CaT, Imagineer and Maker
Cat O’Neil is the designer and creator behind phablabs.design at The Phablaboratory.
Phablabs produce small batch one-of-a-kind polymer clay and resin jewellery on Bunwurrung land. Each creation is unique and meticulously crafted by Cat.
Cat draws inspiration from nature - in particular the bay, waterways and local flora where she lives in Bonbeach, a southern bayside suburb of Melbourne. She has a deep affinity with the ocean. Born and raised on the Mornington Peninsula, she is at her happiest when the beach is only a short walk away.
Cat is a self-taught artist. She creates with textiles, photography, and writing. However, a traumatic hand injury in 2020 forced her to put down all her creative tools while she underwent hand surgeries. This was a difficult time for Cat and she had to undergo significant therapy to regain the use of her hands. In early 2021 she was given a block of ‘physio putty’ to help with her rehabilitation. However, it was not long before she had swapped her therapy putty for a block of polymer clay. If she were going to be forced to play with putty, she was determined that the activity must have a creative outcome. She was soon hooked on this new creative pursuit and The Phablaboratory was born.
Cat incorporates epoxy resin, alcohol inks, acrylic paint, and metallic foil in her creative practice. She is currently working on expanding her range from earrings to necklaces, pendants, and bracelets.