Ko Waitemata te moana
Ko Rangitoto te maunga
Ko Waiheke te moutere
Ko Piritahi te marae
There are three things which are really important to me, toku whanau (family) to tatou whenua (our land) me te reo rangatira (Maori language). It is from these three things that I derive my inspiration for my mahi.
Patrick James has unearthed a long forgotten skill and resurrected it in exquisite form. A child of the ‘70s, a craftsman of today, an actor and designer, James has perfected the art of leather carving and applied it to his range of decadently intricate bags. James perfected and developed his art in the family basement; tooling away carved leather bags and belts for friends and acquaintances. The ‘70s had to come to an end sometime, and that end heralded the departure of all things crafty and the arrival of Velcro, gold chain belts and fluorescent textiles. Understandably James hid his craft away and got on with his career as a professional actor. He packed away his carving tools and joined the ‘80s.
But a craftsman’s talents never die, and with the influx of tooled leather, carved leather, wooden handles and bamboo heels on the international stage, it wasn’t long before the carved leather Fendi Ostrik bag caught his eye in a magazine and he was inspired all over again. Patrick James bags are breathtakingly beautiful. They’re strange but sumptuous embodiment of the rustic and the sleek, the modern and the retro.
“My larger furniture works span a period of four years. They are the result of my desire to be more bold in my use of my materials and designs. After making hundreds of bags and smaller items I was looking for a significant challenge with my leather carving and discovered some rather extraordinary pieces of old furniture which just seemed to be crying out for a make-over. ”