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Posts in: Leichhardt

Meet The Backyard Network

16 July 2015 | Posted in: business, environment, Leichhardt, sydney, urban renewal

What is your name and business name?

Matt Moore, Backyard Network

Can you describe what you use your Renew space for?

I make materials and objects other people are finished with into functional garden and household goods
Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 2.47.43 pm

What have been some of the highlights about having a space to test your idea?

Being able to experiment freely without worrying about meeting an expensive rent and exploring ideas and interests with a huge range of people.

While participating in the Renew program, what have been some of the discoveries you’ve made in your area?
I’ve learned how to split pallet wood to bring the organic whorls and knots hidden in the wood to the surface.

What other creative enterprises are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by the Maker Space, Lentil As Anything, HoboGro.

What is your favourite place or space to visit in Leichhardt?

The park.

Your website, store address or where we can find you?

Backyard Network page on Facebook, website coming soon.

July with Renew Leichhardt

25 June 2015 | Posted in: arts, business, Events, gallery, Leichhardt, live music, News, photography, sydney, urban renewal, workshops

Winter is in full swing but that has not stopped our Renew Leichhardt participants from developing a great program of events for you to join in on. There are a range of workshops (for adults and children), a gallery bus tour which starts in Leichhardt, music jam night, film forum, life drawing, terrarium making, RISO printing and MORE! Here is a list featuring some highlights.

279783125Wyld & Whimsy
School holidays are upon us and Wyld & Whimsy have created a great program of workshops to keep you young ones busy. There is a crafter noon session, puppet making, papier-mâché and so many more fun classes to sign up to

Visit their website for more details on how you can make a variety of crafty stuff including items similar to those stocked in store!

10420211_1444404462531704_1759676992407694146_nThe Rizzeria

10502103_1093407204006205_480409375043842764_n Night Time Clay Play (Adults)
For five weeks in July and August The Rizzeria are having evening pottery workshops. In week one, you will do the basics in hand-building – pinch pots, coiling and slabs. Then you will have the next three weeks to work on your own project.

In the last week you will use underglaze & glazes to finish your creation! A kiln is available to fire them. You can work at you own pace with a glass of wine or a cup of tea to help you along.
The workshops will go from 6-8pm on the following Tuesdays – July 14th, 21st, 28th & August 4th & 18th.It’s $125 per person, this includes clay & firing (& drinks). Book now with Cass on 0449 237 932. Six spots available.
School Holiday Clay Play
Clay is a wonderful, tactile medium. Its three-dimensional nature forces kids to think about structure, shapes and forms.
This session will allow them to experiment with a variety of building techniques while they learn to think about their ideas and adapt to change along the way. Every child will create something special to take home.

Bring a box to take your treasures home in. For bookings call Cass on 0449 237 932. Workshops will take place on 8 and 10 July from 2pm until 3:30pm.

To see all The Rizzeria workshops visit their Facebook page.

Skyfire Studios
Skyfire launched this month with their Pulse exhibition launch and have been making their presence known across the wider Sydney city area with their exciting program which includes a soon-to-launch artist in residence program, a first EVER Leichhardt Gallery Tour-By-Bus, creative business consultancy service, a film forum, tai chi classes and much more.

Broadsheet Sydney recently published a great article showcasing this unique, collaborative and open creative hub (read it here). Here is a quick snippet of some of their upcoming events. Be sure to visit their website for full details.

Friday June 26th: FREE Friday Night Jam Session

7:30pm: Musicians who don’t know each other pop by to use the space and have a relaxed jam together. Skyfire Studios will alternate jam leaders so everyone gets a chance to workshop their ideas, but mostly it’s just good practice for those who need a space and can’t find or afford one.

Friday July 3rd: Friday Film Forum
8pm: $movie night with gourmet popcorn, and espresso and drinks by donation. First screening is the 1999 Kevin Smith ensemble piece “Dogma”.

art classSaturday July 18th: First EVER Leichhardt Gallery Tour-By-Bus
11am -4pm: $60 We will take a mini bus around Leichhardt and surrounding suburbs to visit some of the best inner west galleries, do wine tastings along the way, stop at a local restaurant for lunch, and serve free espresso at Skyfire at the conclusion of the tour. Full details here.

