Marching aggressively forward in my research quest. Well, marching “timidly” forward in my research quest, is nearer to the truth. I made a very exciting step nearer an end zone this morning with a wonderful visit to The National Riffle Association in Bisley. Why? Well, yesterday I was casting teeny tiny bronze rifles, so it is not too great a leap to find some bullet holes that I can cast. Now I live in the UK not America and we do not have the same gun culture that the States have. In fact, I have never seen a real gun outside of a museum or gallery. So I contacted the NRA in Bisley to see if they could help me get a bullet hole that I could work with. I spoke to the Range office and they were really kind and encouraging, inviting me to go in and see what they had that could help me.
I had imagined something the size of a golfing range – so imagine my surprise when I arrived to find that Bisley is about 36 acres and has something akin to “The Prisoner” village feel about it. As well as a multitude of different types of shooting ranges, there were old building, caravans, a pub, old red phone boxes, and a train carriage – and they were just the things I noticed on my brief visit. The staff at the NRA were so helpful and actually had to DRIVE me by car around the site in order to find shooting targets that had bullet holes in them. I was so embarrassed! I had imagined myself rooting in a dustbin outside of their office not making someone drive me around 36 acres! The lady who drove me around told me all about the site and all the organisations that do valuable gun training at the centre. As you will probably find out as my designs for this work progress – I am totally anti-hunting, but can see how the NRA in Bisley is a great place to do a sport in a way that does not involve any killing at all. Shooting in a safe, controlled, friendly environment is great. It is when people who use guns, do so in order to kill or injure another living soul, that my heart starts to split in two.
Yes, a train in the middle of a Bisley site! Some things were plain weird – but it was a very beautiful site, in a beautiful part of Surrey and was extremely close to the M3.
So, hopefully my teeny rifles are at this very moment being cast in bronze in the metal workshop at UCA and my bullet holes are peppering part of a gun target in my hall. The next step is to think of a well-rounded design which makes the best use of my ideas.
I need to oil my brain for that.