Allen started studying lapidary arts over thirty years ago while living in Southern Africa. He returned to Kentucky in 1975 and started a small business, A Jewell, cutting cabochons and making settings. He studied silversmithing through Adult Education in Louisville, the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Georgia and Wildacres Workshops in North Carolina.
Today his business has grown to include faceting and gold and silver work. Allen is a member of the Kentuckiana Geological Society, Inc., the Bluegrass Gem and Mineral Club in Lexington, and the Rockhounds of Central Kentucky, Inc. He teaches cabochon cutting, faceting and silversmithing at Wildacres and William Holland, in addition to private classes in his workshop. He is a member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. His work is sold at art and crafts shows, lapidary shows and retail stores in Kentucky.
Allen’s work is generally classed as “fabricated,” because he starts with sheet and wire in sterling silver or 14K gold. Often his gold and silver work showcases exquisite semi-precious gems that he has cut or faceted. His work also includes channel work, intarsia, specialty chain fabrication and wire wrap. Much of Allen's inspiration comes from the natural beauty of the stones themselves. The color and shape of a stone inspires the design of the mounting so that unity of form is achieved.