Tobias Tomlinson

Tribal Name: Chicasaw-Cherokee ancestry| Region: Vancouver Island

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Artist Statement

Tobias has been a working studio artisan for 45 years, his obsession in the area of fine craft extends into many areas. He has a Bach. of Fine Arts degree from the University of Calgary with a major in print making and a minor in ceramics. He received his first course in jewelry at Illinois State University in 1968. Tobias has been a student of local jewelry instructors of Judith Hirczy, and Estelle Curan. He has attend several drop in advanced level classes at London Metropolitan University in London, UK in silversmithing working on techniques for forming spoons, bowls, and vessels in 2011. As well, he has taken specialized week long courses with Valentin Yotkov on Quw'utsun' territory, and two courses at the Metchosin Summer School of the Arts with Crys Hars and Nancy Corwin.

About twenty or so years ago Tobias discovered that his great-grandmother was a Chickasaw Cherokee woman, and has been exploring his First Nations heritage since this discovery. This is reflected in his use of medicinal, herbal, and food plant forms as design motifs that are carved into his ceramic pieces, but is also reflected in many of his jewelry designs such as the tree of life, the medicine wheel, and his choices of colour or placement of design elements.

In 1969, Tobias moved to Calgary, Alberta from the United States. His interest in all things craft brought him his first Leclerc 36” Jack loom . He is a self taught weaver, and has learned through experience which materials work best for him, and how designs and colour intrigue the spirit. Throughout his world travels, he has visited weavers in Greece, met National Heritage weavers in Thailand, and spent hours tying Ikat warps with women on the island of Flores in Indonesia, and taken courses in back-strap weaving with Quiche First Nations women in Guatemala. His preference of materials include silk, linen, cotton, and rayon chenille.


1969-1971 B.F.A. in Fine Arts with emphasis in Printmaking and Ceramics.
1971-1973 the Jam Factory Pottery Collective in Nelson, B.C., and selling in the Nelson Gift shop.
1971 to 1974 Working with a master potter in Grey Creek and Creston, B.C. using Native found clay as glaze and working material.
1974-1976 Bachelors of Education, University of Victoria, study area, Special Needs, Art Education, and Library Sciences.
1976-2005 Teaching all grades from Kindergarten to grade 6, librarian, & art resource teacher
2006-Con’t. Pottery instructor for children’s class at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Artists in the classroom program with Victoria School District #61

1992--Garden Sculpture show, Urbana, Illinois
1994--Drinking Vessels Exhibition, Santa Barbara, Calf.
1995--Creative Jugs-Circle Craft Vancouver, B.C.
1998--Erotic Show- Open Space Gallery, Victoria, B.C.
2002--Collective Ceramic Show- Gr. Vic. Arts Council
2003-2004-2005--Victoria City Hall Exhibition space
2005--The Cone Box Project- B.C. Potters Guild
2006-2015-Look Show- awarded and honorarium
2006--Artist of Conscience Symposium Victoria, BC
2007-- Look Show Univ. of Victoria Faculty Award
2007 & 2010--Invited Guest Fired Up! Victoria, BC
2009-Metis Fine Art show, CACGV, Victoria, BC
2008-2012-VaseFinder Online Gallery Show
2008-2014--GLBT show, Batchelor Gallery, Victoria, BC
2008-2015--First Nations Inuit & Metis show Sidney, BC
2009-2015-Sooke Fine Art Show, Sooke, BC
2008-2013 Sidney Fine Art show, Sidney, BC

Guilds, Arts Groups, and Associations:
• South Vancouver Island Potter’s Guild
• Island Artisans Association
• B.C. Potter’s Guild
• Member of C.A.C.G.V. & C.A.C.S.P.
• Tozan Society (Naboragama Kiln)

Where to Buy

You can buy my work at the following Gallery / Store.

Abkhazi Garden

Address: 1964 Fairfield Road Victoria BC V8S 1H4 Canada
Website: visit
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