Laura Tobi

Ceramic Sculpture and other art forms

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The art of perseverance, and the joy of light volume

When I watched this TED talk today I immediately thought of all the students that are pulled out of art classes because they “have no talent”.

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago.

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Creative Ideas are Contagious

In an open studio setting children get the chance to develop their own projects. Working on big painting in a 5 and 6 year old class, the idea of creating something that flies inspires the children one by one. In the end, we had not only a bird, but a flying fish, bunnies with wings and leaping lizards too.

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago.

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Summer Art

The summer is here and so are summer art classes. My schedule is almost full, but I still have a few spaces available!
Whether in the morning, afternoon or evening, summer is a care free time to indulge on your creativity.



Posted 11 years, 9 months ago.

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Danny’s Gates to Heaven

Danny's Gates to HeavenIt is not a usual day when a 5th. grader comes into the studio and all alone creates the Gates to Heaven. As a guide in the process of creativity in this case I didn’t have to motivate, but rather admire.

 I wonder about Danny’s thought process, the stories simmering in his mind. I can only ask questions and be surprised at the answers.  Each arc in the sculpture has  a cryptic symbol of some invented civilization. Danny is working on a set of artifacts of a civilization that appears to be materializing in his mind. He wants to create a museum with the artifacts. I have seen the symbols before: they were written in a tablet he created for the “museum”. I still don’t know the meaning. I hope this “artistic archeologist” will unveil it soon.

These gates are small if we think of the representations of  heaven  in movies or the descriptions from the pulpit. These gates are enormous when we realize they are only a free sample of the vast imagination this child has.doors-of-heaven1

 I also wonder during this time of standardized testing and eternal preparation for evaluation, when does Danny has a chance to show his teachers, his school and the Miami Dade Public Schools System what he can really do. Why aren’t we giving him all the opportunities to develop his creativity?

Posted 13 years ago.

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Benefits Children Get From Participating in Art Activities


This week, once again, I encountered a parent whose child loves art, but because the child is a boy the parent does not believe art is an activity he should be engaged in. I find the same problem over and over again. The child loves the art activities, but the parent thinks his son should be focused on sports. The same is true of parents that won’t encourage their kids, girls or boys, to participate in art activities because their children aren’t “artistic” enough or “talented” enough.
In countless opportunities I have tried to find the right words to express what I think are the benefits children derive from participating in art activities. I found the following very clear explanation in the web site of The Art Institute of Chicago during the summer. Here is what they said:

“…We believe nurturing creative potential stands at the center of preparing children for life. Whether a child develops into an artist or scientist, encouraging the creative process is very important in their early educational years. In our workshops children learn to discover, explore, and imagine in their own unique ways as we help them on a path to becoming the creators, innovators, and problem solvers of the future…

… we motivate children to use their creativity by engaging in unique and inventive art making and problem solving projects. We guide them to discover that solutions are not right or wrong but rather their own…”


  • Do you encourage your children to participate in art activities?
  • What kind of activities are they?


Posted 13 years, 4 months ago.

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Isi’s Creative Process: Giving Children the Freedom to Create as Children


The creative process needs time. This is true for all, no matter what your age or your area of expertise.
Isi is 4 years old. She loves to work with clay. This particular shape was the first step to a special creation, all of her own. She spent about an hour pounding, rolling, poking holes in the clay. The result is in the picture above. It did not seem much at the time, but she said it was a bridge and asked me to fire it.
I always trust my little artists, and have fired all sorts of little odd shapes they come up with. This is their original work. We need to respect it.


The picture above shows what Isi created the very next class. I just placed the first shape in front of her on the table, and she started working. If you look closely you will recognize her first shape repeated several times to create this sculpture.


This is the creature that lives inside her sculpture. Imagination is at play.

Isi liked looking at it from the side. So maybe, when she grows up, if she gets the chance, she will make a really big sculpture, to show us adults her point of view.


Isi’s creative path reminds me to respect the creative process of each child. Don’t impose the adult point of view. Let the child create with the freshness of her age.

Posted 13 years, 4 months ago.