March 2015: Robert Hall Parry 

March’s Featured Artist is Robert Hall Parry of Robert Hall Originals. Robert Hall graduated from Teacher’s College in 1966 and taught for nearly 10 years before he and his wife Betty decided to follow their dream and open their own business, Robert Hall Originals, now located just outside St. George, Ontario.

Parry is one of the few Master Pewtersmiths currently creating work in Canada. Unlike Silversmithing or Goldsmithing, Pewtersmithing is not taught anywhere in North America.

A pewter goblet with a sculpted horse's head as the stem, handmade by Parry.

As such, many of Parry’s tools of the trade are self-taught; he credits Pewtersmithing books from the 1930s and jewellery art magazines for helping to continue to build his skills. His inspiration comes from speaking with other artists about their craft, as well as from the architecture and monuments throughout Brantford.

Parry started his creative career making jewellery, but when he encountered limitations because of unavailable and uninteresting settings, he began to cast the jewellery, then eventually pewter. Now Robert applies this technique to creating home décor pieces with rocks and minerals as well. Parry believes that never giving up is the key to his success: “If you have a passion for your art, then to be successful, you must have a lot of determination and persistence, no matter what happens.”

Parry is enthusiastic about sharing his craft with others, and building appreciation for the art of Pewtersmithing. Robert Hall Originals sells jewellery, beads, jewellery-making supplies, home décor items and more. The showroom also boasts an impressive array of jewellery making workshops, an astounding collection of minerals, crystals and fossils from around the world to explore, and you can even book a group tour to learn how pewter is handcrafted from start to finish.

Visit the Robert Hall Originals studio showroom, open Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm and Saturday, 10:00am – 4:30pm (closed on Sundays). Click here to visit the Robert Hall Originals website in a new browser window. 

Parry using a machine called a lathe to spin pewter into three dimensional objects.

Submitted by: Cheryl Felka