Tommy Jackson is from Ganado, Arizona. His parents, Martha and Gene, great silversmiths in their own right, taught and inspired their son in many directions.
One direction combined his wonderful smithing skills and his BA in Education (U of AZ) to teach up-and-coming, gifted students silversmithing. Tommy enjoyed teaching at Tohatchi High School whose students included the now well-known artists Sunshine Reeves, Benson Manygoats, Myron Panteah and Harrison Jim.
Tommy taught reading and writing in the Navajo language. He taught kindergarten through eighth grade for eight years. Navajo history, arts and crafts were also part of his teaching repertoire on the reservation in Wide Ruins, AZ.
Tommy is married to Marie, Navajo, also from Ganado. Together they devote many labor-intensive hours to produce and create beautiful old-style, contemporary inlay, and cut-out overlay jewelry. Tommy’s use of natural, high-grade American turquoise, like Bisbee, Number 8 and Blue Gem make his jewelry very well regarded and collectible worldwide.
Of the multitudes of honors and recognitions, Tommy’s highest, in his view, was being chosen Navajo Tribal representative for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. He demonstrated silversmithing to the many nations that attended the Games. He can sincerely boast about his collectors as being from “around the world”!
Inspiration carries into the next generation of Jacksons. Tommy and Marie have seven children and one grandchild. Each is his or her own person with special skills and interests, including silversmithing. Nate, the oldest son, won first place in Belt at the 2002 Gallup Intertribal Ceremonials while his father only won second place. Tommy Jr., the youngest son, likes to paint, draw and rodeo. When not silversmithing, Tommy raises Paint horses and loves riding his Harley.
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