by ABANA and has been a significant influence in the rapidly growing world of modern blacksmithing. The organization has been so successful that ABANA reclassified its chapters as “affiliates,” allowing them to operate as independent organizations. SOFA is one of over 80 affiliate organizations that benefit from ABANA’s financial assistance, publications, and global communication activities.
Facilities and Resources
The organization provides top-notch facilities, thanks to the Studebakers, who have been instrumental in its growth. These facilities have played a crucial role in attracting a large number of eager-to-learn individuals. SOFA also offers a wealth of resources, including a library, downloads, and a gallery of work from its members.
SOFA is more than just a blacksmithing organization; it is a community of artisans and enthusiasts who are passionate about the craft. With its robust organizational structure, educational facilities, and a wide range of resources, SOFA stands as a major center for anyone interested in blacksmithing.
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