RoboSteel recycled sculpture
Photo courtesy of
What happens to the bearings, chains, conrods, camshafts, exhaust manifolds and gears when a car or motorcycle just won’t run anymore? Well, if it’s lucky enough to be junked in Dublin, Ireland, it just might be recycled into a fantastic work of art instead of being melted down into molten steel. RoboSteel is a unique hybrid of an auto repair shop and an art studio that designs and creates handmade steel sculptures in a variety of categories, including movie memorabilia, collectables, sci-fi/fantasy and custom-commissioned pieces. RoboSteel makes tiny, inexpensive sculptures that could sit on your desk, as well as massive structures more than 8 feet tall that cost thousands of dollars. The smaller pieces consist of only a few parts, while larger sculptures can contain thousands of individual pieces. The best part is that all materials used in construction of these unique art pieces are reclaimed from discarded cars, motorbikes and airplanes. How did the gearheads and welders behind RoboSteel become inspired to work with junkyard scraps as their medium? They say it all started with Picasso, oddly enough. “Picasso’s sculpture of the bicycle saddle and a handlebar was the first example of a work made from everyday things, using junk or scrap,” states the RoboSteel website. “This work opened up new possibilities for artists. In this instance — sculptors, who for centuries had employed traditional materials such as stone or wood now instead, many of them began to incorporate junk materials into their work (known as assemblages) or fashion new objects from them. The works are a great example of the inventive genius of Picasso and the ultimate inspiration for RoboSteel.” Who needs a life-sized replica of Optimus Prime, you might ask? Well, RoboSteel has completed many commissions for customers around the world, including promotional props for Hollywood features and futuristic robots for gaming arcades in Japan and Singapore. If you are ever in Dublin, you can see RoboSteel’s creations up close and personal, seven days a week, at Cows Lane Fashion and Design Market in Temple Bar. If you’re not planning a trip to the Emerald Isle any time soon, you can also browse the gallery on the RoboSteel website.