All posts by The Edge News

Fashion Fix-Up

A guest post by Jane Milburn

Are you holding garments in your wardrobe that survived the last cull yet are not being worn because something’s not quite right? Does your favourite item of clothing have a hole, a pull, or a stain? Is a hemline or sleeve too long or too short?
Fashion Fix Up Graphic

Bring your clothing tragics along to our inaugural Fashion Fix-Up at The Edge, on April 21 as part of Fashion Revolution Week. We’ll chat about refash options and help you enact simple changes to extend their working life. You can check out Sass Brown’s books Eco Fashion and Refashioned for inspiration.

As part of the fix-up, you’ll be inducted on sewing machines at The Edge’s fabrication lab which you can use for free in future to continue reinventing your wardrobe.

Apart from the palpable satisfaction of repairing and restyling garments already in circulation (the hard work’s already been done) there is an environmental benefit too. Extending the life of clothes by just nine extra months of active use reduces their carbon, water and waste footprints by around 20-30 percent each.

Through Textile Beat, I’ve been playing with rescued clothing for years and spent every day of 2014 refashioning and blogging with the Sew it Again project. This year, I’m involving others in curating a creative handmade collection with The Slow Clothing Project – and we’ll have garments from the project on display at The Edge for you to see and touch.

This is a chance to explore your creativity and develop personal style through grown-up play with wardrobe wallflowers. Please leave highly valuable garments at home – or take them to a dressmaker for professional alternation.

If you have any questions about what to bring, just give me a call on 0408 787 964, otherwise book your ticket now as places are limited to 20. Meet you at The Edge!

New AUXILIARY programmes launching soon

AUXILIARY Design School is proud to announce two forthcoming programmes; AUXILIARY ONE and AUXILIARY PLUS.

Are you a high school student that’s interested in design, technology and innovation? Do you like to draw and build things? Then AUXILIARY ONE might be for you. A week long programme, AUXILIARY ONE, will give you an opportunity to explore what being an Industrial Designer is really like. You will experience the tools and processes of Industrial Design from sketching, model making, and CAD, all the way through to a functional product that you get to take home.



Are you a student or graduate of design who wants to strengthen their foundations, or are you a creative who has an interest in design? A six week programme, AUXILIARY PLUS teaches you the three pillars of Industrial Design; sketching, lo-fidelity model making and CAD. With site visits to local manufacturers, informative presentations, live demonstrations, sketching drills, and informal pin-up reviews, it’s a condensed and intensive dive into Industrial Design.

AUXILIARY PLUS from Auxiliary on Vimeo.

AUXILIARY ONE and AUXILIARY PLUS will be delivered in The Edge’s Innovation and Fabrication Labs, which provides students with all the tools and state-of-the-art equipment they needed to experience the world of Industrial Design first-hand.



Exact dates for both programmes will be announced soon.

If you have questions or you would like to register your interest please e-mail:

Positive Failure – The Road to Failure (lab)

You read correctly: positive failure.

Can failure be positive? Can success exist without failure? Or is failure simply part of doing and learning along the way?

This is something that I’ve recently put a lot of thought into as I’ve been invited to be a storyteller at the inaugural event FailureLab Sydney: The Highs & Lows of the Creative Journey, to be held at the Vivid Ideas festival in Sydney next month.

Future Lab


What’s Failure:Lab, I hear you say? It’s no big surprise that you don’t know, as this is the first ever Failure:Lab event to be held in Australia. Think TEDx talks but with all the guests on the mission to eliminate the fear of failure and encourage intelligent risk taking. It’s taking place on May 28, as part of Vivid’s launch weekend at Giant Dwarf Theatre, Redfern.

After confirming my involvement with the host, Simone Sheridan, I realised that this year was already booked solidly and an opportunity for a holiday wasn’t looking good. I’m busy touring a huge group exhibition of 17 artists titled Copier Jam! around Australia, and building an off-grid container home, all the while juggling a number of community projects along the way. And all of this is unfolding while I live out of a campervan on an island.

Jeremy Staples - Positive Failures photo Sabrina Lauriston

Cycle adventure touring might not be everyone’s idea of a holiday but after riding 2,500km around the North Island of New Zealand I wouldn’t have it any other way. As the name suggests, it’s basically going on adventures on your bicycle.

I made the suggestion to Simone that I could ride to Sydney from Brisbane. After sleeping on the idea I suggested that I could share my positive failure experiences with other creative communities along the ride and create a work on my findings to be showcased at Failure:Lab. Simone jumped on it and the Positive Failure – The Road to Failure (lab) journey was born.

