Almost 4 years ago, after connecting for just one 60 Minute Welding Class, I lead our first long awaited creative executive retreat, with our first student, Steve Pinetti. A high achieving, energetic, passionate, collaborative, culture loving guy, who was about to transition out of a life long, highly successful corporate career. Reaching for an intense hobby to provide the scaffolding for such a tremendous, life changing move, is a very smart way to keep your energy charged and moving as it changes and adapts into the next phase of life! After intentionally hanging up my own corporate suite, 7 years earlier, in authentic & creative, service driven pursuit, this placed me in an exciting and pivotal position to help make Steve's transition, not just a smooth tangible shift but a creatively grounded and powerful elevation into the legacy phase of his life.
Fast forward...Over the past 3 years, Steve has traveled from California on a monthly basis, for a week at a time, to my studio, The Collaboratory, here in Arizona. We've been immersed for up to 10 to 12 hours a day for 5 days straight, Making ideas Tangible. Creating monumental Working Art, from the combination of my own practice and the deep well of my late Husband Khabir's, phenomenal Legacy of cultural, ancestral skill and mastery. Steve brings a wonderful confidence to go big or go home, brimming with ideas that have inspired him throughout his travels, whilst utilizing and building off many of my own, as The Collaboratory has been making the way tangible, assimilating it all, The Whole Way.
Through the creative process of making ideas tangible, in steel, by dreaming, designing, engineering, welding, bending, cutting, collaborating, shaping and painting. One gets to participate in an awareness of life at a molecular level. The organic construction process that relates to everything and then being able to apply those same formulas to every part of life, is uniquely rich and powerful. We become aware and then intentional of our actual part in the cosmic process. The cause and effect! Becoming more specifically effective and productive in participating and growing within the human tapestry.
Life is a series of encounters, with equal and opposite opportunities of exchange. Whether we acknowledge it or not, determines the level of divine interaction we receive.
We've been trained on mass, for generations, to prioritize the outcome, whatever the cost and sometimes at great loss and discomfort to our individual and collective souls. The organic nature of the creative process has taught me, that we have every thing we need, how to let go, honor, enjoy and deeply value the magnificent and otherworldly qualities of The PROCESS. The biggest outcome of that for me has been to experience, practice and integrate more capacity, becoming a more present, loving, generous and impact-full, human being.
To me, art and creativity acts as the fishing rod to the soul. To know thy self! The process, the act of creating, surrendered, organically (meaning: It's alive and unfolding in the present as we are being guided by our unseen Creator, the power, timing, direction and flow) becomes the fishing rod that hooks and pulls to the surface, the tangible idea, the gift, the surprises that are meant to unfold from inside of us. Before now there was no joy filled way for the inside to rise, become known and be shared! To offer a visual example of this point, take a look at the picture , either to the right or above (depending in your device) of Steve hugging a sculpture! As we were creating it, we had no idea or conscious intention to have it look like anything other than a very cool random, abstract dude but it turned out to mark an incredible resemblance of Steve. What a beautiful reflective symbol of reconciled relationship, to ones self! Now that's internal and eternal Wealth!
It's time for us all to become more of who we are, so that, we can share more of ourselves, with each other. In essence, we are each the missing piece of the Human puzzle, we need to call forth life, The Whole Way!
Honoring the past - Adorning the present - Co-creating the future
Weighing in around 500 Ilbs this roaring chunk of steel was created with the leading criteria of it being "Bad Ass"! Steve came with a few photos for scale and style and off we went on this collaborative Dragon adventure to "Make his Idea Tangible"! This project took the 2 of us over 6 weeks and 10 hours a day, during the desert summer of 2017. Now it stands tall at the main front entrance of Steve's San Francisco family residence.
For entrance #2 of Steve's San Fran residence we made another door cover. This time Harry Potter's chamber of secrets. Lots of fabrication detail on this project, especially making the snake and there are 7 of them. This project took us approx 4 weeks. See more pictures amongst Steve's full project album below.
One of our first projects, this 18 ft tall rose was Inspired by a 100 ft version, Steve saw in Vegas. We created it modular so that shipping and installation in Steve's garden in San Fran was pretty easy. Loved the introduction of color to this piece. We always use car body paint for longevity and they have some of the most beautiful colors! We completed this project in one full week.
For Christmas 2017, we made sculptural portraits of all Steve's family members as his gift to them. It was so much fun detailing each piece to resemble the characteristics and passions of each of Steve's awesome family members. They Loved them too!
The Vision piece for Steve's life, as he describes it below in his testimony was really an incredibly divine unfolding.
I have now had a day to digest this past weeks experience with you.
When I signed up I just thought it would be very cool to learn more about what it meant to weld and maybe even perfect my abilities and never thought much more about what I was getting myself into.
My time with you was one of the most profound experiences I have had in my life.
Welding is art - art is soul - soul is life.
I loved how we navigate through our initial designs and thoughts for each piece and then ending up with something different because as we went along our thinking which was so fluid it could change course at any time - nothing to get in our way except ourselves right - and our ideas and openness let us to the right place each time.
Everything we did was so unrestricted and free flowing - so natural.
I also loved how you opened me to the heart and soul for that would now live in each piece - no matter how big or small - every creation had meaning , purpose and told a wondrous story.
How you included family and roots into the heart of each piece which provided the grounding yet at the same time each piece celebrated the future and the unknown experiences in life still to be experienced was such a powerful way to get me to really think about my future and all the moving parts I needed to think about.
The vision piece for my life - well - you got me to blow my own mind with that piece. I don’t know if I let it come though how important - no how mind bending that was for me to verbalize all that we put into that small but powerful piece of life art. I feel even greater weight ( good weight) to really think through what we did and what it stands for - my direction and life going forward. It will be mounted where I will see it every day.
I know people will love the works when they see and can touch them but they will never really truly understand their meaning and purpose in how they came alive through the words we shared that led to their completion.
It was also fun to begin each day with a conversation on what was still going on in our heads about the day before and what our ideas for the coming day were.
I thought that process was so fun fluid and very collaborative.
Actually - turns out Everything we all do every day is collaboration - either within ourselves or with those around us.