Robert first became interested in glass in the 60’s arts & crafts movement and was introduced to stained glass by artist friend Moira Burnett in 1969. For the next 20 years Robert’s field of endeavour was working with flat glass; building, restoring and repairing leaded stained glass windows. In 1987, Robert began a five-year apprenticeship with the Grandfather of Glass in Canada – Robert Held. Parkes designed and collaborated with Held for 22 years before building his own studio. Robert had the privilege of working with, and learning from, other skilled glass-blowers while working at Robert Held’s Kitsilano studio.
Robert and Jeanette have been married since 1989, have four daughters, and have lived on their five-acre property in Port Kells since 1996.