Wednesday, October 16, 2013

22nd Annual Big Sur Jade Festival

This past weekend the 22nd Annual Big Sur Jade Festival was held at Pacific Valley School (partly for which this event is a fund-raiser) despite the latest efforts by the Universe to prevent its occurrence. This year the agent of obstruction was the shutdown of the U.S. government. The U.S. Forest Service administers the lands upon which the school are located. In order to conduct the show we must receive permits from them along with all the demands they place upon us in order to acquire those permits. They don't especially like the event taking place due to their not being able to really control it or profit from it. They also more practically worry about people associated with the event starting a wildfire and/or causing an auto mishap. This year the wildfire fears were more justified due to the unprecedented fuel conditions there and across the state.

Anywho, the U.S. Forest Circus pulled our permits upon the government shutting down. The organizers of the event and the community went over the heads of the U.S.F.S. and made supplications to local U.S. Congressman Sam Farr whom acquiesced and using his political pull got our permits reissued.

However, that did not mean the opening of the neighboring campgrounds. This intercession allowed the event to occur but with less bang than usual given their were no campers in neighboring Plaskett Creek Campground and elsewhere nearby aside from the illegal variety, some of whom got ticketed. Even with less pop the show was overall a resounding success and went off with few snags. Well, aside from a lame switcheroo of a new food vendor displacing an older food vendor whom had pre-payed for the booth the new food vendor ultimately received. This will be rectified for next year.

My small part to play was working in festival co-director Kirk Brock's "Rock Solid Jade" booth all the while some of my stuff was being sold in Mike Lyon's "Jade Cove" booth nearby the latter of which paid the expenses of my food and merchandise expenses at the event this year which was nice. My own little bit of pre-festival drama was having jury duty on the previous Monday when we found out the festival was back on which quite fortunately only amounted to being placed on telephone standby through Wednesday night and then being dismissed for the next 12 months.

Note: my camera has died and I had to borrow a camera I am not familiar with at this event so I took fewer images and often of lesser quality than in the past hence no day-by-day reports but simply this wrap-up.

Another note: check out my related Alabama Petrified Wood report from this event. 

Each day of the event starts with an eclectic and rag-tag drum circle which perfectly matches the spirit of this gathering.
View of the event from up the hill. Mostly poison oak fills this field located on a marine bench.
Kitty was comfy.... and loudly purring!
Cool way to display this awesome jade boulder. Wood and jade go well together!
This large partially polished jade boulder was here last year but it was nice to see it again.
Some cool natural jade shapes partially-polished in some cases. In the background is the jade phallus from last year.
The displays have really gotten very cool in recent years as dealers seem to be attempting to upstage each other in that regard.
This is another returning jade sculpture that has appeared on this blog before but is quite welcome back.
Some of these carvings are rather remarkable.
I'll admit I really coveted this piece this year. I was told by its craftsman that its inspiration was a spiral galaxy.
Jade toadstools. See what I mean about the displays here nowadays?
The view from Drew Arnold's booth into the adjacent one to the south.
I mostly prefer the jade in as natural and unaltered a state as possible with some exceptions...
... these would be such exceptions.
More Drew Arnold pieces.
Another view south from Drew Arnold's booth looking into his neighbor's booth.
Two new Drew Arnold pieces: a bowie knife and sunglasses (with lenses of thin-cut polished jade).
Drew Arnold posing with his two coolest new creations.
More from Drew Arnold.
Yet more from Drew Arnold including a way cool anthropomorphic wood jewelry display.
The Drew Arnold booth with its namesake stalking about.
Looking back into Drew's booth from the previously neighboring booth.
Looking back into the Drew Arnold booth from the aforementioned south-neighboring booth.
Jade blocks awaiting purchase and cutting or carving.
Another great display.
Tree jade!
Too bad it was overcast the morning I had time to get away from the booth and capture these images.
I love the carved jade bowls. Notice the jade suseki?
I love these jade pendants!
Most of the cool displays are of wood holding jade items but this one is of metal yet still awesome.

Nice jade bead strands. One won't find this stuff at Gem Faire!
Another returning jade star I'm not sad to see again.
I LOVE that jade cobble anthropomorphically modeling the jade necklace.
Mike Berkleo's "Revelations In Stone" booth with some incredibly inventive displays... perhaps the best in the show.
I like that Mike Berkleo jade sphere near the bottom... hear that, Mike?
Mike Berkleo finished pieces.
At this point my eye was being drawn to the jade blade knives in the background.
Maybe Santa will give me one of these choice Mike Berkleo knife masterpieces.
I absolutely love this image in the aggregate of everything visible within it.
I'm embarrassed I can't remember the people whom own this booth, but WOW!
A Kirk Brock 100-pound piece of Siberian jade your's for three grand.
Another big piece in Kirk Brock's "Rock Solid Jade" booth.
Kirks friend from El Salvador was selling Guatamalan jade carvings... the same stuff the Maya used.. and still use.
Kirk's Siberian slabbies and blocks.
Rock Solid Jade in a glass display case.
Kirk was selling this 155-pound piece for nine grand or any reasonable offer... this is local stuff brought up in the 1980's by way of diving. Note the awesome chatoyant swirl.
View from the Rock Solid Jade booth northward towards Mike Berkleo's booth.
The booth I worked all festival-long.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)


  1. Thank you. Dan Brown

  2. I believe the artist you could not identify (in the photo just before the 100-pound Siberian Jade picture) was Aaron Appel & Sarah. Aaron has lived here all of his life and not only did he create all the jade jewelry at his booth, he also did all the beautiful woodwork & creates furniture from salvaged wood.