In March 2013 and after 39 years, Robert Held sold off all his glass making equipment and finally closed the doors of his Vancouver-based, Pine Street Studio.
Bob moved to Parksville on Vancouver Island and entered into retirement. So that was it. The end of some of the finest glass making in North America.
ROBERT HELD & SUE HAYES
But the days of tennis, reading and painting (the artistic type) began to drag. Frustration grew. Dreams of a relaxing retirement became just that – dreams. The urge to create more pieces of glass art grew until Bob could resist the call no longer.
As with all ventures, a little luck helps. Bob discovered that an art school in southern Seattle had just received a large endowment and was upgrading their glass-making equipment. So armed with cash and a large van he was first on the scene and bought their whole collection of equipment – furnaces included.
After numerous trips from Seattle back & forth to Vancouver Island we now we have a new art studio, based in Parksville – risen from the ashes so to speak.
Bob together with two of his former artists have started creating even more beautiful glass art. Hearts, Paperweights, Bowls, Vases and Ginger Pots are all now ready (in limited quantities) for sale as the new gallery expands its production.
The main picture shows Bob & one of his key assistants, Bohy, outside of the new studio. No Bohy is not bowing to Bob! He is drawing out very long, thin lines of hot glass (up to 70 ft) which quickly cool and are then fused to the sides of bowls, vases etc. Each using different colours depending on the specific design. A process that Bob called ‘fritting’.
The other photos show Sue Hayes from Side Street Studio looking at some new ‘lighting’ glass work with Bob. And some scenes of the work area.
You can find a good number of examples of Bob’s new glass work at www.sidestreetstudio.com with more pieces arriving as soon as they are available.
A World Made By Hand