Robert Gary Parkes
Robert has been working in different glass mediums for over 40 years. Originally influenced by the arts & crafts movement of the sixties, after working almost two decades building and refurbishing leaded glass windows, in 1987 Robert pursued his passion for glassblowing. Robert completed a formal five-year apprenticeship program with master glassblower Robert Held and continued to design for and collaborate with Held for 22 years.
In 2009, Robert built “The Loafing Shed Glass Studio” on his five-acre farm in Port Kells, North Surrey. Robert now enjoys the freedom to create new designs as they come to mind. The influence of colours, shapes and textures found in nature can bee seen in Robert’s works; from water and stone to trees and things in the sky.
Robert enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise through glassblowing demonstrations to groups, open studio events and individual workshops.
As well, Robert has created commissioned glass for Simon Fraser University, Westminster Savings Credit Union and most recently The City of Surrey. In the fall of 2011, Mayor of Surrey Dianne Watts presented Presidents’ Bill Clinton and George W. Bush with gifts of glass by local artisan Robert Gary Parkes, in recognition of their participation in the Surrey Regional Economic Summit.
In addition to The Loafing Shed Gallery, Robert’s glass can be found in a variety of galleries and gift shops in the lower mainland. Currently he has two collections of work called “Colorflow Series” and the “Tidepool Paperweight Series”.
Glass has three stages.One is hot, fluid, in constant motion and affected by all the forces of the nature.The second is captured, manipulated and formed in that moment of time.The third is transformed, solid and everlasting.My works attempt to capture all of these stages, to create objects that reflect the beauty of this amazing substance.
Robert Gary Parkes makes contemporary blown art glass at The Loafing Shed Glass Studio in Surrey, British Columbia. Vases, bowls, platters and paperweights in classic, functional and contemporary designs can be found in the on-site gallery. Robert is equipped to make commissioned pieces, corporate gifts and memorial glass.