Gregorio Marzan worked as a boy in the sugarcane fields in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. He learned carpentry and used his skills to make wooden frames for suitcases, which he sold for a living. In 1937 he had saved enough money to immigrate to the United States and a few years later brought his family over as well. He lived in New York and worked for a toy company, stuffing dolls and toy animals on a production line while making small curiosities and jewelry boxes in his free time. After retiring in 1971, he began to create much larger figures, animals, and birds from a wide variety of found objects.