Sand transformed at In-Town Gallery in December
Dec 05, 2012 | 567 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In-Town Gallery 12-5
Glass bowl and glass vase by Mary Beth McClure
view slideshow (6 images)
Did you know that precious jewelry components and sparkling vessels originated in a grain of sand? Three artists at In-Town Gallery have evidence of this mystical “magic” in their original creations that actually began at the seashore.

Sand can be at the heart of many beautiful things, and is the starting point of glass, precious crystals and pearls. This exhibition features the creative culmination of what those tiny sand particles can become in the hands of glass artist Mary Beth McClure, and jewelers Marian Kern and Eleanor Goodson.

Come and meet these three artisans at the opening reception for Sand Transformed on the First Friday, Dec. 7, 5 to 8 p.m., and see the beautiful transformations. The exhibit continues for the entire month.

An In-Town member for 23 years, Goodson has traditionally offered a “trunk show” of her jewelry during the first week of December each year. She will have her newest pieces in a special exhibit during the opening reception only. Her regular collection is available year-round.

McClure, a member since November 2002, presents handmade kiln-formed glass vessels that are sculpted and colored in a unique process. She continually seeks to advance her skills and learn new techniques. In 2009 she received a MakeWork Grant that allowed her to purchase cold working equipment and a sandblaster. This opened a whole new avenue which allowed her to create thicker art pieces with design-led innovative work.

Recently McClure attended master classes taught by Canadian artist Robert Leatherbarrow and Irishman Karl Hannon. Her distinctive style created by the chemistry of reactive glass and unique textures has been enhanced by the new techniques she learned. “I wish for more hours in each day to pursue the endless possibilities they opened up,” she said.

Marian Kern will exhibit a collection of handmade beaded jewelry created with Swarovski crystals and pearls, in addition to semi-precious gems, precious metals and seed beads.

Since her introduction to this fascinating art form at a bead workshop in Palm Springs in 1999, her work continues to evolve through continued education and experimentation.

“There is something intensely sensual about working with beads — the many colors, the diverse textures, and the variety of combinations that can be utilized to make a thing of beauty,” she said, to explain her love for what she does.

Before moving to Chattanooga in 2008, and joining In-Town Gallery in February 2009, Arizona was the center point of Kern’s jewelry work, with involvement in several galleries and organizations.

Her work was carried at Van Gogh’s Ear in Prescott for five years, and she was the featured artist in the annual statewide Arizona Designer Craftsman juried show. She was secretary and president of the northern chapter of that group, and vice president of the High Desert Bead Society of Northern Arizona.

In-Town Gallery, founded in 1974, is one of the oldest cooperative galleries in the nation. It presents the original work of more than 30 regional studio artists.

It is located at 26A Frazier Ave., between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges, adjacent to Coolidge Park. For more information, call 267-9214, or visit or