Award winning glassblower Robert Held knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist when he grew up. He initially studied painting while attending high school and college but his interest shifted to ceramics after an encounter with F. Carleton Ball, an influential ceramics artist and teacher. As a result he changed schools and began attending the University of Southern California in order to pursue his newfound passion for ceramic art. After graduating he accepted a position as the head of the ceramics department of the Sheridan College in Ontario. However his journey as an artist was soon to take another interesting turn because in 1968, after visiting the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, he discovered his true passion as an artist – creating glass art through the process of glassblowing. Newly inspired, he returned to his work at Canada’s Sheridan College and soon became renowned as a pioneer of art glass education in Canada.
In 1978 Robert quit teaching and founded his own glass studio which he named Skookum Art Glass. He practiced his craft there until 1987 when he moved to Vancouver and opened a new studio, Robert Held Art Glass, where he works to this day. The studio is currently the largest hot glass studio in Canada. Robert works in a variety of styles ranging from classic to modern contemporary designs. His beautiful art glass creations include paperweights, perfume bottles, vases, bowls and sculptures.
In early 2013 Robert announced on his website that he will be retiring and closing his studio and gallery after 37 years in the art glass business. We wish him the best as he pursues his other art interests.
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