Toby is a resident of Miramar, FL and is one of the most influential bonsai teachers in Florida. Born in Puerto Rico and the mid 60’s, Toby has lived in South Florida since 1987. While studying architecture in Miami he established a successful luxury yacht detailing and maintenance service company. Going on to work in various capacities in the construction industry and currently as District Manager with an international plumbing and heating systems manufacturer.
His journey into the Art of Bonsai began when he picked up a copy of “Tropical Bonsai Magazine” at a local store. The publication sparked his curiosity and led him to purchase a small tree from Mary Miller’s store “Bonsai Bench”. This encouraged Toby to take the next step as he began learning the art under the tutelage of Carlos Consuegra, Lui Rayon & Mary Madison. During this two-year period, Toby participated in intense weekend work sessions or as he calls it, “bootcamp”, in order to develop his mastery of the art.
His mentor Lui Rayon, would have Toby wire trees up to seven times in order to hone his skills, demanding perfection while he practiced the appropriate bending angles and wire positioning that would have Toby achieve a dramatic and unique styling known now as the “Puerto Rican top”, or “the fold over apex”.
Toby’s skills have gained him two Bonsai Societies of Florida Tree of the Year Awards and he is the prior Vice President of the Bonsai Society of Miami. He has exhibited in numerous shows and has participated as a headliner in four state conventions. Always ready to share his love and knowledge of Bonsai, Toby offers his unique presentation skills to state clubs and study groups. With his ability to make a tree look old in a single wiring session, he has become popular and beloved local artist in the Florida Bonsai scene. Toby has a passion for Tropicals, Mame, Shohins and a good eye for detail and ramification. His philosophy in Bonsai is simple… as he is often heard to say, “let your trees and work speak to you.”
• BSF New Talent winner 2003
• BSM Best of Show Award 2003
• BSM Show 1st & 2nd Place Shohin award 2004
• 2010 BSF Presidents Award 2010
• Vice President of Bonsai Society of Miami 2010 – 2012
• President of Bonsai Society of Miami 2012 – 2013
• BSM Show Chairman 2002 – 2004
• Member of the New Mind Study group from 2001-2006