The Phillip Simmons Artist Blacksmith Guild (PSABG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 1994 in the State of South Carolina with about 30 charter members. It was first known as the South Carolina Artist Blacksmith Association. In the beginning, Philip Simmons, the “Charleston Blacksmith” mentored the fledgling organization, and in 1998 the name was changed to honor him while he was still alive.
The guild has about 200 members located in South Carolina and a few members from surrounding states. Members are organized exclusively for educational purposes to encourage and facilitate the training of blacksmiths, expose the blacksmith craft to the public, and serve as a center of information about blacksmithing.
Recently, guild members created an exciting and unusual event—a master blacksmith class— held at Texas Street Works Studio in the Olympia Mill Village. The class, instructed by Peter Ross, a Master Blacksmith who lives in N.C., featured traditional coal-fired forging techniques. This was not a basic or beginner class but rather an opportunity for traditional forging techniques and skills to be honed by these guild members and artists interested in maintaining this time-honored way of creating tools, everyday implements, and works of art.
Community members were invited to stop by and observe the traditional forging technique practiced by master craftsmen, who were learning to forge a Suffolk Latch.
The setting was informal, and locals came to observe and meet the artists, who braved the bone-chilling cold to finish their projects during this three-day event. Visitors came and enjoyed seeing some of the pieces that were made.
For more information, visit www.philipsimm onsartistblack- smithguild.org.
The studio is TexasStreetWorks, and the correct URL is: www.philipsimmonsartistblacksmithguild.com/