Over the next two weeks Skyfire Studio’s Artist In Residency program will kick off with an artist setting up camp in the space two days a week. They will work in the studio to produce an exhibition that will launch toward the end of August. One of the artists participating has been doing a residency in India for the last few months, and will return there in September.  Sign up to their newsletter to keep up to date!
Makers Place
Makers Place have had a gigantic month in June with participation in wider community events such as VIVID event ‘Upskill to Upcycle’ and presenting a Mini Makers Place @ Blue Lab  as part of The Creative Industries Symposium Blue Mountains. Read about their exciting June here. What is on in July?
electro workshop
Electrocraft – Electronics for Women and Girls
from 6:30pm until 9pm.

If you’re looking for learning informally about electronics in a social setting, the Electrocraft Meet-Ups is for you!
The Meet-Ups are every first thursday of the month from 6:30 pm to 9pm.

Depending on the meet-ups, some topics are proposed. You can also find more information here.

3d3D Printing Beginners Class
3D Printing is a 30 year old technology which most people still know very little about. This course will help you to understand this now rapidly growing industry, help you make informed decisions about their functions and the role they’ll play in making our future more sustainable. It is primarily non-technical so anyone can join in, learn or use the notes as stepping stones with their own 3D Printer or 3D printers at Makers Place. For more info visit here.

The Backyard Network
IMG_6786Matt is working on a project with Sumo Salad at the moment in his store, creating custom made menu holders. You can ask Matt to build your own custom planter boxes, even furniture. Visit his Facebook Page for more details or call Matt on 0435 169 672.
The Writing Workshop
The Writing Workshop is delivering as series of new workshops for adults. This hands-on, exercise-based creative writing course will help you create settings, events and characters for an extended work of fiction.

The Writing Workshop runs after-schoolschool holidayonline and in-school creative writing workshops and activities for children and young people. Published authors lead all courses – current workshop leaders include Bernard Cohen, Emily Maguire and Ed Wright. (Click on the links for more information: after-schoolschool holiday,online and in-school.)

June with Renew Leichhardt

4 June 2015 | Posted in: arts, Events, gallery, Leichhardt

June might be the start of winter but that hasn’t stopped our Renew Leichhardt projects from creating an exciting program of activities featuring weekly workshops, exhibition openings and special event.

Recently opened spaces, Skyfire Studio and Flourish & Baird Studio, have transformed their empty spaces into creative places that await you!


Skyfire Studio art gallery and workshop space are proud to announce the launch of its first exhibition of contemporary works, PULSE.

Join in the celebrations at their exhibition opening on Saturday 13th June from 6pm.

Banjo Lessons in Skyfire Studio

To find out more about the innovative and fun workshop program, such as Banjo Lessons ran by Skyfire Studio, visit their website.

You can find Skyfire Studio within Shop 10 at The Italian Forum, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt.
What’s new on Norton Street?
F & B Decorative Finishes at Shop 147 Norton Street, Leichhardt.

If you frequent Norton Street, you may have noticed F & B Decorative Finishes have recently transformed their space into a studio with stunningly restored furniture. Sandy Baird, owner of F&B, will also host paint finishing workshops which start this month.

A series of paint finish ‘Taster Workshops’ are available. These fun and hands on mini courses are a great introduction to Decorative Paint Finishes. Each class covers 2 different Paint Finish techniques, including antiquing, gilding, polished plaster and many other finishes.

furniture fb

With over 20 years experience in the industry, Sandy Baird will share her expertise and tricks of the trade in these fun, hands on classes
The F&B Taster classes are a great way to have fun while learning something new. Perfect for a hens day, work groups or the home renovator and decorator. For more details visit the F&B Facebook Page or contact Sandy on 0407 063 388.

Wyld & Whimsy have a full schedule of crafty June Workshops
including weekly MUMS’N’BUBS and after school kids classes!

