The cold glass working process
As opposed to the glass blowing or hot worked glass process, Toland constructs his sculptures using a process that doesn't use heat to melt the glass. Instead the process starts with large ingots or plate glass which is cut, polished and glued together.
Optical glues are used to assemble the sculptures. These glues are cured with Ultra Violet light and are resistant to aging under sunlight. A vacuum pump is used to eliminate bubbles from the highly viscous glue after it is mixed. Dyes can be used to provide another element of color to an interface.
A water cooled masonry saw with a diamond coated blade is used to cut the glass . Pieces are placed on hard foam to secure them.
A variety of wet grinding wheels are used with progressively finer finishes and grits in order to smooth the rough cut of the saw. The final step is to encase the pieces in plaster to keep them flat while they are polished on a rociprolap. All of the edge beveling as well as curved surfaces are ground and polished by hand.