Karen Cunneen Bilbow
I am an Irish Textile Artist, Designer & Lampshade Maker & Mum of two fabulous girls. I have a passion since I was a young child for Arts and creating. During my years at the Limerick School of Art and Design, I discovered the world of printmaking and this, for me, was liberating. I developed a passion for vibrant hues, printing techniques, textiles and textures. I received my Diploma & my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art Printmaking from the Limerick school of Art & Design in 1995 & 1997.
After college, I continued my passion for Art as a hobby.
Fabricate was born on he 5th February 2018, after receiving the devastating news that I had suddenly lost my job. I decided it was time to turn my long-time hobby into my career.
I created a lampshade for my nieces’ nursery out of necessity when I couldn’t find what I was looking for online or on the high streets. The response was amazing, so this was the start of my lampshade adventures.
I designed and created unique lampshades from home, coordinated my lampshades with individually designed Personalised Handmade Keepsakes that are an ideal treasured gift. I also create Bespoke art ranging from Textile stitched frames & lampshades that will enhance your interiors, have an individual style you will definitely not find on the high street. My lampshades are a piece of functional art for your home or an ideal Unique special gift.
The inspiration for my work is drawn from nature, and stems from our beautiful surroundings in the landscapes and wild-life. I love to work with natural fibres, it is a versatile art form and I love to create works of Art through wool paintings using Needle felting techniques. I love to embellish my work with textures and threads using free motion stitching & hand embroidery, I am fascinated with Fine Art textiles.
Currently, most of my wools used in my felted pieces are Irish, hand dyed, sourced and supplied in Sligo, I combine this stunning Irish wool with some merino roving to capture the essence and texture of my subjects.
My business has gone from strength to strength, I appeared in a business feature on TV3 Ireland AM in Feb 2018 only weeks after my business was born. The response from this was amazing and has given me the confidence to work hard and make Fabricate a viable successful business. TV3 was such an exciting opportunity which I thoroughly enjoyed the response was so positive & with an influx of orders it encouraged me to build this website, which I am very proud of.
In November/ December 2018, it was necessary for my business Fabricate to expand, it was no longer viable to make my product range from my Kitchen table. I have found an ideal location in Burlington Business Park, situated in Gillogue, Clonlara on the Limerick/Clare border, with ample free parking, Wheelchair accessibility.
The premises is large enough to cater for my work studio & allows me a large teaching space for Classes and Workshops, I teach Lampshade making classes, Kids sewing classes and Needle felting Workshops on a regular basis. I also collaborate with other Irish makers and creators to offer a wide selection of other creative classes at my studio.
I am excited about Fabricate’s future, I recently won an ILDN Award and have expanded my product range to include up-cycle furniture and Unique handcrafted upholstery pieces.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, if you would like further details on my product ranges, classes, or need assistance in ordering a special gift or a commission piece please don’t hesitate to contact me.