Jeremy Staples - Road to failure

Jeremy Staples with his bike

Why discuss failure? I think it’s important we acknowledge failure as part of everyone’s creative journey. Failure is something that generally isn’t spoken about … and we need to! Nobody is perfect, and neither is the first attempt with any project or art form. I aim open up discussion and highlight that everyone has failed, with the aim to get back up and try again.

I’m hosting the launch for my Positive Failure – The Road to Failure (lab) at The Edge on Sunday, 1 May, from 2pm, alongside of number of Brisbane’s finest creatives, who will share their own positive failures. Come learn more about the project and see me ride off into the sunset. Who knows, it could a massive failure! Everybody loves watching a train crash right?

Isabelle de Kleine: The beauty of psychological mis-interpretation

By Ben Carr, The Edge’s Events and Technical Office (and filmmaker, producer, editor and Director)

Isabelle de Kleine: The beauty of psychological mis-interpretation from The Edge, SLQ on Vimeo.


Since The Edge opened in 2010 I have been able to work across a number of roles within the organisation, and one of the standout experiences from my time here has been meeting the different artists and practitioners that have come through the doors. Each one has left their mark and interpreted what happens here in their own unique way.

Isabelle de Kleine is no exception to that. She arrived at The Edge in February from Melbourne after winning a 6 week arts residency from the National Portrait Gallery for her digital portrait Untitled. Once I heard about this I jumped online and had a look at her work. I was instantly immersed with the atmosphere Isabelle had created; the sound design and visuals adding to an overall feeling of dread.

Coming from a filmmaking background myself I have always been interested in how others can use the form in a way I never would or could, while still achieving that sole purpose, reaching and affecting an audience.

Isabelle's interview

From making the short documentary piece on Isabelle’s time here I was able to chat to her quite regularly. What I did notice was her laid back nature and a strong sense of purpose and commitment to what she was doing. I know while some of us, given a residency in a different city might find their diligence wane, Isabelle kept a strong focus throughout and the work she displayed at the end of her time here spoke for itself.

Isabelle filming her projects

I would describe Isabelle as a quiet and unassuming person, but as an artist she has an essential talent, the ability to see what others don’t. When I was filming her practice, I did notice a common theme; she was usually asked what her work was trying to say. As a documentary filmmaker I am unaccustomed to this type of question, and if it is asked then I need to ask some serious questions of myself. On the other end of the spectrum I felt like I didn’t want Isabelle to explain too much about her work, the visuals and sound of her portraits meant so much more than any verbal explanation.

#MADETODAY – Turning ideas into a business

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.

Thank you.

If you’re interested to check out Kat’s designs, jump onto her Facebook Page, Website, or follow her on Instagram.

#MADETODAY – Bringing a vintage synthesizer back to life

Two of The Edge’s front of house team (and professional musicians), Andy Balzat and Sunny Verma, share how they brought their vintage synthesizers back to life with the help of some youtube videos, tools and soldering.

Testing a ROLAND Juno 106 synthesizer
To start with, we had two vintage ROLAND Juno 106 synthesizers – one for studio and one for live use. Both had a ‘dead’ chip. We knew this because when playing, each 6th note either sounded crackly, or had no sound at all.  After some research (like this) it showed we could ‘bring them back to life’ with some solder skills and acetone. Enter, the Fabrication Lab.

What we did:

We opened up the synths to isolate the main circuit board. There are 6 voice chips there.  We removed the circuit board and de-soldered the faulty chips. We were able to identify which chips were faulty by following a “Test Procedure” – built into the synth program.

Fixing a ROLAND Juno 106 synthesizer
Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106
Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106
I had two faulty chips, Sunny had 1 faulty chip. So we de-soldered them and soaked the chips in acetone for a few days.  The ceramic coating fell away, and we installed them back into the circuit board. To make things easier, we soldered header pins so we can quickly exchange the chips in different locations. This saves us time and effort!

With testing done so far, it looks like 3 of 3 chips were brought back to life. We also successfully repaired some ‘dead keys’ on the keyboard. We did this using a Circuit Pen, basically like a white-out pen, to repair faulty tracks on the circuit board.

Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106
Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106
Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106

What tools we used:

Overall we used the following materials in the Fabrication Lab:

  • Solder Kit
  • Oscilloscope
  • Voltmeter
  • Clamps
  • Screwdrivers and hand tools

Using the oscilloscope was great! It enabled us to visualise the sounds that a Vintage Synth makes. You can really see the difference between a Square, Saw and Pulse Wave Modulation.

