Carlton Simmons (b. 1959), a nephew of the master blacksmith, Philip Simmons (1912-2009), enjoys the free style design in iron with an eye on nature. He went into the blacksmith shop at the age of 13 also – the same as his uncle and cousin, Joseph Pringle.
Educated in the public schools of Charleston, he remembers his shop classes best. While apprenticing with Mr. Simmons, he learned his craft well; however, when left on his own, you will see his artistic ability demonstrated in mini scenes in iron. There are blooming flowers through a patch of grass that almost appears real.
During the years of working as a team with his uncle and cousin, Carlton participated in the fabrication of many of the gates that the Simmons Blacksmith Shop is known for that beautifies the city of Charleston. His hearts, fish, and plant hangers are becoming a “must have” by those who visit the shop when in Charleston.
In 2016, Carlton created the entrance gate to a 1843 chimney that supplied bricks to many of the plantations around the state. The chimney is located on the grounds of the Brickyard Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, SC. He is currently working on the entrance gates to a newly constructed apartment complex on Daniel Island that is located next to the Philip Simmons Park. The complex is also called “Simmons Park.” (Note: Philip Simmons was born on Daniel Island. The municipal park is named for him.)
Modern ironwork by Carlton Simmons is included in a permanent display along with his mentor and uncle, Philip Simmons, at The National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution.