Cory Cuthbertson: I’m Curious and I Cherish Life

CCuthbertson pic Cory Cuthbertson is a self-employed crafter, selling bookshelf necklaces and tea themed handmade jewellery to fund her PhD. She is a Canadian expat living in the UK with her English husband. She has a BA in linguistics, an MSc in palaeoanthropology and palaeolithic archaeology.

Since I love both books and tea, I was immediately intrigued when I stumbled across Cory’s Facebook page. She agreed to talk a little more about her art.

Tell me more about the medium you work in and how you create your art.

I love the tactile part of working with clay.  I used to work in an office, and a creative element in my life was missing. So I went and got £20 worth of polymer clay, sat down with some Youtube tutorials, and started learning how to work it.

I love miniatures — so once I learned the basics I used my skills to find my own niche.  I love tea and books, and it naturally went that way! I started making bookshelf necklaces which turned out to be surprisingly popular — but not that surprising I guess, because who wouldn’t want a tiny library hanging around your neck?

At what point in your life did you start thinking of yourself as an artist?CCuthbertson 0146

When I was young I was always painting or sketching or molding plasticine characters, and creating was a big part of my identity.  I don’t think there was a turning point because art was always there with me. If anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my automatic response was ‘artist’, although I had no idea what that entailed.

CCuthbertson526586630_qsubHow would you describe your spirituality?

I am an atheist, and don’t believe in a god or higher creator. I believe that when we die, that’s it. That makes me cherish life — we create our own meaning in life, and I find meaning in being happy and making others around me happy. I’m also a scientist, and working towards my PhD in archaeology. I think this reflects my personality a lot, I’m very curious and I love learning about humans as a species.

How does your spirituality find expression in your art?

While I wouldn’t describe myself as spiritual, I do appreciate the human body and mind.  I understand human cognition as being extended and distributed — our mind is as much of our body as our hands are, or our paintbrush is, and the things we work with and communicate with, such as art, are expressions of our cognition. That makes art very personal. It also means my creations have a little bit of me in it, and they are bought by other people and it becomes a part of them — I really enjoy that connection.

How do you connect with divine flow when you are creating? Is it an intentional process that you can duplicate?CCuthbertson 425530364_8he2

There is nothing supernatural going on that I am aware of when I am working, but I find I become very at peace when I am focusing all of my concentration on my tiny pieces, and relaxing or turning off other parts of my brain.  Art is very meditative for me, and I perceive time passing differently when I am in ‘the zone’. I really enjoy this feeling it gives me, and I think it allows me to center myself and work through any anxiety or pressures of life.

How do you decide which ideas to pursue?

The art I create is always joyful.  I try to illicit happiness in the things I make. One way I do this is by making things small and delicate — that makes people smile, because they are cute and look complicated to make. I also create things that give me happiness in life.  I mentioned tea and books — I love these things but they are also things that others love too, and that motivates me to use these themes.  I also love archaeology, but that’s a bit more niche, so I don’t make as many archaeological themed objects.

CCuthbertson 331731289If you were going to teach your creative process to someone else, what would be one or two of the key things you would share?

Be unique as a celebration of yourself. Find your uniqueness by experimenting, and experiment by creating things that make you happy. And don’t be frustrated. People are way too hard on themselves and their creations, but they should be proud of anything they made because it comes from themselves, and that in itself is unique. You get better over time, and if you enjoy it, keep it up!  If you don’t, do something else that makes you happy.

How can our readers find our more about you and your work?

I have an Etsy shop where I sell my bookshelf necklaces and book and tea themed jewellery: I also keep a blog where I talk about my jewellery, but also about being self-employed and other thoughts and musings: I have a Facebook page: and Twitter: @Coryographies as well!

Thanks Cory!
 With the Art as Worship radio show on hiatus, we’ll continue to feature artists using their written words to describe the connection between their art and their spirituality. Access the Art as Worship radio interviews on Empower Radio. Listen to an encore presentation of an artist’s interviews each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio. Like us on Facebook at Art as Worship, then share your art and comments. Contact Vanessa Lowry at vlowry (@) if you would like to be a featured artist on Art as Worship. Namaste!

Adrienne Lynch: Alchemy and the Act of Creation

Adrienne Lynch picAdrienne Lynch was born on the cusp of dawn in the wake of Niagara Falls, New York’s infamous Blizzard of ’77. Things she recalls from her nomadic childhood include: cicada carcasses clinging to the tree outside the kitchen window, too-small home grown watermelons too-sweet as candy, a neighbor girl’s torn toenail, the strange feelings grown-ups gave her, and how much her terrier mutt, Harvey, loved chasing cars and rolling in dead fish.

As an adult, she found her way to clay. For over a decade, she has made mostly figurative ceramic and mixed-media sculpture and drawings, with an emphasis on impermanence, transformation, and the ineffable mysteries that take place within the human body-boat. The figure—human and animal—continues to play a vital role in her practice, as do language, and humble materials such as paper, rusted metal, and string.

thing temple (love needs objects)

thing temple (love needs objects)

 “Clay is a great medium for me spiritually because it models the alchemy that happens through the act of creation. I take things that are difficult—like death, loss, heartbreak or loneliness—and make art around them. The process of giving form to these intense feelings and experiences lightens them and provides a release. My art has helped me let go of heavy energy and be less afraid of the dark things.” ~Adrienne Lynch

Listen to Adrienne’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

She comments, “Art is an act of communication. My creative process feels like an act of channeling. Art moves through me and I manifest something, but the cycle isn’t complete—I haven’t fulfilled my mission—until I’ve shared my art and gotten feedback. I look forward to sharing my work because it completes the cycle.”



Adrienne considers teaching a privilege and a calling. She teaches Ceramics and Three-Dimensional Design at Georgia State University and Roswell Art Center West. She loves how the studio classroom can become a space for taking big risks, asking juicy questions, turning each other’s thinking inside-out, sharing research and insights, and witnessing breakthroughs.  Adrienne encourages each student to “honor what is unique about you and what you were meant to bring into this world.”

detail of Matchmaker

detail of Matchmaker


In addition to her art in clay, Adrienne is a freelance writer and recently began a blog project entitled A Daring Adventure Or Dot-Dot-Dot. Her writing examines the questions, challenges, and realities of following one’s dream.

She is also endlessly fond of the colors yellow and grey, and of the word, “Yes.” Find out more about Adrienne and her sculpture work at Join the dialog around pursuing the life of your dreams at

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Beth Tarkington: Get Out of the Way

Beth TarkingtonBeth J. Tarkington grew up and resides in the Atlanta area.  She earned degrees from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University with emphasis on drawing & painting and surface design.

After spending 16 years as a high school art teacher, she turned her focus to become a full-time ceramic artist. Today, she applies her painterly techniques on handbuilt clay forms to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

We Each Wear It A Little Differently

We Each Wear It A Little Differently

“I have a friend who says ‘Just get out of the way and it will happen.’ So, that’s what I’ve tried to do with my art.” ~Beth Tarkington

Listen to Beth’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

In her artist statement, Beth says, “There is a Greek word, Kairos, which loosely means: to be in the place you were meant to be, or where time and destiny meet. Within this search for place, I found a natural progression from painting and surface design into clay. My artwork has evolved as narrative handbuilt, one-of-a-kind pieces; conceived, designed and crafted entirely by me.”

Beth participates in juried and invitational shows and exhibitions around the country. Her ceramic pieces are known for their layers of color, rich textured surfaces and thoughtful narratives. Compositions often center on female figures framed by landscape, symbolic elements and occasional text.

We Have Grown This Way Together, Inseparable from Place

We Have Grown This Way Together, Inseparable from Place

She says, “The evolution of my spirituality has profoundly affected my art. My spirituality is a deep centering thing for me. I create art that talks about people and places in life — basically my own experiences because everything is autobiographical. People ask me, ‘Is that you on that piece?’ and I say, ‘Sure, who else would it be?’ I try to touch people from that place inside.”

You can find out more about her at She is represented in the Atlanta area by The Signature Shop and Gallery.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan: Art Takes Me Deeper

Michael Sullivan pic2Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan is the rector of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, an author and a sculptor.

“My art and creativity have become the chief means of my personal spiritual journey. The pivotal moments in my life where something went wrong — when I needed something to take me deeper in my spiritual journey — are where art really served me. It has helped me deal with the difficulties life can bring.” ~Rev. Michael Radford Sullivan

Listen to Michael’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.Michael Sullivan book2

Michael is the author of Windows into the Soul and Windows into the Light. The books explore the place of art in spirituality and how creativity can contribute to the richness of the Christian journey. He has been a featured writer for Episcopal Café and

He often leads retreats on art and spirituality. He says, “When we are able to give ourselves over to something greater, we begin to participate in a kind of spiritually-led process where our eyes are opened. We might see things that we would not have otherwise seen. I would argue that creativity is something greater than we are.”

Michael Sullivan book1Michael is a summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College (B.A. 1989). Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he accepted a James B. Duke Fellowship at Duke University, but after pursuing that program for a year, entered law school at the University of South Carolina where he earned his law degree (J.D. 1995, cum laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review). He practiced appellate law in Columbia.

During his practice, he discerned a call to priesthood and then completed studies at the University of the South, Sewanee in 2000 (M.Div. optime merens). Michael was curate at Church of the Advent, Spartanburg before being named Canon for Mission at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia. He then served as rector of St. John’s, Lynchburg, Virginia before coming to Holy Innocents’.

Michael says, “Part of my life as a priest is helping people to see that boundaries are not great for the creative process. They’re not great for our spiritual development. You’ve got to be open enough that the emptiness of your life can be filled with something greater. You have to let boundaries morph and change so that God and Spirit can transform you in the process.”Holy Innocents Church logo

In his spare time, he enjoys reading Southern fiction, cooking, exercise, and sculpting. Connect with Michael through or on Facebook.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Harry Boone: First Center Yourself

Harry Boone is a pottery artist. A native of Georgia, Harry grew up in the Atlanta area, attended Georgia Tech and served in the Navy. He worked in the building and development industry for 38 years.

Watching a potter work at his wheel while attending a North GA fall festival around 1968 sparked Harry’s fascination with wheel pottery. He started collecting pots that day. In 1985, he took a class and centered his first piece of clay.

“Early in my journey as an artist, I was working full-time in the development and building industry. I came into pottery class ten minutes late and strung tight. I wasn’t able to center the clay on the wheel — a crucial step before you can begin forming a pottery piece. My instructor came up behind me, put her hands on my shoulders and said, ‘Harry, you can’t center the clay until you’re centered within yourself.’ I’ve found that principle of first getting centered relates to everything I do.”

Listen to Harry’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Now, Harry spends several days a week either in class or working independently in the studio. He’s particularly interested in firing stoneware pieces in wood, salt and ruku kilns.

He says, “I think the best piece I’ve ever made came out of the kiln a few weeks ago — it’s a little teapot and it is absolutely beautiful. That doesn’t happen every time. Creating with clay is somewhat of a process and it’s filled with a lot of faith.”

Harry can be reached at haboone (@)

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!