A ‘wyld and whimsy workshop’ is a fun way to get to know the various ways in which simple materials can be assembled, embellished and quite often re-made into delightful new artworks, gifts or household items. Upcycling is what it’s all about!

With an exciting array of ever-changing classes, Skye from Wyld & Whimsy will be happy to accommodate your own suggestions. For more information visit their website or pop in to their shop at 149 Norton Street, Leichhardt.

The Backyard Network held their opening party last month and Matt Moore is the entrepreneur behind this exercise in exchange. The Backyard Network focus on the re-use of natural, and artificial resources, and sustainable living.
Matt has worked as an artist for 25 years and then exploring his green passion and recycling materials with local community gardens and other projects at the Addison Road Community Centre. Thus, Matt’s workshops are focused on creative re-use, design, and real-world sustainable living and after-school and holiday sessions designed to develop creative thinking and problem solving. Visit their Facebook Page for more details or call Matt on 0435 169 672.

What’s happening at The Rizzeria this month?
Collage Cult is a free fortnightly event for collage enthusiasts who meet to share materials, cutting mats and cake. When you experience the extremely addictive and relaxing effects of collaging, you’ll understand why they’re a cult.

Collage image by Beau & Bastian.

Collage image by Beau & Bastian.Collage

The next next is this Sunday 7 June. Join the Facebook event here.

Wednesday Nights Life Drawing
lifedrawingLife drawing is a great way for aspiring artists to study shape, perspective, tone, line, and the human form. Join us at The Rizzeria Wednesday nights for life drawing sessions from 6-8pm. These sessions are not instructional, but basic drawing materials, models and a glass of wine are provided.  For enquiries and bookings, contact Leigh Rigozzi 0439 327 856.

rizzeria exhibition
Cassandra, Lahuta & Robin At The Rizzeria invite you to their graduation exhibition!

Come & celebrate with drinks & snacks on the opening night on Friday 19 June from 6pm. The exhibition will be on display until Thursday 2 July.

terrariumMake Your Own Terrarium!
Create your own mini garden in a jar or other vessel. All materials supplied but feel free to bring your own special jar, little decorations, plants etc. This workshop is open to both kids and adults. The cost is $15 per terrarium.

writing workshop

The Writing Workshop is delivering as series of new workshops for adults. This hands-on, exercise-based creative writing course will help you create settings, events and characters for an extended work of fiction.

Bernard Cohen will run a special introductory course on 3rd and 10th June, 10.00am – 1.00pm each day. Bernard is the award-winning author of five novels and a children’s picture book. His latest novel, The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies, is shortlisted for the Russell Prize for Humour Writing (winner to be announced late June). Find out more here.

electro workshopTonight, Makers Place are hosting Electrocraft – Electronics for Women and Girls, from 6:30pm until 9pm.

If you’re looking for learning informally about electronics in a social setting, the Electrocraft Meet-Ups is for you!
The Meet-Ups are every first thursday of the month from 6:30 pm to 9pm.

Depending on the meet-ups, some topics are proposed. You can also find more information here.

1431495482713MAKING COMMUNITY: Hands On Technology Workshop.

Join Irresistable Learning and Three Farm for a full day of hands on making. Learn to inspire children and young people with educational activities that engage their heads, hearts and minds.
In this workshop you will:
Be introduced to 3D printing
Participate in circuit building and hacking activities
Discover the secrets of how to run a successful maker workshop
Walk away with templates for running activities in your library, community centre or school
Understand how to resource and setup 3D printing and circuit building workshops in your organisation.
When: Monday, June 15, 2015 From 9:15am until 4:30pm.
Shop 39 Ground Floor Italian Forum 19-23 Norton St

For more information about each project, please visit our Project section of the website.

Meet Makers Place

21 May 2015 | Posted in: Leichhardt, urban renewal, workshops

This week we decided to stop by Makers Place at The Italian Forum to chat with Melissa Fuller, a Maker of Makers’, see how their space is working and to find out a bit more about Leichhardt, as locals on the ground as part of Renew Leichhardt.

What is your business name?

Makers Place Incorporated

Can you describe what you use your Renew space for?

