JonAnn Shackford earned her bachelor’s degrees in Music and Education at Drake University, and went to the University of Miami for graduate studies. She always spent as much time hanging out with the art students as her music colleagues. “Music and Art have always been intertwined for me, even though Music was the focus. The University curriculum where I received my bachelor’s degrees focused on studying the arts as a whole.” She has been teaching for over 30 years and designing jewelry for 25 years.
After an injury prevented JonAnn from performing and teaching music professionally, she shifted her focus to jewelry design and fabrication. “Learning jewelry fabrication is just the same as music. You practice the technique until you get it in your hands and have it mastered, and then you can go anywhere you want with it.” She is often heard telling beginning metalsmithing students that they have to practice their scales and etudes first before playing a concerto. Her work focuses on designing around one of a kind gemstones and cabochons. She has been teaching Viking Weave for almost 20 years and is known for developing a specific weaving technique to achieve professional results in weaving the wire ergonomically to prevent hand fatigue and injury.