In typical nomadic fashion, we met Ceri Jones Salahadyn through a series of events and people. She invited us to her Collaboratory in Mesa, AZ to learn the craft of welding, plasma cutting, as well as, hear her amazing story.
Exploring the science and process of welding was fascinating and for us “road schoolers” as it offered us a wonderful learning opportunity. We learned that welding is the process of joining two or more metal parts by melting the pieces and adding filler material. The filler is melted and pools between the other pieces. The end result after the materials cool is a strong joint or weld. We learned how to Stick weld, which is when an electric current passes between the metal and an electrode (stick). The electrode melts and combines with the metal to form the joint.
Our project was to make a candle holder. The real fun began once we welded the base to the stem and were ready to use the plasma torch to design our holders. In this process, a gas (oxygen, air, inert and others dependant on material) is blown at high-speed out of a nozzle; at the same time an electrical arc is formed through that gas from the nozzle to the surface being cut, turning some of that gas to plasma. The plasma is hot enough to melt the metal being cut and moves fast enough to blow molten metal away from the cut. We all made individual designs in the form of trees, faces, and shapes. We found that plasma cutting was much more difficult than welding and required a very steady hand.
Through out the course we were able to hear Ceri’s story, which was quite breathtaking. A fabric & abstract artist in her own right, Ceri met her husband and fellow artist Khabir Salahadyn at the beginning of time, or so it felt. Her story intertwined the two dancing and weaving through time and space, doing what they love, creating, inspiring, inventing, and graciously sharing their knowledge and goodness to the world around them. In late march of 2012, Khabir was diagnosed with severe liver cancer and the couple moved from Denver, CO to Mesa, AZ, seeking out healing options and community. They made the journey in their Working Art truck, a 22ft beautiful old Mack Daddy, fully loaded with all their Working Art, tools and equipment. They arrived to a community of hope and healing and explored the realms of alternative and naturopathic possibilities. Each and every step of the way, they received the very best care and treatment opportunities available for Khabir.
However, the time was coming when Khabir would pass from this world. So, with his last bit of breath and strength Khabir helped his wife set up the Collaboratory and transferred his vast legacy, teaching her everything she would need to know in order to continue on. He helped her create the space, encapsulating his presence, his freedom and abilities into the world around her.
When we met Ceri it had only been one year since Khabir’s passing and you could still feel his steady hand present in the space. Ceri carries on with love and light. She is a passionate learner, adventurer and visionary, who desires to empower people and cultures with innovate new ways of communicating through the arts. Her hope is to bring Vision, Mission and Values into the lives of people, organizations and their communities.
We are so grateful for opportunities to meet and be inspired by others we connect with along the way. If you ever get to Mesa please stop into the Collaboratory, create something fantastic and say “Hi to Ceri” from us Hollands!