Growing up in rural Dorset, Paul Allen considered
training to become a silversmith in Birmingham. But the lure of
the countryside led him to take up a forgework apprenticeship in
blacksmithing at Cerne Abbas in Dorset – the start of a
fascinating career in metal.
Eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm, Paul left Cerne Abbas at
the age of 26. He took on the challenge of using his skills and
talent to train young blacksmiths all over England for the Council
of Small Industries in Rural Areas. His flair for design led to
major projects being awarded to the student apprentices. These included
a seat for the Ironwork Gallery in the V & A Museum and an ornate
archway for the Zachary Gardens in London, commissioned by the Goldsmiths
Company and incorporating the London Assay mark.
National UK Champion Blacksmith in 1994, Paul is a certificated Licentiate
teacher and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, as well as
a Licentiate of the City & Guilds Institute. He is still actively involved
in teaching as a part-time tutor at the National School of Blacksmithing in
Hereford and is well known all over the country.
At home in his studio at Motcombe Forge Paul specialises in producing
original designs for interiors. Working in iron and other metals he uses
only pure forgework techniques. The materials are chosen to enable delicate
designs to be worked by hand; creating natural flow and balance within the
practical function. From sweeping sinuous lines and personification of plant
forms through to functional straight lines, his designs are often inspired and
influenced by natural shape and forms. Commissions range from candlesticks to
coffee tables and table lamps, creating quality style essentials which never
go out of fashion.