||LOCAL blacksmith Paul Gilbert has created a stunning nine foot tall horse sculpture using half a mile of steel.
Paul, whose forge has been based at Spence Combe for the last three years, began his career 18 years ago after doing a stint as a butcher for Chinn’s in Crediton. Then he worked for a company which later folded, so Paul thought it would be the right time to start out on his own as a blacksmith.
Bespoke ornamental work is Paul’s speciality, but, as well, traditional gates, railings and grates. He likes to work in traditional and contemporary styles and can fuse function and style almost any application where iron work may be needed; or even just as a decorative sculpture.
Although completely self-taught, Paul attained a Diploma of Merit in 2001 from the Worshipful company of Blacksmiths making him an associate member.
||Paul is now working towards becoming a Liveryman which involves being judged by two master blacksmiths. If he does become a Liveryman tradition would allow Paul apply to Guildhall for the Freedom of the City of London.
Born and raised in Crediton, Paul is keen to use local services. He buys his steel from Conibear Brothers, he uses C. Symonds and son for haulage, and SW Galvanising for protective coatings, all of whom have units on Lord’s Meadow Industrial Estate.
Some of Paul’s famous clients include Matt Bellamy from the alternative rock band Muse, Joss Stone’s father, Richard stoker and Forever Friends creator Andrew Brownsword.
Examples of Paul’s work can also be found in Exeter Cathedral.
Paul displays his work at country shows, he has won a Champion of Show and two first prizes at the Devon County Show and a Champion of Show and one first prize at the Royal Cornwall Show.
The horse Paul has created took him 117 hours and has been named Prince by the client. The proportions for the horse were all done by eye, starting with the frame and then building around it, adding in the details etc.
Loo out for the horse as it will be visible from the train line passing through Lympstone on the Barnstaple to Exmouth train.