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Friday, February 12, 2016

Steel Artist in Focus : Bob Dylan Welded Gates

In the world of American music, few artists are as unique and inimitable as Bob Dylan. He has inspired countless artists and has been covered by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, the Byrds, and more recently, Adele. His poetic, stream-of-consciousness lyrical style is instantly recognizable, as is his earnest, no-frills singing. However, few people know that his boundless creativity extends beyond the realm of music. Bob Dylan pours just as much passion into welding and sculpting complex metal gates.

You could say that iron is in Bob Dylan's blood. Dylan grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, a mining town built on the Mesabi Iron Range, the largest iron ore deposit in the United States. Hibbing was founded in 1893 on a spot where prospector Frank Hibbing proclaimed, “I believe there is iron ore under me; my bones feel rusty and chilly.” Looking for opportunities in the mining boom town, Dylan's maternal grandfather, Ben Stone, arrived nine years later. Between 1919 and 1921, after it was discovered that the best deposits of ore were located directly under the town site, the town was physically moved farther south by placing the buildings on rollers. At peak production, Hibbing was the source of at least a quarter of all iron ore extracted in the US, a fact which Dylan has mentioned in interviews and live show banter. “North Country Blues,” a song from Dylan's seminal 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin', tells the story of an ailing mining town, clearly modeled on Dylan's childhood hometown. Bob Dylan's fixation on iron shows that his upbringing left an indelible mark on him.

This fascination has taken on physical form. Working out of a studio in Los Angeles, Bob Dylan has welded gates from scrap metal into intricate, beautiful visual art unlike any traditional iron gate you may have in your own yard. His favored form is gate work because he appreciates the negative space it allows him to work with. By welding these works of art from scrap iron and steel, Dylan resurrects the debris of an industry that was vitally important to the people he grew up with and the America he grew up in.


At July 21, 2016 at 4:35 AM , Blogger Anna said...


At August 2, 2016 at 7:47 AM , Blogger anniebaker said...

Looking back in the history of music I find it was much more thoughtful than it is now. Maybe it's because we have fewer problems, so we create one to sing a song about. Unlike Bob Dylan or B.B.King, whose lyrics was filled in with an experience, with emotions, with history and not just whining about love and whose pocket fuller, whose ass is smaller. You can visit website mentioned above and compare it on your own. Enjoy!

At August 11, 2016 at 12:49 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Its nice to know that a music artist such as Dylan has an artistic outlet and not just waste his time doing things that he might regret later. As what term paper help, there is no assurance in the music industry, you just need to innovate and offer refreshing music ideas.

At November 10, 2017 at 2:10 AM , Blogger James Feder said...

I am impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon. pump foundry


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