Antique combined with new, lavish with simple, there is something uniquely satisfying about seeing contrasting materials together. The clash of texture and tone tells a story of where things come from, how they have travelled, and where they are heading. New Zealand is a small country, literally at the bottom of the world, and perhaps because of this, it is a nation of travelers. For our ReLeathered Collection, we have created the stories of these travelers. We have imagined their journeys, those men and women who lived and worked and loved, in distant deserts perhaps, in glacial enclaves or, closer to home, verdant farmland.
The humble leather belt is the hero in this collection. Working with the talented makers at Sam James Furniture, Powersurge Metalworks and PLN Group, we have taken the stories of individual belts and woven them into a new tale of adventure. In sideboards, armoire, benches and more, the journey’s these belts once took are on display, rich in texture, deep in history. Combined with sustainably sourced rimu, polished brass, and blackened steel, the leather provides a tactile warmth and a luxurious finish to this timeless collection. This takes upcycling to new, elegant, levels. But this is our commitment to sustainability, seeking to create beauty in a way that walks lightly on the earth, and that you can enjoy for years to come.
The Free Standing Armoire
The Bench Seat
Stories in the life of New Zealanders.
Each of the following sample stories are moments embedded in each used leather belt in the ReLeathered Collection… Each belt has so many rich moments imprinted in it. We want to share some with you. There are many more to discover in a beautiful book when you buy one of our products in the ReLeathered Collection.
Kevin – 3rd May 1992
The sheep could tell. They’re wily are sheep, you can see it in their cold eyes if they don’t trust you. And not one of them trusted me. They’d scat away whenever I tried to mob them together. Changing paddocks was a nightmare. They knew I wasn’t sure about what I was doing.
The cows however were a different matter. With slow blinks the cows would agree to the milking. As their hooves churned up the muddy ground near the shed and their breath huffed out in white lines against the morning, they commiserated with me. Sure, they’d been bred for this: milking and cold mornings. But somewhere back in their collective memory they remembered a time when the only thing attached to their udders was a calf once a year and the grass had an earthier flavour. When they looked at me maybe they saw me nod. As if I remembered too. As if I’d like nothing better than to open the gates of the milk shed and let the warmth of the sun stroke their coats to a glossy lustre. I think they appreciated it.
But it spurred me on. Made me finally open the gates and let the animals go. Made me let my manmade grip on the land go too.
The neighbours thought I was stark raving. But I was beyond hearing them. I was having to add artificial nutrients to everything to keep the animals fed and the grass growing. Madness, I told anyone who would listen. So, I stopped. I just stopped. And now look.
Everywhere the trees.
Like they’d always been there. Waiting. Ready. Because of course they were.
Lawrie – 30th May 1989
The top of the ridge was also the end of the road. As the key came away from the ignition the silence was immense, brilliant, compared to the rattling of the old truck. Swinging my feet onto the dirt I looked out over the valley and felt my eyes crinkle. ‘By God it’s still good.’ And it was. Good. The sides of the valley were a blanket of darkest green, trees reaching up from the dirt, their steepness shaking off the weather. ‘Good on you trees.’ I reckon I said. ‘You own this bit.’ And it was true, that here the trees oversaw everything. ‘Especially you,’ I said as I turned to see him.
Then. Nothing. No words. Only huffs of cold misted air. Only aching pain under my ribs. Only…only a hole.
They’d said the trees would be safe. They’d said I didn’t need to worry. Then I went away and three days later…nothing. Only a hole. And finally, next to the hole, I saw him cut and stacked. Three giant trunks pushed into a pile.
I put my hands on the outer rings first, the years I’d been alive. The years I found this tree and wrote about it - Likely the oldest living specimen in the country if not the world. Worthy of heritage listing…a park would be appropriate.
Then I put my hands on an imperfection, a hard year I guess, where stooped under the weather, its roots like birds’ claws locked in the earth, the tree had shouldered hail and snow that would have killed a man in minutes. Skipping through centuries, I reached as far as I could and still couldn’t touch the centre.