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Toland Sand

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Limited Editions


Toland was born in Berkeley in 1949 and has fond memories of a child's eye view of coastal California, especially in and around Carmel and Monterey, where his parents were born and raised. They left in 1953 to move to the DC area because his father joined the CIA, but his heart was always in California and he felt as though he'd returned home when they came back every couple of years. After living in Taiwan and Greece, Toland attended Colorado College, receiving his degree in Philosophy in 1971.

For the passed 30 years he's lived in New Hampshire, with house and studio on four wooded acres on a dirt road. He and his wife Debbe have five kids between them. Toland has been very fortunate in the last few years to maintain a second studio in Carmel Valley, California, a small building built by his grandfather and owned by his father. It's a great spot to get away and renew himself.

He's been working full time in glass since 1977, starting with stained glass and moving from glass blowing into constructed cold-worked sculpture, which he's been doing since 1985. Self-taught, he has been on a never-ending search for additional technical and artistic vistas. Represented by many galleries across the country, Toland continues to have a few one-man shows a year.

Exploration is the motivating factor in his work: to reveal the inherent beauty and energy of glass while paying great attention to form. The complexity of the interior constructions are complimented by the simplicity of the exterior shape. The juxtaposition is delightful and has a timeless quality. The outside perimeter of the piece seems to be defined by how the inside color reflects on it. It's like architecture for consciousness. One's attention goes inside and then comes outside just like one goes inside and then outside of a building. The experience has a timeless quality and the sculpture allows that special experience again and again. The intention is to create something that is alive with light and that one never tires of looking at because it is forever changing depending on the angle of vision, the available light, and the immediate environment. It's as close to being ethereal as matter can come.

Toland has been inspired again and again by contemporary architecture and sculpture. As a teenager he spent five years, 1963-1968, in Greece, attending the American High School there while exploring the archaeological ruins on foot and the countryside on a motor scooter with friends. Marble formations from quarries just down the street were reminders of an ancient time. The Parthenon and the Agora in Athens and the temple at Sounion were accessible shadows and reminders of the Golden Age of Athens. Notions of timelessness entered his consciousness. Notions of the continuity of human artistic effort and it's importance left him with the desire to contribute to that continuity, to create timeless pieces with eternal shapes and primordial colors.


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