|Payment |||MasterCard, Visa|
|Getting There |||Public Transit: bus 4 or 7|
|Cross Street |||6th Ave|
|Monday - Saturday 10:00AM - 6:00PM|
Profile Last Updated: April 23, 2009
Robert Held is an alchemist as much as an artist. With heat, breath and motion he transforms an incandescent gob of ordinary glass into a vessel that harmonizes colour, light and form. His beautiful art glass resides in the personal collections of the Governor General and Queen Elizabeth II. While his pieces are available in boutiques and galleries, why not head straight to the source? Since 1987, his studio and gallery (the largest of its kind in Canada) have been tucked away in a quiet part of Kitsilano.
Radiant colour and form
Robert Held’s glassworks houses a hot glass studio set in a warehouse, and next door the gallery-cum-gift store showcases the dazzling finished product. The interior of the gallery is a giant kaleidoscope, aglow with glass in a myriad of colors and shapes. Large wooden tables display slender vases, graceful amphorae and flared bowls - explorations of form influenced by Held’s background as a ceramicist. Spot lit shelves showcase delicate perfume bottles, hanging ornaments and posy vases in jewel-tones of amber, cranberry, cobalt, emerald and amethyst. Held’s sophisticated use of layered colour and decorative motifs is influenced by his experience as a painter and inspired by masters like Monet, Klimt and Jackson Pollack.
Serious collectors should investigate the small back room to see the Limited Edition Crucible Line. These large, lustrous, iridescent vessels are lined with 24-karat gold leaf. Of his many designs, some of the best known are his palm-sized paperweights in the shape of hearts, stars, animals and sea creatures. Flora lovers will adore the California Poppy and Meadow collections with floral designs applied with the ancient technique of millefiori. The studio also accepts commissions for custom corporate gifts and awards.
Glassblowers Feel the Heat
In the studio, visitors can observe glassblowers at work. The whole process is on display, from gathering molten glass on a blowpipe to inflating the glass into bubble, applying coloured glass shards and shaping the bubble into a vessel. Watching these artists deftly executing Held’s designs, emphasizes the skill, craft and sweat needed to create these objects of beauty. The final piece is then signed by Robert Held. Experiencing the process makes owning a piece of Held’s art glass even more precious.