Toland Sand

SandDeconstruction. Reconstruction. Language. Symbol. Meaning. Shape. Personally forming the pieces by hand. My hand. That’s what I’m all about. In a nutshell. I think of myself as an artist who is enthusiastic about architecture, color, and light. I’ve grown up artistically with what is called the modern glass movement. I wasn’t there at the inception, but I caught the first wave and in turn have been inspired by those who have pioneered what is called “cold glass”, that is, glass sculpture creation that doesn’t involve heat. Other major influences are Isamu Noguchi, David Smith, and Mark Rothko, Henry Moore. I inhabit the symbolic, the cosmic, and the mystery. I love that images can come and go, be bold, and then disappear; be reflective and then not. So, with all that in mind, I have charted my own path while acknowledging influences. On the spiritual side, I have a meditation practice that I do every day which connects me to the eternal energies of the universe.

The mainstay of my work is optical crystal, leaded and non-leaded, as well as dichroic coated glass, tinted adhesive, and acrylic paints. Everything is hand worked and shaped by hand. Then comes a process to bring out the brilliance of glass, with grinding in ever finer stages until polish is achieved. I look for balance, harmony, and symmetry, with an accent of deconstructed form. Each piece takes more or less six weeks to complete, starting with a drawing using large white paper ripped from a roll, pencil, ruler, and compass, in the traditional three views. It’s exciting for me to see how the finished piece measures up to my concept, that begins with inspiration and an idea and ends up as a complex construction made more complex by reflection, refraction, and the dance of light and color in a three dimensional setting.

I’ve lived and worked on four acres in very rural New Hampshire, a place of full seasons and rolling hills, in a studio I built in 1984. It does seem a bit contradictory to be creating contemporary sculpture in such a place, but in reality the sculptures are a reflection of my inner space and what grabs my attention. I could be doing them anywhere. Actually, I don’t question exactly where they come from. It’s the mystery. So I leave it at that and am grateful for this fantastic journey I’ve been on in my quest to make a living dong something I love. My wife Debbe is my partner in business and in life.