Sunday, May 24, 2015

Secret Garden opening events

All are welcome to the opening celebrations of the Secret Garden, May 30th Derry Craft Village. 1-4pm.
I will be doing a free workshop on silk painting and how to make a silk paper bag lantern.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Secret Garden exhibition count down

Start of the first super large paintings
 Day 0 Finally installation in the Derry Craft Village with the help of a man on a ladder from the Inner City Trust.

Day 6  All lantern strings completed. Still work to complete but an end is near. Taken a few studio days off to make some stock and complete a few orders. Can't wait to see them up on Thursday.

Day 9  Time is flying by and this is a small section of the 4th painting. 5 to go. 

Day10 Construction of the first lantern string.

Day 12- Marking out the templates.
If you would like more information on the Secret Garden Exhibition and free workshops which accompany it check out Secret Garden

Day 13-  Three paintings finished. 12 studio sessions until installation. Real life is very hectic and orders are flying in. Having to juggle between Secret Garden and the order book. Least it is rainnig so the real garden is not so tempting.


Day 14 - First of 9 large silk paintings finished and readsy for steamer.  


Day 18- The start of one of nine large scale silk paintings

Day 20 - Templates done, design sorted and technical details finalised. Total 2 months, thinking, planning and talking leaving 20 studio days to create the work. This is my account of what it takes to get an exhibition walls so to speak.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Síoda- Kokodesigns illuminated

Sea silk shades.
10 inch,12inch and 14inch on a glass base.

"Síoda" a show of silk work by Fiona Higgins and myself opened on May 2nd 2014 at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal and is open until June 27th. All work is available for sale through the Theatre or commissions can be made directly with the artists.

              Exhibition by night

Exhibition by day

Lighting is found all over the theatre in dark hidey holes.

Hedgerow floorlight

An  abstract painting of all the flowers found in my hedges which surround my wild garden.
The silk is painted on a frame and then steamed. Then I adhere it to a flame tested UPVC and construct it into the floorlight.

130 cm high with lighting included.

Hedgerow table lights

These table lights are a small version of the floorlights and come with a wooden base.

Up high on one of the ceilings are three large shades made from a hedgerow painting.

Tulip floorlight

This floorlight is lighting up a wee cormer of the theatre,

Tulip shades: 10,12 &14inch

Tulip table lights

Summer garden floorlight

A painting inspired by my summer borders with a dark grey background colour.

Summer garden shades

Summer garden table shades 6 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch shades on turned wooden bases made by Tony Farrell of Co Cork.

Summer garden floorlights

 Dusky hedgerow floorlight.
Dusky hedgerow floorlight

There are also three large ceiling shades on display made from one large painting of Dusk Hedgerow.

Dusky hedgerow table lights

Sea table lights

A new direction for my work with a painting based on the sea around the Atlantic Coast.

Sea floorlight

Included in the exhibition are also two large canvases of Hedgerow and Dusk hedgerow and two framed pieces based on the summer garden painting.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What I did on my holidays...

So I took two weeks out of the studio making Kokodesigns stuff and did some work for myself.
My last order finished for 2012, a giant lampshade with an American lamp holder fitting.
This cupboard I bought from a charity shop and I replaced the back, re lined it, cleaned up the woodwork and my "long suffering" put in two lights. It now holds my tea set and the lovely ceramics my oldest son has made. I am considering glass painting it but am living with it for awhile to see if it needs it.
This old mirror was in our cottage when we bought it, I have glass painted it to work with our beautiful ceiling lamp.
Finally I made a huge silk cushion to go on a very cheap conservatory chair we got in IKEA which was terribly uncomfortable. The cushion is 52x52cm and backed with taffeta on the back.
Still have lots more projects of my own to do, but as the orders are now flying in am back to work.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

'One of a Kind' - recent exhibition

Evening Out. 100% heavy silk stole handpainted and hand beaded. It is a one-off and was recently on exhibition at the Gordon Gallery, Pump Street, Derry.
I also created a matching 1920s style clutch bag lined with vintage velvet.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Koko update 2012

Kokodesigns Update Winter 2012

All welcome to the opening of a group exhibition from 10 of the Donegal Designer Makers including 2 one off pieces by myself.  Opens this Friday 6.30-8pm Gordon Gallery, Pump Street , Derry.

I will not be taking any more bespoke orders until after Christmas, but I do have a large range of work available for Christmas gifts and a full range of new designs for the party season.

Available from

My studio in Ramelton- by appointment only 086 3191514
On-line free delivery until the New Year 2013
On-line at the

The following retail outlets

Mourne Antiques and Craft Gallery- Port Road – Letterkenny, Co Donegal
(bags/scarves/ cards/ brooches/lampshades/journals)
Workhouse- Dunfanaghy- Co Donegal
(paintings/ cards/ brooches)
Mermaids Purse- Falcarraigh- Co Donegal
(paintings/ cards/ brooches)

Kilkenny Design Centre- Castle Yard, Kilkenny
(bags/scarves/ cards/ brooches/paintings)
Leitrim Design House- Carrick-On-Shannon- Co Leitrim
(bags/scarves/ cards/ brooches/lampshades/journals)
Irish Design Selection – Westbury Mall, Dublin 2
(bags/scarves/ cards/ brooches/lampshades/journals)

Bessemer Gallery- Winter Garden, Sheffield, UK
(bags/scarves/ cards/ brooches/lampshades)

I will be attending the following events with a range of work

November 11th – An Taisce Craft Fair- Mount Errigal Hotel , Letterkenny
November 18th- Derry Journal Craft fair- Everglades Hotel , Derry
December 8th- Ramelton Country Market Craft Fair, Town Hall, Ramelton, Co Donegal
December 15/16th – DDM Christmas Show, Rathmullan House , Rathmullan. Co Donegal

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Where have you been?

I noticed I haven't updated my blog in months.
A quick update on events and kokodesigns.
I came back from the National Crafts fair in Dublin with a full order book and have just completed the last. It has been great fun working with you all on your interior design and I am glad they all worked out so well.

A few pics to highlight the variety.
At the beginning of the month I opened my 3rd annual solo exhibition in the Workhouse in Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal and am the first exhibitor to showcase in the lovely new exhibition space. This exhibition opens until the 2nd June and includes wall art and lampshades.
I designed a new range of bags and scarves and delivered them to Mourne Antiques in Letterkenny, An Clachan in Gweedore, Donegal Woolen Mill in Downings,  Leitirm Design House in Carrick-on-Shannon, Limehouse Crafts and Gifts Newry and am currently working on a new range of lampshades for the Leitrim Design House and the Bessemer Gallery in Sheffield.

We are currently getting ready to update the website with my whole range and working on a new product line for late summer.  Watch this space and follow me on facebook, which I do actually update regularly.

Happy spring Karen