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[Tidbits] A Jade Axe

One of the passions of my youth was Science Fiction. I was voracious
about it. One of the stories I remember well concerned itself with an
Intergalactic Music contest. all fares to the planet paid if you were
invited. They began. Music to charm the senses. Music to bring tears
to the eyes. Music to evoke smells. and nostalgia. and heart breaking
memories of lost loves. Then the final contestant came to the stage.
He had a single stringed instrument. and as the audience tittered at
this ragged primitive entry. he struck one note. and left. He won
first prize. The reason. he offered the most with his meager
abilities than all the others combined. He stretched himself to his

In that spirit. I have a Jade Axe. It was made over 6000 years ago.
between 4000-2000 BC. The tools used to shape it were first stone
against which the jade was ground to rough it out its shape. and then
sand and water to enhance the smoothness. and then grease filled
leaves hand rubbed for hours upon hours to bring it to the smoothness
and sheen you are all about to see. It has a knife sharp edge. and
has never been put into a haft. It is–in fact–6000 years old and
brand new.

It is about 21 centimeters long and 8 centimeters wide. (8"x3"). And
here’s the interesting thing of it. even so long ago… and probably
as always. beauty was valued for beauty’s sake … and the maker of
this implement treasured it so that he–or she–decided to preserve
it in its pristine form. Its state of accomplishment is much akin to
the attributes of that Intergalactic musician so long past in the
distant future. who gave his art all he had and won first prize.

Does it compare to today’s great works of jewelry art? No? Not even
close. However. did the creator of this piece imbue in it the same
passion as do the jewelers of today? Again no. The fact is. he gave
it more. Much more. for he did not have at his disposal the tools and
facility which we have today to help us create. No motorized wheels
to do the lapidary work. No 3D printers to form our objects of
passion. No computers to create the art work. All he had was muscle.
and sweat… and vision. and patience. and rock and sand and
muck-laden leaves with which to bring his dreams to fruition.

If I were running the show. he would get first prize. all the others
aside. He is equal to that space-traveling musician… . he stands
alone. dressed in rags. shoulder to shoulder with the magnificent
tunics worn by the artisans of his future… . head and shoulders
above them in stature. humble in his demeanor. hands roughened from
physical toil. a diminutive giant dwarfed in physical stature with
abilities towering over the others.

Phew! I think I’m pooped here. So. You wanna see? Hmmm?

Okay. You know where. Yes? No? The visit to the image… also known
as the viewing experience. You know where. Home page. Scroll down. Left side. Tidbits. Click.
And there for your sensory optic pleasure you will see a gorgeously
simple jade axe of long ago honed by hand to a state of reverence.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all
next week.

Benjamin Mark

Impressive axe, Mark. Do you know where it came from?

Rose Alene

Loved the almighty Axe. I also love making any jewelry with jade,
because I know that the jade will be going on through the ages to the
end of time. it’s so tough.

Mary Jane St. Amand