A community facility providing access to tools, equipment, education required for invention. Makers Place is a non-for-profit association. Members pay a monthly membership and get access to $30,000 worth of technology and skill sharing through community engagement.

What has been some of the best bits about having a space to test your idea?

Quite simply Makers Place would not exist without the Renew Leichardt initiative. We have been having to prototype our model and co-create with our local community. The best part about having access to the low cost premises is that we have been able to support environmental and social good projects.

While participating in the Renew program, what have been some of the discoveries you’ve made in your area?

I have discovered that Leichhardt is a very diverse area. There are people from many parts of the world. Leichhardt is also very creative; I have discovered art galleries, studio spaces, and people who work in the creative industries.

One of the most memorable discoveries has been stumbling across The School of Footwear and their founder Darren Bischoff.

This is where you can learn to make your own shoes in a fully equipped workroom. Darren teaches students all aspects of footwear construction, illustration, pattern cutting, upper stitching, shoe lasting, heeling and finishing.

Bar Sport on Norton street has the best Panini in town!

What is your favorite place or space to visit in Leichhardt?

We love to treat ourselves to tasty delights that Norton St Grocer has and taking a picnic to the park on the north end of Norton Street.

For a social beverage after work we can be found at the Royal Hotel and for entertainment, shows at the Australian Actors Center are great!

Your website, store address or where we can find you?

Shop 39, Ground Floor, 19-23 Norton St, Leicchardt 2040

Do you have any upcoming events to tell us about?

Yes, we have a few! Please see our website.

Head On Festival in Leichhardt

30 April 2015 | Posted in: arts, Events, Leichhardt, live music, News, photography, workshops

Head On Photo Festival 2015 @ Italian Forum Leichhardt

  • Makers Place

Head On Photo Festival is the nation’s most prestigious showcase for global photography. This year Leichhardt Library is proud to be hosting five photographers in this year’s Head On.

Join the official opening by the Lord Mayor Cr Rochelle PorteousRENEW Night Markets Backyard Network Rizzeria, The Writing Workshop, 3D printed selfies, and a Photo Booth @ Makers Place and live music by Anna Salleh with a repertoire of gorgeous tunes from Brazil and beyond.

Samuel Choy - 3D Scanning Booth

Samuel Choy – 3D Scanning Booth

The Italian Forum Community in Leichhardt is collaborating to bring you an excellent night of celebrations for Head On Photo Festival 2015!

The night will include:

  • Five photographers on exhibition at Leichhardt Library and the ACA.
  • Makers Place member Sam Choy will be setting up a 3D Scanning and 3d Printing booth (get in early spaces are limited)
  • Makers Place member Greer Rochford will be utilising her portrait studio lighting and lenses by taking portraits of visitors and taking orders of prints (get in early spaces are limited)
  • Renew Leichhardt Market Stalls
  • Live Music
3D printed object from a 3D Scan of a person- By Samuel Choy

3D printed object from a 3D Scan of a person- By Samuel Choy

Summary of  Details:

Monday 4 May
Italian Piazza Level, Italian Forum
Free event – All welcome – Refreshments served
RSVP  – online or call 9367 9266

More information:

In an environment saturated with images, Head On Photo Festival cuts through the clutter and shows what’s worth seeing.

Head On Photo Festival is the nation’s most prestigious showcase for global photography. This year Leichhardt Library is proud to be hosting five photographers in this year’s Head On. The works will be on exhibition across two venues – Leichhardt Library and the Actors Centre Australia in the Piazza Level of the Italian Forum.

The interactive activities are happening across the Piazza at Makers Place.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 2 May – Sunday 31 May.

For more information visit the Leichhardt library Website

Expression of Interest – new applicants required!

9 February 2015 | Posted in: Leichhardt, News

Renew Sydney is seeking new project proposals!        APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

We have new spaces becoming available that need people with the ability to be open at least six days per week, have more than one person involved and have an exciting activation plan!

