ARTWALL 2019: Karen O'Kane

ARTWALL 2019: Karen O'Kane

in Archive


Silk art from the shoreline, through the woods and down to the lake’


Painted by Karen O'Kane in her County Donegal studio, these unique colourful silk paintings have been inspired by her love of the natural environment. Karen hand paints silk with a cold resist technique, steaming it for colour fastness. She then uses the steamed silk to produce a vast range of work. To compliment her original collection, Karen also prints her silk paintings onto bamboo material using eco dyes at a specialised printer in County Donegal. Her collection includes original paintings; statement floor lights; lampshades and silk accessories for the home. 

Karen comes from the Potteries in England where her grandmother, a skilled artist, introduced her to a wide variety of crafts. This early access to creativity was a major influence in her life and she continued to use these crafts in her work as a psychologist before settling in Ramelton, Co Donegal where she established Koko Design Studio in 2010. Koko Design Studio offers a bespoke interior design service for residential and commercial interior design projects. 

Education has also played a large part in Karen’s career. As well as running workshops in her studio, Karen facilitates workshops in the community. She is also on the Education Panel of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and facilitates both the CRAFTED programme in national schools and the Design Skills in secondary schools in County Donegal.