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Paul Allen

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 stainless steel he uses only pure forgework techniques. These include repoussé work and fire welding in the forge.  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.
Two candelabrum made for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre have been used in Twelfth Night and Richard III, both in the UK and America.  A replica of the Lord Mayor’s Sword of State was commissioned by The Ironmongers Company and presented to Sir Michael Oliver at the inauguration of his term of office as Lord Mayor of London.  Commissions range from candlesticks to coffee tables and table lamps, creating quality style essentials which never go out of fashion. 

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 2 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.