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54th annual show includes rare rock slabs, kids activities, fluorescent display

To some people, rocks are just rocks. For members of the Clackamette Mineral & Gem Club, however, rocks reveal "the creations that Mother Earth puts out," said Bob Oblack, public relations director for the group.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - At last year's Gem & Rock Show, Bill Krause, left, demonstrates the art of stone knapping, which involves the shaping of flint or other stones."Fantastic Rocks, Beautiful Minerals" is the theme for the club's 54th annual Gem & Rock Show, taking place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds, 694 N.E. Fourth Ave., Canby.

Admission to this family-friendly event is free, anSUBMITTED PHOTO - Visitors to last year's Gem & Rock Show had a variety of things to look at, including demonstrations, display cases and vendors offering rare items for sale. d there is plenty of free parking.

This year's show will "offer an exceptional variety of lapidary slab material for the use in lapidary arts," Oblack said.

"Folks take the raw material and make brooches and jewelry and other works of art," he said.

Many of these rare slabs come from geographic locations that are not accessible to the public anymore, Oblack said, adding that the club occasionally will have access to rare, raw materials.

"We'll get notification that a family collection becomes available, and we'll evaluate the collection to see if the club wants to purchase some or all of the collection, replenishing the club's inventory for future show sales," he said.

On the other side of the spectrum are more common collectible rocks, which also are available for sale at bargain prices.

In addition, the show features 30 display cases filled with artwork made from rocks, gems and minerals. These items are not for sale, but dealers also are in attendance, offering jewelry and crystals, among other items, Oblack said.

Additional highlights of the event include silent auctions and demonstrations.

"Big thunder eggs and other pieces of quality will be up for auction, while artisans will be faceting, cutting and polishing stones and making arrowheads," Oblack said.

Children's activities include playing games and opportunities to win prizes.

Oblack is the co-director of the fluorescent rock show, which draws up to 300 people to see what certain minerals look like under UV light.

"I like to share the beauty around us, and the fluorescent show has the wow factor. I get excited when kids' expressions come out," he said.

The gem and rock show is the perfect family activity, especially since admission is free, Oblack said.

"It opens possibilities. Mom and dad can take the kids out and collect rocks and do something with those rocks. It's fun for the kids to see all different artists at work, making fantastic stuff," he said.

Although the show happens only once a year, "it can inspire people to get into the hobby," and that's the club's overall goal, Oblack said.

Rock it

What: The Clackamette Mineral and Gem Club presents "Fantastic Rocks, Beautiful Minerals," the club's 54th annual Gem & Rock Show. Admission and parking are free.

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 28

Where: Clackamas County Fairgrounds, 694 N.E. Fourth Ave., Canby

More: The club meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in Kraxberger Hall at Zion Lutheran Church, 720 Jefferson St., Oregon City. All are welcome to attend the next meeting Nov. 20. It will include an equipment display, silent rock auction and junior rock-hound activities.

Online: clackamettegem.org

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