Pendragon Collections is a new initiave for us whereby small limited numbers of boots are made in various styles. This is in collaboration with a cobbling workshop in Bali, Indonesia. See more of the story below:
Over the pasts 12 months, Adrian and I have been really conscious that we’re coming up to our 30th Anniversary! Yes we started working together back in 1987. We’ve been talking about doing a whole bunch of things to mark the occasion, which might include doing some retro designs from the good old days, or producing a one-off anniversary special.
One of the other things that we’ve been thinking about is how we make sure that Pendragon continues to grow and develop, and leaves a legacy – something that gives back. Those of you that have known me for a long time will know that I’ve always been fascinated by Bali, and actually did Modern Asian Studies at Uni – to go on and become a Pendragon Cobbler, of course!
Anyway, I was recently on one of my trips to Bali, and wandering through a leather shop I struck up a conversation with the owner. Next thing I knew I was on the back of his motorbike, flying through the streets to a small, bustling cobblers workshop that reminded me so much of our workshop in the back yard at Maroochydore I was amazed. After a chat, they invited me to stay and watch them work, and as I did, an idea began to form of how we could work with them – expanding the possibilities for both these artists and Pendragon.
We’ve always been very reluctant to expand in the past, and have been very mindful of any kind of “mass production” – handmade is what we are all about – but sitting watching these artists at work, we realised that they were even less “automated” than we are in Australia, and this represented an amazing way to work with artists in another country and also expand the number of shoes we are able to make, and to open up the price range to a wider audience (and to brush up on my Indonesian language skills I learnt all those years ago at Uni!)
So, over the few last months, Adrian and I have been working with the workshop in Bali, initially taking over some of our special lasts to have the cobblers there experiment with them, and learning alongside them how they use local leathers with our special dyes. After a bit of fine tuning, it quickly became obvious that the cobblers were highly skilled, and were loving the chance to work on some new, individual designs. They also quickly got into the spirit of Pendragon, suggesting some great embellishments, and new quirks to some old favourites.
As a result of the last few months, Pendragon Collections is about to be born! We recently showcased a small selection of the range at Womadelaide to a great response, we are now happy that we can work alongside the cobblers in Bali and produce a collection of Pendragons that are the quality that both you and we expect, but slightly more accessible than our “couture” range, and able to be purchased more quickly in standard sizes. I’ll be heading back to Bali regularly to work with the cobblers on new limited edition collections, so please get in touch if you are interested and want to order. We’ll start with a few styles, and have new designs on a regular basis.
Obviously, we are still hard at work on our own hand made boots and shoes, and we won’t ever stop taking special orders and producing the most gorgeous handmade shoes ourselves – if you want to discuss a bespoke order, please get in touch.