Tobias has been a working artisan for over 40 years. Some of his ceramics instructors include Harlen House, Hal Regar, Jack Surs, Marylin Levine, Roy Kiyooka, Santo Mignosa and Léopold Foulem.
Tobias also weaves, fuses dichroic glass, produces torch-work beads, and creates sterling jewelry. He has taken courses in “Hollowware” in London, UK, and Canadian metalsmith Crys Harse. Tobias has taken repoussé classes with Valentine Yotkov of New York, and Nancy Corwin of Calgary, as well as several local instructors in silver jewelry. His degree in Fine Arts was a major in Printmaking, and a minor in Ceramics.
Several years ago, Tobias discovered that his great-grandmother had Chickasaw Cherokee roots, and he has been exploring his First Nations heritage through his art. Much of his work reflects; ceremonial, medicinal, herbal, and food plants Chickasaw Nation, including traditional and historic depictions from the medicine wheel to sacred motifs symbols like the World Weaver Spider, Weeping Man.
Tobias has always been interested in textiles, the use of natural fibres and plants used for dyes. He has raised sheep, sheared wool, spun, and created woven material from “scratch to finish”. Today, the main fibres used are rayon, silk, linen, cotton, viscose, and rayon chenille. With these, rugs, shawls, and scarves are lovingly made. Colour and texture, forms and function, this is the historical essence of humanity and craft history, as well as ingenuity combined with practicality. Like the myth of the girl, the womyn, and the crone, weaving the threads of Life.