Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?

Illustration for article titled Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?

Me, neither! But Mood Swings, a new exhibition at London’s Halcyon Gallery, will be showing off a series of large-scale metalworks—seven gates made from vintage iron scraps, hand-welded by the man himself.

Illustration for article titled Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?

His description of the work is appropriately Dylan-esque: "Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference."

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Illustration for article titled Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?

From the press pics, their style might be described as steampunk-adjacent: they are rustic in a way that’s reminiscent of what you might discover at a dusty outpost in the middle of nowhere on a cross-country roadtrip where you’re only kinda sorta lost but have nowhere in particular to be.

It’s pretty amazing to see him in his studio surrounded by rusted junk, surveying his bounty of cast-offs, ready to create.

Illustration for article titled Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?
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In addition to these strange structural monuments, canvas silkscreens and limited edition prints will also be available for purchase. Catch Mood Swings in person at the Halcyon Gallery from November 16th through January 25th. [Eye Magazine]

And since you're here, howsabout weighing in on The Ultimate Question: What is your favorite Bob Dylan song? An impossible choice, but on a gloomy afternoon like this one I've got those Worried Blues.

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Illustration for article titled Hey, Did You Know Bob Dylan Is A Steampunk Metalworker?

All images by John Shearer

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DISCUSSION

It appears that Mr. Dylan is working in carbon steel. Steampunk construction would (should) be based cast iron and not include welding.

I am a bit tired of the term "steampunk" being attributed to things which are clearly not related to steam power or the idea of an alternate history where steam is the main source of power.

Just because something has gears and brass and copper thrown on it does not make it "steampunk". Build something that actually runs on steam and serves a purpose, not just a repurposed set of welding goggles with a useless plethora of lenses hinged off to the side. What is it for? How it is useful?

Understanding how gears really go together and how systems like steam and condensate and factors like pressure drop, cavitation, and something as simple as rust really throws a monkey wrench into what steampunk has become.