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.
In High School his paintings won him the “Ebell Award” for promising students. He studied painting at Whittier College until ceramics artist F. Carleton Ball crossed his path. To explore this new medium, Robert changed colleges, supporting himself through this time as the Art Director of the Los Angeles County Fair. 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 of Design.
In 1968, 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. 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.
In 1987 he moved to Vancouver, BC, and continues to enjoy much success there today at his studio and also through the many fine galleries that carry his work throughout North America, Europe and Japan.