North Charleston, SC, glass and metal artist Steve Hazard has partnered with the Philip Simmons Foundation to produce a new gift collection of ornaments, paperweights, coasters, bowls and vases in etched crystal and glass. These items feature designs from the extensive portfolio of drawings and sketches by Philip Simmons, the legendary master blacksmith of Charleston, SC. Motifs chosen for the new gift collection can be seen in some of the gates in Charleston as well as museums in Columbia, SC; Atlanta, GA; and in Washington, DC. These ironworks were designed and/or fabricated by Simmons during his long and prolific career of 80 years.
When Steve Hazard relocated from San Diego, CA, to Charleston in 2003, Philip Simmons was the first local artisan he wanted to meet. He had hopes of collaborating with Simmons on a project incorporating metal and glass. Their first encounter was a conversation in Simmons living room that lasted several hours. Hazard shared photos of his past projects in metal, glass and clay. Simmons reciprocated by showing him and his wife sketches, detailed plans and pictures of a few of the many commissions he had completed during his career as the legendary blacksmith of Charleston. Unfortunately, Hazard’s hopes to collaborate were not realized during Simmons’ lifetime (1912-2009). By this time, Simmons had retired from workshop activities because of health issues.
Last summer, Rossie Colter of the Philip Simmons Foundation approached Hazard about fabricating a collection of gifts in glass etched with designs from the portfolio of drawings for projects Simmons fashioned in iron. Hazard accepted the invitation even though he was already busy creating a collection of works in fused glass for the gift shop of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in Washington, DC, on Sept. 24, 2016. He welcomed the opportunity to use his skills as a designer and fabricator to honor the legacy of Philip Simmons by translating a set of iconic motifs from his ironworks to glass. Through personal and business gifts, the Philip Simmons Crystal & Glass Collection expands the artisan’s audience to the people who did not have the opportunity to meet the person who contributed so much to the beauty of Charleston through his artistry and humanity.
When samples of selected crystal pieces from the collection were first displayed during the 2016 holiday season, visitors to the Philip Simmons Museum House were eager to make a purchase or to place an order. Pieces from this new collection are now available for purchase on the Foundation’s website (www.philipsimmons.us) and in the gift shop at the Philip Simmons Museum House located at 30 ½ Blake Street, Charleston, SC 29403. Hours: Tue.-Sat., from11am-4pm.
For info call 843/723-1259 or e-mail to (email@example.com).