Born in Santa Ana,
California, Robert Held aspired to be an artist from an early age. His father,
a sculptor, only lived six years of his son's life, but passed on the talent
and appreciation of art that gave Robert the beginnings of a quest to create
beauty in form and color.
Pursuing a Master's Degree in Fine Arts at the
University of Southern California, Robert was awarded the graduate assistantship. At this time, he won the prestigious
"Glen Lukins Award" for new work in ceramics.
Upon graduating, Robert was offered a position
as Head of Ceramics at a college being built in Ontario. He accepted the
position becoming the youngest department head at the Sheridan College - School
In 1968, after a visit to the Penland School of
Crafts in North Carolina, Robert Held discovered a new love: the art of
glassblowing. He returned to Sheridan College inspired and succeeded in
launching Canada's first college level hot glass program in 1969. This program
allowed many Canadian artists to become skilled in this medium, and crowned
Robert Held as the pioneer of art glass in Canada.
Eventually, Robert left the teaching world, and
in 1978 he began his own glass studio known as Skookum Art Glass Inc based out
of Calgary, AB. He operated there until
1987, whereupon Robert moved to his new studio in Vancouver, BC, and adopted
the new studio name of Robert Held Art Glass.
After a one-month retirement in early 2013, Robert decided to start up
his studio again, this time in Parksville on beautiful Vancouver Island,
BC. The Parksville studio opened in
February 2014 and is the only place new Robert Held pieces are being created.
Many fine galleries and gift shops also carry his work throughout North
America, Europe and Japan.
Robert uses techniques that date back as long
ago as 2000 B.C. however, his collections range from classic to contemporary.
Some works are inspired by the paintings of famous artists such as Monet and
Klimt, while others take inspiration from photographers and even interior
designers. Our studio prides itself on providing its customers with a large
selection of affordable hand-blown gift items, as well as Robert Held's
individual creations for the serious collector.
Robert's glass work has also been chosen for
many prestigious awards and collections. His goblets were selected to grace the
table of the Governor General's "Perfect Setting" and his newest
commissioned piece: a glass bowl encasing 23rd karat gold maple leaves and
sparkling dichroic glass now sits in Her Majesty's Royal Collection. In 2003, a
piece from Mr. Held's Flower Line was selected as the Canadian Gift and
Tableware Association's Gift of the Year. His glass sculptures may also be
found in major collections such as the Roland Michener and the Indusman.