Artist of the Month: Cara Turner

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Tucked away down a winding path, on the winding southwest part of the Ring of Kerry, Ireland, we found an incredible artist. Cara Turner has an extraordinary talent, creating whimsical fantasy pieces that make you smile. From the first moment we saw her gate, we were hooked.

Cara Turner Ceramics 

 

The dragons, fairies, mermaids, gate houses, and custom pieces drew us in. Cara is a true find, one of the gems you can only hope to discover when you do slow travel. And we did. We passed her place several times while exploring Co Kerry, and then turned in and found a world of magic. From her beautiful house with bright yellow stars to her warm demeanor, Cara's a find. She's much in demand for custom pieces (like the one we ordered, of Pier Cottage, where we stayed for a few weeks). Her talent is evident from around corners and tucked away on grassy knolls - mushrooms bloom, dragons caper, and visitors smile.

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

Cara Turner Ceramics 

 

We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Cara, about her art, making ceramics, inspiration, and more. Here's what she had to say...

WE: Please tell us about your art - how/when did you start becoming an artist?

CT: I have been involved with ceramic art for as long as I can remember; my parents both worked as potters, so although our styles differed (theirs being generally more functional work than mine), the materials and methods involved are mostly the same, so had I started making little fairytale pieces - toadstool houses, castles, and wizard figures by the time I was about 6 years old. From then on, aside from reading, ceramic modelling was my main hobby. Only at the last moment, and somewhat by default, did it also become my profession!

Cara Turner Ceramics

Gate Fairy 

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

Armchair pair

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

 

WE: What do you draw inspiration from?

CT: Because I have been making ceramics of a similar fairytale theme for the greater part of my life (at no stage have I been much attracted by realism!), I am hardly even aware of actively seeking inspiration for my work. Of course, I have always been influenced by fairytale literature, and also by the way certain stories are translated into film (the Hobbit village in Lord of the Rings is a particular favourite). I suppose it must be a great help to live in these rural surroundings. This is mostly speculation as I have only lived elsewhere for fairly short times, but I presume if one doesn't have woods and hills and wildlife right on the doorstep, a little more forceful inspiration and imagination could be needed. At this stage, this is just how I see things. It is rather like having a simultaneous translation working on everything that I take in.

Cara Turner Ceramics

Betty's Golfers

 

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

Banjo Fairy

 

 

Cara Turner ceramics

summer dragon

 

 

WE: Where are your favorite places to create art?

CT: Although I always recommend clay to people as being the most versatile and forgiving material with which to work creatively, it doesn't lend itself to being moved about too much, from the point of view especially of generating woeful amounts of dust, so I generally keep to my workshop. Apart from emergencies (when I have to get a job finished but the workshop is full of kiln fumes) clay is banned from the house! This suits me as well, since I am very much a creature of habit, and only really work properly in familiar surroundings. In my workshop, I have all my tools and materials exactly where I need them. When I am working in our local craft co-operative shop, I bring very simple pieces with me, but I am happier in the old faithful workshop.

 

Cara Turner

Kinsale lighthouse 

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

Abbey Road nuns

 

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

Castle Road

 

 

WE: What do you enjoy creating most?

CT: My favourite pieces are anything related to Hallowe'en. Each year,I make large pieces for a window display in our craft co-op, and this year I have some planned for the local hotel. These include a Hallowe'en cottage (with a lamp inside), a pumpkin coach and a skeleton juggling pumpkins. I also make lots of little pieces for children. I would happily spend the entire year making Hallowe'en decorations and sorely regret the fact that, in spite of having invented and then exported Hallowe'en (Samhain in Irish), we don't celebrate it with anything approaching the enthusiasm of other countries.

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

Cara Turner Ceramics 

 

 

 

WE: How can readers find and purchase your art?

CT: Ideally people can visit me at my house and workshop between the small villages of Castlecove and Caherdaniel, on the Ring of Kerry in South West Ireland, but if that's a bit far to go, a virtual visit can be made to www.caraturnerceramics.com - a site full of photographs of my past work, and details of how to order a piece for yourself.

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

blues dragon

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

Skellig light

 

 

WE: Thanks so very much, Cara. Your work is extraordinary - we're so happy to have found you!

For more information, please see:
http://www.caraturnerceramics.com

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

Cara Turner Ceramics

 

 

Want more Ring of Kerry goodness? Check out my learn.ist board:

 

 

 

 

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