Joseph Skinger was born in Worcester, MA on March 16, 1911. A metal worker by trade, he began creating jewelry and sculpture at a young age. In 1946, following service in World War II, he married and moved to Alburg Springs, Vermont. The barn on his property was christened "The Islander's", and became his first retail shop and jewelry studio.
Although largely self taught, Skinger took advantage of his GI Bill coverage to add to his knowledge and experience by studying metalworking at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1951.
The Skingers relocated to Stowe, Vermont in 1958, and opened a ski lodge and located the jewelry workshop and showroom, "Silver by Skinger", in the renovated barn on the property. In addition to creating jewelry and sculpture Joseph Skinger taught Jewelry at the UVM Summer Sessions and the Fletcher Farm Craft School in the 1950s.
The handwrought jewelry of Joseph Skinger has been exhibited, on several occasions, at the Fleming Museum in Burlington and, following his death in 1967, there was a retrospective exhibit of his sculpture at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.