Inside the Makers Workshop: Waltzing Matilda
I first discovered Waltzing Matilda while shopping the floor at Capsule Show in Las Vegas. Their leather bags seemed to tell a story as if they had lived a life before this one. Soul stitched and felt in every inch of their creations by founder Mike Balitsaris. My favorite detail, the quotes and writings from his child scribbled and punched into the leather; hidden in pockets and tracing the lines of the Red Wing handle. They have me swooning for their raw sort of aesthetic; simultaneously beautiful and gritty.
"Waltzing Matilda creates authentic handmade leather goods. Each piece is 100% constructed in the United States of America. These projects are classically “modeled on beauty and speed” and are meant to be used. All the items are road tested to assure that form and function are not compromised. No two are exactly alike, but the photos you will view represent a style and can be made to order.
Each project is 100% handmade and cannot be hurried. Every time we start to rush we stab ourselves with an awl; therefore the process forces us to chill, which is not usually our nature. As a result, they become a form of therapy (fashion yoga?) forcing us to slow down, relax and think while we are creating the project at hand. The projects become extensions of us and we take time to think about how they may be used and who may own them. We try to use as little hardware as possible, we prefer to use knots and simple fastening techniques keeping the hardware to a minimum.
The projects are built with respect for the past and the honest way the art was, and is made. Our goal is to make something that becomes integral to the owner's life, like a favorite pair of boots, a great hat or a pair of well worn jeans.. a staple for any traveler to be handed down for generations."