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Tuesday
Oct312006

Big Sur Jade Festival 2006

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Once again California's favorite jade event has come and gone. The 2006 Big Sur Jade Festival was a huge event this October 6, 7, 8. Trucks, vans, trailers, and tents covered the area around the local schoolyard directly above Jade Cove, always a favorite place to go "jade picking." And thousands of people came during the three-day celebration. Dealers, traders, buyers, and sellers all enjoyed a perfect weekend with cool mornings and evenings and perfect sunny days.

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And what's a festival without a queen, and here is this year's "Jade Queen," Raeanna Thomasson.

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Once again the Festival's entertainment was varied and fun. This local group was a big hit with all the visitors sprawled on the cool grass around the stage.

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These various groups bring their own instruments and play throughout the day. A lot of the music is country, but there are always surprises.

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And the ever-popular "Belly Dancers" are annual favorites. These ladies really know how to swing a hip. It's no surprise that they usually attract the day's largest audiences.

FOJ member Kirk Brock organizes the annual event. The sponsors are the South Coast Community Land Trust, the Pacific Valley School PTO, and the Cultural Council of Monterey County. Income for the event pays for a summer out-reach program for local kids, summer camps, and work shops.

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Between musical gigs the local youngsters play a kick-ball game they call "Hack-in-Sack" that I first saw in the 1950s in Florida as a favorite activity for Central-American youths. They called it "Cascarita." These Big Sur teens have mastered the game and using only their feet can keep the ball in the air for several minutes.

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Once again I was impressed by the designs and carving skills of Matt Glasby, a self-taught artist from California who is making quite a name for himself.

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Matt Glasby now faces the inevitable copying of his work and as he and I walked around the grounds we saw several "knock-off's" of his designs. These two pieces are good examples of his recent work.

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David Clayton was showing this large piece of Canadian nephrite carved as a Buddha.

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Friends of Jade member and the organizer of the Big Sur Jade Festivals, Kirk Brock manages many of the vendor details and logistics. And he man's his own booth at the show selling a wide variety of materials, but specializes in jade.

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Friends of Jade member Mike Burkleo proudly displayed his three new "Jade Trees" at the Festival. These beauties are thin slabs of "Polar Jade," carefully selected to display the wonderful colors of this remarkable B.C. material.

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Things were always happening at this very popular booth. One reason was it was bursting with talent. FOJ member J.C. Buller (left), physician, jade carver, collector, and jade promoter, captivated buyers with his many stories and interests. Next to J.C. is Peter Schilling, superb jade carver and also the designer of exhibits at the Harvard University Museum. Peter designs and carves gorgeous necklaces that were very popular at the Festival. Next to Peter is Deborah Wilson, Canadian jade queen, and a greatly respected jade artist who for years has continuously produced remarkable small to huge jade creations. And next to her is J.C.'s brother.

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Friends of Jade member Sam Gitchel kept busy with a variety of products to sell. His long table-booth was always active with people looking at his unusual and collectible jade pieces.

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Friends of Jade member David Clayton and wife Catherine were busy in their attractive booth that included both original jade pieces and a table of tools for carving jade and other hard stones.

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Friends of Jade member Matt Glasby has a full schedule and agenda as he combines being a full-time college student, a full-time jade designer and carver, and a new engagement to his beautiful girlfriend, Anne Dreyer. Now if there were only more time in a day.

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Cat's-eye jade is not unknown, but it is uncommon. This trio of chatoyant nephrite from Russia makes an unusual and beautiful bracelet. It came from Mike Burkleo's booth.

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Finally, if you have a truly large to huge piece of jade that you need to display, consider this solution. This gigantic piece was an eye-stopper, and impossible not to touch.

I hope to see more FOJ members and friends at next year's event, always the first weekend in October.

Fred Ward
Friends of Jade

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Reader Comments (2)

Thanks for being who you are.

Connie Reeves from Las Vegas, NV
December 1, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterconnie
Hey there,
The last huge hanging piece is my brother Justice Daniels work. Please give credit. Thanks
Mary
February 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary

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