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Bob Dylan is a welder and he makes big iron gates out of scrap metal [5 pictures]

Since he is a factually elusive storyteller, it was hard to know how seriously to take Bob Dylan when he said in his autobiography Chronicles that he keeps welding supplies at his home in Malibu where he makes “ornate iron gates out of junk scrap metal.”

But it turns out to be entirely true. An exhibition of Dylan’s art — paintings as well as his iron work — goes on display at London’s Halcyon Gallery this weekend.

Dylan and His Gates - 01

Dylan and His Gates - 02

Dylan and His Gates - 04

Dylan and His Gates - 05

Dylan and His Gates - 03

Dylan writes…

I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country — where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another.

And of course he waxes poetic about his interest in gates, specifically…

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.

(photos by John Shearer)

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15 responses to “Bob Dylan is a welder and he makes big iron gates out of scrap metal [5 pictures]”

  1. chris says:

    yeah he makes some of them to be used as far as I heard he made one for Jack White. But they stand as sculptures too.. they are lovely …

  2. amacker says:

    Burning Man installation !! Karen could let him set up a studio in American Steel. Next to Flux. And Ryon Gesnick.

  3. jon mosher says:

    You’d think making gates would be commissioned since gates usually need to fit somewhere. Then again, some people would hang them up on the wall or make a space around them. I doubt Dylan cares whether they fit somewhere or not. If people are willing to throw down that money they can remodel whatever

  4. bryan says:

    get down with your bad self! I may just try my hand at song writing…

  5. Darcene says:

    That’s why there is a million ways to love Bob Dylan.. Thank you for sharing!

  6. RWordplay says:

    Take only a little of it seriously and it won’t alter the truth. Or take it all seriously and it won’t alter the truth.I first met Bob Dylan when I was working at Brentano’s Book Store in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, over Christmas/New Year 1973/74. I was standing by the back entrance to the store, which led into the hotel when a black stretch limousine pulled up.When out popped a handful of young long-haired men, my friend, the late Allan Roy, said, “Wouldn’t that be cool, if it were The Band and Bob Dylan” who were playing their final gig at the Fabulous Forum.Well, what do you know, it was The Band and Dylan. who were staying at the Beverly Wilshire. They all came into the store before checking in, or perhaps, a Roadie, was checking them into their suites. Members of The Band bought beautifully made, laptop-sized, Italian leather backgammon sets. Dylan asked me where the poetry books were and bought seven books, including “The Best of New York Puerto Rican Poets.”The next time I saw Mr. Dylan was when he was stopped, idling on the shoulder of the road, at the stoplight at the intersection of The Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. I had pulled over to help a woman change a flat tire, while Dylan watched from his car. When I was done, I walked back to my car, the light changed, he nodded, smiled, and put the put the peddle to the metal.Apropos of the piece, I suspect Mr. Dylan can afford to do whatever he likes, whenever he likes, with all the assistants/assistance he requires, out of the cameras frame. One hell-of-a-life.

  7. lightning says:

    bob, you are so cool. i love the way you look at things.i have always wanted a mobile that was similar to the one in the movie called “twister” with helen hunt. the gates that you make are of the same crazy idea. beautiful! peace & love, lightning

  8. --M. says:

    Heaven’s door?

  9. bill says:

    Yes! Was David Smith your grandfather?

  10. Jim says:

    There is a museum for ornamental iron I visited while in Mephis, it had many different gates and other beautiful metal works. If you get a chance it is worth the look…‎

  11. Greg Goode says:

    There is a song about this to the tune of ‘Just like a woman’:

  12. Patrick says:

    What’s he makin? The Iron Throne?

  13. jim francis says:

    inspiration comes from many ways,thanks

  14. darknforever says:

    No doubt about Dylan’s influence and brilliance. But he made one huge mistake in his life that will never be taken back. He campaigned for the Nobel Prize. No one wins the Nobel Prize who has campaigned for it. The Nobel Prize is not the Emmy or the Oscar. Even Malala was passed by for the Nobel Peace Prize, probably because she went on talk shows to promote her book. (However, in coming years she will still be awarded the prize. Dylan has used up his time in futile self-promotion, which the Nobel committee sees as the kiss of death. Think about it, how many Nobel Prize winners in literature have appeared on talk shows or keep a high profile? And how many have you ever heard of? If you’ve even heard of half of them prior to their winning, you’re well educated.)

  15. Kathy Mack says:

    He is truly an Renaissance man. I have been a fan since my dad brought home The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in the early 60″s (when I was all of about 8-9 years old).I wonder what his gates sell for? I want one…