EOI Open for Applicants

EOI is open until Wednesday, 25 February 2015

When Renew Leichhardt first began we captured the details of many interested artists and entrepreneurs that has formed our potential participant list that we are still using when properties become available. Over a year later, we are coming to a point where some of the applicants are no longer available, their ideas and their availability has changed or they can only be available on a part time basis. As we are starting to open up spaces that are in high visibility locations and we require genuinely active businesses and projects that can be open for at least six days a week.

Ideally we are seeking an active business or project that goes above and beyond just selling their products or service that can bring people in through their teachings, exhibitions, studios, workshops, or impromptu events.  We are looking for people who know their stuff and are ready to jump in and be part of the program.

This Expression of Interest round will close on Wednesday, 25 February 2015. We will be launching new Renew spaces 143 to 149 Norton Street, Leichhardt on Friday, 13 March and 147 Norton Street, Leichhardt is first property that will be offered to an applicant from this round by Friday, 20 March 2015.

If you are ready to apply fill out the application form below! 

Should you require further information on this Expression of Interest or how the Renew program works, please email the Sydney Project Manager on [email protected]

Engaged by Leichhardt Council, Renew Leichhardt is a pilot initiative by Renew Australia to activate some of the currently underutilised spaces in Leichhardt through incubating short-term uses by creative enterprises and independent local initiatives on a rent-free basis.

Renew Leichhardt Launch Event! – Sunday 16th March 11am-2pm

12 March 2014 | Posted in: Leichhardt, News

Renew Leichhardt is launching with an official Renew Leichhardt launch event run in partnership with the Leichhardt Municipal Council. It’s going to be a fantastic day for all ages, so bring the kids!

There will be roaming entertainers, face painters, market stalls, our participants will be trading and it will be a great opportunity to find out more about Renew Leichhardt, how it works and how you can become involved.

Renew Leichhardt Launch Event

The Italian Forum

21-23 Norton Street, Leichhardt

Sunday 16th March 11am – 2pm


Renew Leichhardt has activated another space! Introducing; Flying Fox.

4 February 2014 | Posted in: Leichhardt, News

Flying fox by lc logo card sleeping bag

Renew Leichhardt has welcomed its newest addition, Flying Fox to the fold, selling beautifully crafted and environmentally friendly baby sleeping bags. The space also combines with other Australian artists to sell handmade driftwood lamps, tables, leather accessories, paintings & jewellery. Flying Fox joins our other projects, Mia O Designs, Paris Floyd and Indelible that are breathing new life into the italian forum.

You can visit Flying fox at Shop 9, The Italian Forum, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt or find out more about Flying Fox here.

First Renew Sydney Shops are open for business in Leichhardt!

11 November 2013 | Posted in: Leichhardt, News

Renew Sydney are pleased to announced that the first three of what we hope will be many Renew Sydney spaces are open for business from Wednesday 18th of December. Shops 14, 15, and 10 in the Italian Forum have been given a new lease of life by local contemporary jeweller Mia O Designs, textiles designers Indelible and lingerie, lounge wear and gift ware designer Paris Floyd.

Renew Sydney received nearly 200 applications for the first spaces available but these three projects by talented local designers have been selected for both the quality of their work and the fact that they are each a great fit to the first spaces we have available . Over coming months we aim to add many more great projects and many more locations into the mix of Renew Leichhardt initiatives.

Renew Leichhardt is supported by Leichhardt Municipal Council.

Renew Leichhardt Launched!

11 November 2013 | Posted in: Leichhardt, News

Renew Australia is pleased to announce the launch of our Sydney office and our first Sydney based project: Renew Leichhardt.

For the last few months we have been working with the team at Leichhardt Council to develop a plan for the area’s empty shop and office spaces. We’ve held two public meetings, we’ve met with property owners, we’ve worked to secure a few properties in Norton Street and in the Italian Forum and we are now ready to roll out the first phase of the Renew Sydney program!

We are very excited to be coming to Sydney and hope this is the first of many projects and opportunities in greater Sydney for Renew Australia! If you want to make sure you know more about these and other Renew Australia opportunities in Sydney then make sure you subscribe to our E-News, and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Also if you’re in other local government areas in Sydney and you’d like to encourage Renew projects in your area then feel free to drop our new Sydney team a line Contact Us and we can see what we can do.