Q Magazine

Guest Column - Catapults and a whittlin' wonderland by Archie Bronson Outfit

Guest Column - Catapults and a whittlin' wonderland by Archie Bronson Outfit
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This week (8 December) Archie Bronson Outfit released latest single Two Doves On A Lake (below), from recent album Wild Crush. However the song isn’t the duo’s only seasonal release. Mark “Arp” Cleveland from the band has recently started making and selling catapults. In a guest column he explains why everyone needs a “hand held death machine” in their life.

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“Lets move to the country, just you and me, a goat and a monkey, a mule and a flea”… and a new found obsession with sculpting hand held death machines…

Making catapults – or to be precise, slingshots – is for me mostly about conjuring something from nothing. I really like the sculpting aspect and the finished combination of simple folk object and lethal weapon.

My catapult craft-life began when I felled an ash tree in our disused quarry (we live in an old Cornish engine house). While chain-sawing the slayed wood, I kept thinking about other things I could make instead of just creating logs eg: thin slices of trunk for future chopping boards or future Pults from all the Y shapes.

Now, I mooch around the surrounding area – loppers in hand – scouting for any suitable Y’s. This will lead me down lanes with my patient three year-old, Vinnie, on my shoulders, or into my neighbours woods, over the road into another disused quarry or anywhere I am walking or driving really; my roving pult-eye is always engaged.

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“We’re moving up country, where lady sings crazy”

We embraced the cow-shit-belt a year ago and in order to renovate our place I’ve embraced all things builder-y and tarting up-pery: I’ve built an arsenal of tools and my own workshop. Seeeeeesaw. I hadn’t planned on becoming a whittler; it’s an extension of my new found practical freedom.

Whittle while you work and “as you sweep the room, imagine that the broom, is someone that you love, and you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune, when hearts are high, the time will fly, so while you work”. (I’m making a Snow White dwarf analogy, but am aware it should probably be “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”). My wife left me in my workshop the other day and on her return four hours later asked if I’d got various jobs done, I hadn’t moved, Radio 4 on, slingshots everywhere, skinned, shaped and sanded: I’d been lost in a whittlin’ wonderland. When I get chickens, the fox is fucked…. Kerpowww!

Mark “Arp” Cleveland@archiebron

For your own slingshot, head Cornishcatapult.com, meanwhile your musical ABO needs can be taken care of via Archiebronsonoutfit.com.


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