Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

Philip Simmons Blacksmith


Every great city has a great museum, but one city IS a museum to the work of one man. Charleston, South Carolina has been the home of blacksmith Philip Simmons his entire life. (A life continuing at age 97) Mr Simmons recently moved to a rest home...at the time of my first visit he was still pounding the anvil, the second time he was passing his skills down. The blacksmith shop was built by a slave who gave it to his son in the late 1800's, who in turn hired Mr. Simmons at age 13. Simmons worked in the shop for 77 years. Well over 200 of his gates, doorways and other ornamental ironwork have been identified, the documentation continues. Some of his beautiful work, along with a map is illustrated at the Philip Simmons Foundation site, they are raising funds to preserve his shop as a museum.

6 comments:

  1. I too had the great privilege of spending an afternoon hanging around Mr. Simmons' blacksmith shop. Designs for upcoming pieces were drawn free-hand in chalk on the driveway. He is a Living Treasure.

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  2. I met Mr. Simmons in the early 1980's and am fortunate to have a garden gate made by him. He asked what I wanted and I told him to suprise me and he certainly did. He insisted on installing the gate at my home he and his apprentice came with concrete and old bricks and worked in 90 degree heat. Before I left Charleston I would drop to talk with every chance I got.

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  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, and good for you! I am sure you treasure the piece, as I would. Your story is wonderful. I hope you will continue to monitor or follow this blog, as I have a particular interest in African-American folk art of the 19th and 20th centuries.
    MUCH appreciate your tale.

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  4. hello, i just discovered your blog and love it. i'm going through all your old posts. i was saddened to hear mr. simmons passed away very recently. he was a true treasure of this state.

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  5. I appreciate you taking the time to post here, and despite bringing bad news, you are more than welcome to follow the blog and comment anytime. Thank you.

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