Peter Davies & Earth Five

It was 1968, after the adventure of overland travel to England, work was found, first in the famous Carnaby Street and then in a bank London as a computer operator, that lasted only a few months. On the way back overland to Oz, in Kabul Afghanistan, I had to make a small goat hide travel bag as I had traded my colourful leather bag bought in Morocco for some antique Afghan military pouches. Other travellers saw it & for a while my days were spent making more travel bags and passport pouches for those travellers passing through. That kind of leatherwork wasn't available there in those days, just heavy duty saddlery. I had never worked in leather before. That's where it all began; at the Sha Foladi Hotel in Kabul with a pair of scissors, russian thread & an awl made from a ground down file. Back then Afghanistan was peaceful, friendly & fun.

It was the dawn of the new era.

Arriving back in Melbourne in 69 I was the bagmaker in Stuff Leathery in Swanston Street. I recall the joy of making that first sale & taking that $20 to the bank! Later on I met another leatherworker, Gary, and in we opened "EARTH" Leatherworks in Glenferrie Road Hawthorn.

Then the travel bug bit again and it was back overland to England once more where EARTH2 Leatherworks opened as a small shop in Church Street just off the Edgeware Road, London,creating leather goods for locals and the West End and Chelsea Boutiques.

Leaving EARTH2 in with Terry the co-worker to have, I took off to New York ending up living on a barge on the Hudson River off Staten Island. Eventually EARTH3 opened in Richmond, Staten Island, and we made leathergoods for local customers & a shop in Greenwich Village. That workshop too, was left with Jude the co-worker. Both had been taught the trade and they carried on successfully for some years. 

EARTH 4 was a moveable feast. Roaming the USA with tools in one bag and travel kit in the other, briefly on a houseboat in Sausalito CA, and eventually arriving back in Melbourne to open yet another leather shop, Earthgate.

Then came EARTH FIVE . With the partnership of Peter and Gary revived and back in business EARTH FIVE Leatherworks made just about anything to order and supplied sandals and assorted belts and bags to many outlets around Australia and items for TV and Movies - Military pouches & even Pirate Boots.

Gary took over Earthfive and I took a long sabbatical going back to graphic design and publishing. There were enough leatherworkers back then 

Alas, the shops in London & New York and even Glenferrie had closed before the arrival of the 21st century. Now there were many into PC publishing & graphics. It was time for Earth Five Leatherworks again! Evolving from the ubiquitous EARTH locations, not as the Phoenix arising from the ashes but more as going back to one's roots. 

EARTH FIVE Leatherworks - still loving the work. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here's "Old Faithful" Built in 1914 Clydebank, Scotland, and good for another 100 years!!