Gerald Tobola, award winning copper artist, left the corporate world in 2003, and transitioned from hobbyist to a full-time artisan.

Statement from Gerald,

"As I was living my childhood in a small country Texas town, I discovered a fascination with leaves. My curiosity lead me to wonder why and how a leaf was formed, why did the tips curl a certain way as it dried, why were the veins on top of some leaves and underneath on others, or how was it possible that they could turn a different color. As life progress, my fascination focused on other things and forgot about the leaves.. Moving forward forty years, my brother gave me a piece of mesquite wood from which I made a lamp base. Of course I needed a lampshade and decided that it had to be copper. I had never worked with copper before, but was determined to make a copper shade. Once I gathered all the materials, my attempt to fabricate my first shade was a through trial and error. Finally after many attempts, a shade was born. Those first lampshades lead me to art shows and other opportunities that I never thought were possible. I became bored with making lampshades and wanted to create something that I could hold in my hand, so I decided to make a leaf. As I began to make the leaf, the memory of my little childhood nature classes surfaced and assisted me in creating my leaves I create today. I like to think that a higher being had a plan for me from the beginning.


I consider myself to be a self-taught realist artist. My passion for nature inspires me to create art that can satisfy my thirst for nature s beauty. As I create my work, I want the result to look as real as possible. In order to achieve that, I focus on textures, shapes colors and the repouss and chasing techniques to create my work. An array of acids and metal coatings are used to achieve the colors through the oxidation process.


My hope is that art appreciators will get as much enjoyment from my artwork, as I do creating it."

TV Appearances

Texas Country Reporter

HGTV - That's Clever

Texas News Broadcasts

Art Showings

The Smithsonian Institute Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in Washington D.C.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Winner - American Craft Week - Outstanding American Artist