Unite or you will not know - Deadly Ponies


Liam and Katie discuss the arrival and departure point of Deadly Ponies

Liam Bowden: If Deadly Ponies were the arrival point, what would be the departure?

Katie Smith: If Deadly Ponies as an object were the departure point what would be the arrival?

Mmmm the arrival would be a Deadly Ponies tower with every floor offering something different shoes: jewels, couches and, of course, lots of food. What you think?.

Um that is definitely an interesting concept.
I don't think I have been to that particular tower. Or is your tower an analogy for something much greater that you have in mind for Deadly Ponies?

Yes, just taking on more and more challenges and who knows where it will end up?

There are so many paths that could be taken, so really just about trying to restrict myself from taking them all at once. Would you like to visit that tower though?

Sure. Let's say we were going to begin to design shoes. Where would we start? How would we decide what a shoe is to Deadly Ponies?

I mean there are so many shoes out there, both New Zealand brands and endless international brands. I would find it rather scary and hard: there just seems no market room and, of course, I would want them to be made in New Zealand, otherwise I don't really see the point. I mean we could just walk into any old factory in so many offshore producing places and pick from a shelf the mould and then the fabric and colours but, I don't know, there is no fun in that. I would rather use my own hands to make them, or at least contribute something or learn from a New Zealand craftsman. Don't get me started on overseas leather. Am I analysing something far too deeply when at the end of the day a shoe is a shoe, right?

Yes I think you are over-analysing it just a bit, although I would want it made in New Zealand as well. OK, maybe let's leave shoes then and go for dog leashes; think we could make a whole lot of stuff for Adara?

She would love it. But I guess the problem with keeping it all in New Zealand is that all the tradespeople are dying and no younger people are being trained up in leatherwork so it is, in a way, a dying industry.

Yes, but we are still learning and we have a lot more to learn. There is no right and wrong way to do things... We have had, on quite a few occasions, our 'older' counterparts comment "wow I would have never thought to do it that way". So I guess it is like what we always said - if we were using the same methods possibly we would be producing the same things as the 'older' guys still doing it. We have definitely been told multiple times our bags and jewellery are/is different. How many jewellers do you know who pick up less-fortunate casualties from mother earth and borrow some of their beautifully delicate bones for the beginning of a piece like a silver and bronze Pukeko pendant? You would be the only person I know. That quail is still in the freezer as well; what's happening with that?

Mmmm yeah I have been taking off the bits I need but I am still convinced that there could be something really cool we could do with the feathers. Maybe like a postcard which has a image made out of the quail feathers? There is just so many feathers and I feel bad just throwing the bird away. Or we could do something with them all over that wall by the fridge; we need to do something with that big white wall to make it way more interesting? Any ideas?

So the Deadly Ponies object would be an artwork on the wall consisting of quail feathers or a postcard and the arrival would assumably be the quail? Maybe that is a topic of conversation for another day? Shall we pick up back at the point of mid departure?

So an idea pops into our heads about a bag that is not huge but not at all small. We have a range based on ancient warrior tribes who use nature to make their dyes and fabric techniques. So that's step one. What's step two? People are buying carefully with this recession. How do we ensure they 'need' to buy this Deadly Ponies bag. What will step two do that sees it on its way. Maybe we could put feathers on it! Did warriors wear feathery bags? We need to depart and make it all the way with this range, not depart and then crash into a million pieces in the middle of the ocean.

One - I see what you did: you just don't want to do anything on that wall so you changed the topic. Two - You are confusing me with all this departure stuff and Three - No I don't think the warriors would have used feathery bags as it was not the trend. I don't know if you know this but back in Aztec times it was super cool to keep your tools tucked into your undies.

And if you really want to talk about arrivals, I want to arrive at DP Preciousand shamelessly plug our new fine jewellery line - Deadly Ponies Precious.Now what do you think of that?

Oh maybe I have seen that, seen a lot, so not much is surprising anymore - Liam. Secondly, no I don't want to put feathers up on the nice white wall, then it will be all feathery like a craft shop. Please can we leave it white, it balances out the scraps and mess on the floor. When I am stressed, I look aT the wall for solace. Third, finally we reach Deadly Ponies Precious.

Mm well you can only know what it is like to be a warrior, if you pretend to be one so when by myself I pretend, OK there it's out, OK no feathers. We can put up crystals and dream catchers instead then? And you were meant to do the talking about Deadly Ponies Precious.

Well Deadly Ponies Precious has been in the works for a while, and is a new line within Deadly Ponies of precious jewellery featuring solid 18ct gold, sterling silver

and other natural materials like bone, coral and onyx, opening up a whole different area of possibilities, which is pretty exciting don't you think?

Yeah it is definitely pretty exciting, very exciting, very scary. We are supposed to be graphic designers, now we have come full circle: we've done the bags, now we are doing the jewellery. You are more the jeweller than I am. I am still slightly confused with masters and moulds and silver and gold and polishing and sprues. I prefer to come up with the ideas with you and then see them when you have finished doing all the stuff you do to them, which by the way is still impressive even though I have seen you do it a few times now. It's amazing how you make a necklace that began life as a Pukeko foot: how you can keep every single piece of detail in the foot and then have it there in the silver or gold. I like it.

Well I like that you like it; yeah weird I kind of feel like a fish out of water now when it comes to graphic design . Not knowing what the latest font is any more or the latest graphic trend. Would still like to get back into it, design a book or a magazine but just need to find a few more minutes in the day to get those projects in.
It is exciting that Deadly Ponies Precious has gone into stores this year. It will be great to finally get customers' feedback.

Yes, it has been a long time coming, a lot of stress and a lot of money. To think we started this in the winter of 2007, we are now approaching winter 2009.

I feel like I have been designing jewellery boxes for a lifetime; we have finally got our three different styles with us in the workroom and we are so pleased with them. We went through so many variations, but in the end we stuck to what we wanted and ended up with a final design that we love, that we feel is the best fit possible for our jewellery. We have all the pieces finalised and have just received all the silver chains ready for their pendants.

This, for us, is one of many departure points for Deadly Ponies; at the same time it is the arrival point for Deadly Ponies Precious. To Liam and I the departure point is when we have finished stage one in a project like DP Precious, almost two years of very hard work, and we are now letting all our very personal handmade works of jewellery out into the world arena, for all to see, critique and hopefully love as much as we do.

Our personal point of departure becomes the public point of arrival; where the two mix is where a new point of arrival begins for Deadly Ponies - the release of Deadly Ponies Precious. If you are interested in the project that has taken up our lives for the last two years, please visit;
www.deadlyponiesprecious.com is available at selected boutiques throughout Japan, South Korea, Canada, USA, Australia & New Zealand.