Joe was the president and owner of a heating, air conditioning and ventilating company until 1989, in Albany, New York, before moving to Naples, Florida. The Von Liebig Art Center offered classes in stone sculpting. Under the capable direction of Joseph Cooper and Frank De La Roche, Ricciardi began to sculpt in stone. After a serious romance developed with his attraction to stone, he developed his own studio on Old Route 41. Ricciardi takes great delight in unlocking the mystery that lies within a piece of stone. The Ultimate discovery of the "idea", the subsequent process of creating it, and the extended polishing sequence all contribute to the ultimate beauty of the stone, be it abstract or representational.