Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ribbons of Iron: Charleston Remembers Blacksmith Philip Simmons

Renown blacksmith, Philip Simmons, whose iron work graces windows, gardens and gates througout the city of Charleston, South Carolina, passed away on Monday. The city will place white ribbons on all the Simmons ironwork in Charleston parks, and encourages citizens to place white ribbons on all the iron work in the city in memory of Mr. Simmons.

memorial art ritual

memorial art ritual

Philip Simmons

Following is an excerpt from the Charleston Channel 2 obituary by Octavia Mitchell:
97-year-old Philip Simmons, hailed as America’s premiere blacksmith died surrounded by family. His first cousin Joseph Pringle worked in this blacksmith shop in downtown Charleston for more than 50 years. Pringle says, “It is a big loss for the whole family.“
Rev. Ron Satterfield is pastor of St. John’s reformed episcopal church where Simmons was a member. A garden is named in his honor here. Satterfield says, “I just loved the man. He was a giving person and just loved people. Satterfield say Simmons was a simple man, who did not boast about his many accomplishments. He says, “He was the same Philip from day one to the end. When you met Philip Simmons, you knew you had met him. He’s irreplaceable.“

memorial art ritual

Philip Simmons created more than 500 wrought iron gates, fences, balconies and window grills. His masterful work grace the streets of Charleston from end to end. Mayor Joe Riley says, “We are very saddened at the loss of our wonderful friend Philip Simmons. His beautiful artistic creations grace the Holy City of Charleston throughout the downtown and beyond. It’s all around you. The monument to Philip Simmons is throughout our city and always will be.“
As a special tribute to Philip Simmons, the City of Charleston will place white ribbons on all Philip Simmons ironwork in its parks, and they invite everyone to place white ribbons on their wrought iron gates or railings, whether or not they are Philip Simmons’s piece. for the full obituary, visit Channel 2

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