Manuel Ballarín and the Art of Modernist Forging

Manuel Ballarín y Lancuentra is known for having been one of the best forger of Catalan Modernism. His talent earned him many collaborations with the great modernist architect Puig i Cadafalch.

Start

Manuel Ballarín was born on September 23rd, 1863. With little more than twenty years he founded his own workshop of forge and artistic foundry: “Casa Ballarín”. This workshop would eventually become one of the most famous in Barcelona and would have more than 20 workers. 

Manuel Ballarín worked on the main works of Puig i Cadafalch such as the Casa de les Punxes or the Casa Amatller. His professional relationship was so close that Puig i Cadafalch became a partner of Casa Ballarín in 1898, after collaborating with him in three of his works.

His work is not limited to Puig i Cadafalch, but we can admire it when we walk along the Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, since he collaborated in the manufacture of the famous benches of that walk.

Serial pieces: the revolution of the forge

In 1900, Ballarín innovates in its services and offers a catalog of modernist forged pieces. This catalog offered the possibility of combining these pieces in a personalized way and its serial production managed to lower its cost greatly . This is considered one of its most characteristic gestures, which contributed to modernize the forge of the time.

Relationship with Puig i Cadafalch

Puig i Cadafalch was not only his workshop partner and the architect for whom he did most of the work, but he was also the one who made a house for him.

Puig i Cadafalch made a house for Manuel Ballarín in 1907, when he and Ballarín had already worked together on nine projects. Ballarín accompanied Puig i Cadafalch from his first house in Barcelona: the Casa Martí. His collaborations extended for 15 years in such emblematic works as the Casa Serra, the Palau del Baró de Quadras or the Casa Macaya.

Did you know Manuel Ballarín? He is one of our favorite artisans. If you want to know more about the artisans of the Casa de les Punxes, you can find them here.