From testing and prototyping to developing a product for sale, Kat Johnston, the owner of Fractured Lace shares how she’s transformed her ideas into a business with the help of the Fabrication Lab.
Kat Johnston is now a regular in The Edge’s basement, know by name by the staff and a few of the other regulars, she’s taken to the equipment in the Fabricaiton Lab, (as the saying goes) like a duck to water.
When we spoke with Kat earlier this year, she shared some of her inspiration for her jewellery and accessories collection, and how she got started in the Lab:
When I first started using the laser cutter at the Edge, I did a lot of experimentation on black acrylic, learning about the best ways to set up the files and work with the materials. As I become more confident, I branched out into colours, and they are what provided a bouncing-off point for the collection. Influenced by sweet lolita, hime and otome fashion styles, the finished pieces were inspired by the gorgeous colours of my materials – strawberries and cream with a splash of mint and a brush of gold. They were also influenced by delicious sweet treats!
I’ve also been building up my brand, Fractured Lace. I’ve just gotten around to uploading some of the collection to my online store, but there is still a bit left to go. It’s definitely quite a process to get everything sorted, from design files to the finished product, to photography to promote my work… but it’s been incredible to see my ideas go from random thoughts to incredible reality. I definitely couldn’t have done it without the resources the Edge provides.
The resources available at the Edge are incredible. Seriously! I’m not just talking about the equipment either. The staff have a wealth of knowledge; and I still have to have a further chat to Daniel about how to utilize additional RGB paths with custom cut settings to reduce cutting/etching time. It’s always great to chat to Peter about what projects he’s up to; and I’ve only just met Holly, the new fab lab supervisor. Everyone has been beyond helpful, every step of the way.
Needless to say, the equipment is an important factor in why I use the Edge too. Being able to do short production runs and prototyping myself has meant that I have had the opportunity to learn so much more about how to get the most out of the materials, and the machine. It’s enabled me to move forward with my business so much easier. Before, I’d have to send my files away to be turned into the finished product – which is not an inexpensive or speedy process, especially when it comes to prototyping, where I may have to try the same design with minor differences several times over. Having the machine right there in front of me to test things out on, and being able to see the laser move around the sheet, has meant that I can identify more quickly what I can improve upon and where I’m making mistakes – something I could never do if I only ever sent my files away to be cut elsewhere.
I’m not sure what else to share, except to say this: thank you to everyone at The Edge for making these resources available. Not only have you allowed me to create things that literally make me smile whenever I see them, but you’ve been an instrumental part in me building the skills I need to take my designs, turn them into reality, and share them with the world.
If you’re interested to check out Kat’s designs, jump onto her Facebook Page, Website, or follow her on Instagram.