Tip Toland is an American ceramic artist and teacher who was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She earned a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado and an MFA in Ceramics from Montana State University. Her works, which are figurative and often described as "hyper-real," are held by galleries and museums around the United States.

Toland's early works were wall reliefs in wood, clay and pigment. Her more recent three-dimensional stoneware sculptures are close to life size, sometimes larger. She uses paint, encaustic technique and hair to create figures with "uncanny skin quality, utterly convincing hand gestures and eerily spontaneous facial expressions."

The figurative sculptures of Tip Toland are probably her most widely recognized work. She is primarily interested in exploring the essence of humanity, the vulnerabilities and frailties that define much of the human condition. Consequently, she is drawn to the very old and the very young who most vividly exhibit these characteristics. Her figures, however, are not quite realistic; instead, they are more doll-like, permitting the viewer to separate themselves somewhat and concentrate on what the figure is expressing as opposed to who the figure is.

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    Photography Credit: Sarah Slade
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