© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


There aren't many opportunities in this department, but you COULD become famous by entering the World's Championship Blacksmiths Competition held in Calgary, Canada. Winners not only get bragging rights, but also take away $10,000.

Maybe you won't win a competition, but there are plenty of moderately well-known blacksmiths who you can model your career after. Philip Simmons produced over 600 assemblages throughout his life. As arguably the most famous modern day blacksmith, Simmons started forging decorative ironwork in 1938. Much of his ironwork can be seen in Charleston, South Carolina. His work is so popular that stories of his life have been told in books and documentaries.

Francis Whitaker was one of the most famous blacksmiths in the 20th century. He is lauded for preserving the blacksmith trade. During the 1970s, Whitaker taught numerous apprentices Old World techniques. He is quoted as saying, "Iron has a strength that no material has and yet it has a capacity for being light, graceful, and beautiful. It has this capacity—but no desire. It will do nothing itself except resist you." This quote is slightly more popular than that of the blacksmith Joseph Stern, who said, "I like to hammer stuff." No one has really heard of Joseph.