Zi Gang Bei International Jade Exhibition (September 2016)


First Seattle-area native to present Washington jade carvings at Chinese international jade exhibition.

September 28th, 2016

Edmonds, WA -- Seattle-area native, Nathaniel Cook, has been invited to present his hand-crafted jade sculptures at Zi Gang Bei, an annual international jade carving exhibition held in Suzhou, China. Zi Gang Bei is slated to take place November 18th - 20th, 2016 and will include sculptural works by at least 30 modern jade artists from 10 different countries, including Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. All of the nephrite jade Cook uses in his sculptures is located and harvested from Washington state’s Cascade Mountains by local jade mining company, Washington Jade, where Cook is also employed.

Zi Gang Bei is organized by the Suzhou Arts and Crafts Association and is intended to promote international artistic and cultural exchange through the art of jade carving. While Suzhou has been the center of China’s jade carving industry for thousands of years, this major jade carving exhibition was only opened up to foreigners in 2014. Since then, a number of prominent Western jade carvers, including Deborah Wilson of British Columbia and Matthew Glasby of California, have won gold medals in a competition that has long been restricted to the upper crust of the Chinese jade industry. This success has inspired an ever-growing interest in Western carvers amongst the event’s organizers.

At the age of 26, Cook is one of the youngest carvers ever to be invited to Zi Gang Bei and will be presenting alongside some of the best-known jade carvers in the world. While Cook is humbled by his invitation to participate in the exhibition as an artist, he has a clear objective in mind for the event: “The nephrite jades we’re harvesting here in Washington are among the best in the world,” says Cook, “my job for Suzhou is going to be to make something attention-grabbing enough to get the rest of the world to really take notice.” So far, he seems to be on the right track: the jade “vessel” he is carving for the event is highly intricate, combining a dragon’s head with an eagle’s head and wings complete with incredibly detailed feathers. “The jade I’m using for this piece reminds me of the material used in some of the ancient Chinese sculptures. I wanted to include both Chinese and American motifs to highlight this similarity, hence the dragon-eagle hybrid.” Both Cook and Washington Jade are optimistic about his upcoming trip. They expect that his participation in Zi Gang Bei will generate significant international and local interest both in Washington’s nascent jade industry and in its local jade artists. “We have an opportunity to really jump-start the jade industry here in Washington state and create jobs for a fair number of people, so I’m excited to try to get that process going.”

About Nathaniel Cook

Cook is a relative newcomer to the jade carving scene who began carving in the summer of 2013 as a means to showcase the unique jades that Washington Jade had discovered in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. He began working for Washington Jade in June of 2012 fresh out of the University of Washington Honors Program. He was a Mary Gates Endowed Scholar as well as a DeEtte McAuslan Stuart Scholar and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in physiology and a minor in mathematics. An Edmonds local, he also graduated valedictorian of Edmonds-Woodway High School in 2008. As acting Vice President of Bull Trout Jade, Nathaniel is intimately involved with all day-to-day operations of the company, but his primary responsibilities are field operation of geophysical instruments, in-field interpretation of geophysical data to form 3-dimensional mental models of exploration areas, mapping and description of exploration targets and future claims, and inventory management.

About Washington Jade

Washington Jade, incorporated as Bull Trout Jade LLC, was founded and financed in February of 2012 by Rodney C. Cook, Ph.D., Paul Pigott, and Bull Trout Capital LLC. The company produces, markets, and sells nephrite jade and other gems from its wholly owned jade and gem claims and the claims of its strategic partners. Bull Trout Jade has used Dr. Cook’s proprietary geobotanical exploration model and new technologies to locate, claim, and harvest investment grade nephrite on federal land in the Devil’s Mountain Fault Zone. Further information on the company can be found on their website at www.washingtonjade.com.


For further information and pictures of previous work, please contact Nathaniel Cook Vice President, Bull Trout Jade LLC 632 Maple St. Edmonds, WA 98020 (425) 530-0226 nathanielccook@washingtonjade.com