An Atlanta native, Joanne received a B.F.A in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing with honors from Georgia State University in 1997. She learned traditional metalsmithing techniques under strict instruction of Richard Mafong, and after demonstrating a natural and quick ability she became his studio assistant and fill-in teacher for both lower and upper level classes. During this time, she received various awards for her artwork; her jewelry, vessels, and teapots have been in many shows, exhibits, and auctions around the Atlanta area.
Joanne was employed by Ricky Frank, well-known and celebrated cloisonne enamelist, as his primary jeweler and goldsmith from 1997 to 2013. Obviously an art jewelry dream job, it allowed her to learn about all facets of art jewelry production and business, work with high karat golds and beautiful gemstones, teach/train all new employees, and hone her skills in fabrication and finishing.
Until the mid 2000's, she mostly expressed her artistic voice through drawing, painting, and sculpture. And, especially through her first love textiles and fiber arts, such as sewing, knitting, embroidering, surface decoration, and dyeing wool/animal hair fiber. In 2005, Joanne skated with the Atlanta Rollergirls starting for 2 1/2 years, shortly with her team the Saki Tuyas but mostly as a referee.
In 2006, she began focusing on and developing her metalwork, and began selling her jewelry and custom commissions. Her style and design vary as much as her influences.
In 2009, Joanne started teaching as a Professional Artist Instructor/Independent contractor at the Spruill Center for the Arts. In the fall of 2013, she starting teaching ”full-time” after leaving Ricky Frank Enamels. Shortly thereafter, she developed her fascination and delight with hand-built ceramics and the transfixing magic of the pinch pot, and also became the current Jewelry Department Coordinator.
Currently, Joanne teaches 6 beginning through advanced weekly jewelry and metalsmithing classes, as well as specialized jewelry technique workshops, introduction classes and fiber dying.
She feels honored and thrilled to teach, and loves sharing her knowledge, skills and love of the craft with her students. And, delighted to create objects that people connect to and that become a part of their daily life and history.
Her art and metalwork is marked by a love of color and contrast, strong and unusual design, and reflects an arsenal of techniques, love of problem-solving, and belief in beautiful craftsmanship. Her organic designs fluctuate between the literal and surreal, where things are shifting and constantly reminiscent, where her work seems has a life of its own. She finds inspiration, contemplation, quandary, and thoughts in science, the natural world, space, the environment, the future, psychology and interpersonal relationships, and this world we have created.