Aulë was one of the Valar, and a member of the Aratar (the eight chiefs of the Valar).

He had lordship over the substances of which Arda is made. He was a great smith and a craftsman of all kinds. His spouse was Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits. They dwelt together in Valinor.

He was called the Father of the Dwarves as he created the race on his own. Ilúvatar blessed them with life, but he would not suffer them to be born before the Elves, so Aulë set the Dwarves to sleep in Middle-earth until the Elves had awoken.

His great works include the Lamps of the Valar, the chain Angainor, and the vessels of the Sun and the Moon.

Aulë was a great friend of the Noldor, teaching them all his craft and knowledge. Fëanor was his greatest pupil, and from Aulë, the elf learned some of the skill he needed to make the Silmarils.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Abraon