PS. If the Voice Chips didn’t come back to life, we weren’t completely doomed. You can buy a CLONE chip from overseas – this was our back up option had the Voice chips not worked after soaking.

You will see in the pics that chips 4 & 5 are larger than the rest – as these are CLONE chips I replaced 3 years ago.

In the end, a few hours spent in the Fabrication Lab meant two reborn synths!

Fixing a faulty voice chip in a Juno 106

A well-travelled group of community broadcasters

A guest blog post by Samantha Moreno – 4ZZZ producer and Journalism student at UQ.

Every Thursday morning for six months in 2015, a team of volunteers from around the globe got together at The Edge to pool ideas and stories to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Brisbane community radio 4ZZZ.

The team produced a 21-part radio documentary called Radio in Colour, which presents stories about the last 40 years of history in Brisbane, Australia and the world.

As part of this project I helped create a story about the 2011 Brisbane floods. This involved going behind the scenes to the stores of the Queensland museum with one of the curators to learn about muddy objects donated to the collection after 2011.

None of the volunteers had previous experience in a recording studio, and none of us had ever stood before a microphone, but all of us had a passion for media and a desire to work with the community. Broadcasters and producers Carolina Caliaba and Kim Stewart were our mentors during the process.

The Edge opened up its glass doors and offered its river views for us to get inspired and learn new techniques. On the Window Bays we sat down to plan our radio program, do some research on the topic and learn interview skills. Later we used the Recording Studio for pre-recording, mixing, and mastering radio stories. Other days we used the Macs in the Media Lab to manipulate our interviews and voiceovers using audio editing software. It was sooo much fun!

Another story I worked on focuses on the Colombian novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.  Revolutionaries reading novels is a 21-minute radio story within a story of two people who have fled their countries because of their political convictions. Ms Rima Flihan from Syria was exiled to Brisbane in 2014, and Mr Rodolfo Allemand from Chile in 1988 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Getting involved with Radio in Colour was the first step into the world of community radio for me. The stories we produced have been broadcast on Zed Digital, which is 4ZZZ’s digital channel, as well as 102.1 fm and radio 4EB on 98.1 fm. My experience working with other volunteers from around the world was a very positive one: we met up regularly at The Edge, reflected about aspects of Australia’s and our own country’s history, and created 21 hours’ worth of radio documentaries.

I enjoyed working in the beautiful and free space provided by The Edge, meeting other 4ZZZ volunteers, and getting to tell and hear stories from around the world.

If you too want to help make the next 40 years of community radio in Brisbane, you can get involved with community radio in English or in your own language with 4ZZZ and/or 4EB. And if you want to get the skills and setting to match, there is a great range of courses and creative meetups happening at The Edge. People of all backgrounds are welcome to join in!

What we’re making in the basement

The Edge, Makerspace

So we’re open again, which is a story we’ve told people a lot over the past six years.

We’re open again after the flood (five years ago).
We’re open again after the storms (eighteen months ago).
We’re open again after the G20 summit (again eighteen months ago; it was a busy year).
We’re open after we tore up all the floors, ground down the concrete and flooded parts of the building (with cement this time around).

The clean up stage, before the floors were ripped up

The clean up stage, before the floors were ripped up

The clean up stage, take two

The clean up stage, take two

Ground down and waiting for the varnish

Ground down and waiting for the varnish

We’re open and everything is more awesome – new floors and new paint and new extraction system (well old, we just literally realised that it was there a couple of months back) running on the 3D and laser cutter – for you to use.

We're open again! Check  our our shiny new floors!

We’re open again! Check our our shiny new floors!

An Edge custom table, with a 170kg  recycled wooden table top, industrial shelving, on wheels that can be raised and lowered.  A key part of making the Lab space easily re-configurable!

An Edge custom table, with a 170kg recycled wooden table top, industrial shelving, on wheels that can be raised and lowered. A key part of making the Lab space easily re-configurable!

Some users are making beautiful acrylic jewellery that was on sale at SuperNova last year. There should be photos sometime soon, and when we get them we’ll be spreading the word because you should buy some of that work, it’s awesome! (ahhh…cheeky sneak peek below)

Funky pieces from Edge regular, Kat Johnston of Fractured Lace - more snaps to come soon!

