Published On: Mon, Aug 25th, 2008

Nuestra Arte: Jose Joaquin Diaz Vasquez

Here is a Artesania feature that actually should have been one of the first ones on this website…ever. I have been a fan of Don Jose's work for well over ten years. I have been looking forward to the day he would bring his work to the masses by way of the internet. That time has come…well better late than never…Buen Provecho!

– As I am,

The Urban Jibaro

Work El Artesano 'Jose Joaquin Diaz Vasquez' was born March 31st 1952 in Santurce, PR. and served in the Army Reserve. Father is Don Joaquin Diaz Fontanez 'Army Veteran / Artist' and Mother Julia Vasquez (Home Maker). 

Joaquin is a successful well known Puerto Rican Artesano for over 27 years. Specializing in his custom creations using Leather and Metal in his workshop better known as ‘CREACIONES METAPIEL'.  

Joaquin‘s Artesania inspiration began in 1980. He had to take a trip to the States to take care of some personal issues. The trip forced him to take a leave at his job as a Paramedic. Upon his return the government closed down the Company and left him unemployed with three children to support. On the day he was in the town of 'Centro Humacao' passing a pharmacy and notice there was a ‘Cuchara Sale’ of four for a dollar. These particular spoons were made of stainless steel and had rare decorations embedded on the handle. He stopped and stared at these Chucharas for a long while and began to day dream envisioning rings and bracelets. He then bought a dollar worth of spoons and went home to cut, bend and buffed the stainless steel metal into Rings and bracelets.

Joaquin decided to take his art work to the bus station in Caguas and sold all his craft to the bus drivers. The bus drivers ordered more and that is when Joaquin realized that he discovered that he had a gift. He began to embrace his craft by educating himself on the market, gathered ideas, bought books, magazines and articles on the craft Jewelry industry. He began to create more and more custom pieces until he perfected his craft and enough inventories to display to sell to the public.  

In 1981 he joined the market of Artesanos in ‘El Parque de Munoz Rivera’ located in San Juan, PR. The Artesano Organization reviewed and accepted his craft and assigned him to a specific location in the park to sell his craft. The public embraced his work and orders were pilling in. His desire of gaining the liberty of working for himself and becoming a well respected businessman inspired him to continue working. 

Joaquin’s work shop has grown from a corner of his room to an entire section of his house.  In his workshop there is 27 years worth of special custom made machinery and specially ordered tools to create a collection of custom pieces. The materials he has used went from Stainless Steel to Nikel Cooper, Bronze, Sterling and now Leather. His workshop is called ‘CREACIONES METAPIEL’ a combination of Metal and Leather creations. Some of his creations is influenced by the unique symbols of Puerto Rican Taino culture.   

Joaquin has been able to inspire other Artist in the course of his career and has been a great influence to his Puerto Rican community. His work is well known and respected in Puerto Rico. He is registered as an Artesano with ‘El El Instituto de Cultura de P.R., El Departamento de Fomento Economico de P.R and Turismo de Puerto Rico. You can find his exhibition in Festival such as Calle Sevastian, Festival Barcardi, Barranquitas, Maricao, Plaza Las Americas and Festival Juana Diaz all located in Puerto Rico.

Joaquin and his adult children ‘Johana Diaz de Sanchez – Teacher, Brendaly Diaz Ramirez-IT Consultant,  Josue Joaquin Diaz Ramirez– Graphic Artist’ is working together on the website where he will open his exhibition of CREACIONES METAPIEL to the World. 

If you would like to contact Jose Joaquin Diaz please email him @ 

Nuestra Arte: Jose Joaquin Diaz Vasquez