Joe Piaso Jr. was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 10, 1957. He was raised on the Navajo reservation by his grandfather in Canoncito, New Mexico. As a small boy, Joe watched his grandfather make jewelry and this is what first sparked his interest in the art. It wasn’t until Joe was of school age and was sent to Albuquerque Boarding School that he actually began to develop his abilities. He took classes to learn how to silversmith there from a Santa Domingo Indian who greatly inspired him to further his abilities. By the age of thirteen, Joe became skilled enough to make and sell his own jewelry. This gave him a lot of confidence to continue on developing his skills, as well as provided the benefit of extra spending money. After leaving school, Joe met his wife, Melinda, and they had two children, Lyle and Opal. Lyle has taken an interest in silversmithing and Joe has had the great privilege teaching him the art. Joe now continues on into his third decade of silversmithing with his son, Lyle, working next to him to carry on the tradition.
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