Funky pieces from Edge regular, Kat Johnston of Fractured Lace – more snaps to come soon!

Andrew has built an open 3D scanner that will take a real world object, capture it, and have it ready to play with for 3D printing. It’s still in its testing phase and when it works the right way every time it’ll be down there for people to use.

Andrew's 3D scanner

Andrew’s 3D scanner

The Hack The Evening Crew (every Thursday night and everyone is welcome) have built 3D printers, working towards getting the X-Carve CNC machine up and running and engaging in all manner of shenanigans. They’re going to do something awesome and if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to play with maker toys it is an awesome opportunity to play in a chilled environment.

3D Printers from Hack the Evening

3D Printers from Hack the Evening

People are making terrains for board games, etching plates for lithography, laser cutting leather for costumes and printing frames for robots. Everything that fits in, and outside their imagination.

Come join in the madness!


Find out everything you need to know about the Fabrication Lab, accessing equipment and opening times on our dedicated Fabrication Lab page.


Music Production Courses at The Edge

What do Flying Lotus, Daft Punk, Gotye, St Vincent, Pete Townshend (The Who), Diplo and Hermitude all have in common (apart from being successful musicians and producers)? They’re all Ableton Live users!

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Ableton Live software is a music creation and live performance tool that is almost ubiquitous in both commercial and home studios. It’s user friendly interface allows for a super quick workflow for ‘chopping’ and rearranging samples, sequencing drum loops, recording and layering guitar parts and much, much more!

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The Ableton Live short course at The Edge aims to demystify the process of making music regardless of whether you’re able to ‘play’ an instrument, have any music theory behind you, or know what ‘midi’ is. The course will demonstrate the ease with which you can arrange a drum pattern, layer a chord progression, make a bass-line, chop up some samples, use a midi keyboard or controller to get hands on with manipulating your sound and (the sum all of these things) create your own tracks!

Unfortunately the Ableton 1 sessions are now sold out, but you still have the opportunity to do some self-paced learning (to get familiar with the basics) and attend the more in-depth Ableton 2 and Ableton 3 sessions. State Library of Queensland (SLQ) members are able to access the fantastic tutorial resources on offer at, which include training in Ableton Live.

Not an SLQ member? No worries. You can sign up online, follow the Library logon instructions on the SLQ website, create your Lynda profile and you’re good to go. You can access Ableton Live software in the Digital Media Lab at The Edge or, if you prefer, you can download a 30 day free trial from home (note: the demo won’t allow you to save or export).

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The ‘Ableton Live 9 Essential Training’ (just search for this on is a highly recommended learning resource as are the free tutorials on the Ableton YouTube channel. Check out, for example, how easy it is to create a drum pattern with one of the built-in kits here.

If you’re after some inspiration, Ableton have recently posted a mini-documentary on Team Supreme  – a collective of young producers (who first met at making waves in the massively popular LA Beat scene).

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The Ableton Live facilitator, Sunny, has been a musician and producer for more than 15 years. His start was as a producer and MC for seminal Brisbane hip-hop group The Optimen (2 x 2006 Music Oz Awards winners). More recently he’s been releasing music with his soul outfit the Bankrupt Billionaires and as a solo electronic musician under the guise of Exploko.

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Images from: Ableton Live Youtube Channel

Image credits to Ableton Live Youtube channel:

Are you a letterhead?

By Helen Kelly, Founder of Brisbane Hand Lettering

Call me crazy, or is this recent resurgence of hand lettering in our digital age just what our electronic device wielding fingers need?

hand lettering


hand lettering

Sure – technology has its place (yes, I do see the irony of me typing this blog-post) but its great to see that hand lettering has re-emerged as quite a creative money making industry.

Take for instance – The chalkboard writers, the wedding calligraphers, the traditional sign writers, the framed inspirational quotes often posted & reposted on social media found framed in our homes – we have all seen our desire for hand lettered forms in this modern society skyrocket.

hand lettering meetup

hand lettering meetup

So where do I fit into this penmanship picture? My hope is to drag you away from your uninspiring home desk (I certainly have one of those!) and have a go at brush lettering, calligraphy styles, etc. My social hand lettering meet-ups at The Edge are an enjoyable bi-monthly get-together where beginners and the knowledged practice together up in the mezzanine level. And the best bit? IT’S FREE!

hand lettering
Keep up-to date with me via Facebook or at Instagram.

PS. Spots for last three 2016 meet-ups will open 1 month prior to the meet-up date to give everyone a chance to book a spot.