In Memory of Hayden Bowman
We became friends before dating - so were off to a good start.
We did go back to retail in the end - with a shop first in Woodend, then Daylesford, but are now purely online.
Hayden was always the creative side - he created our logos, his own range of jewellery designs and increasingly larger and darker glass creations.
As the business moved more online he was happier to stay more and more in the background (packing orders and taking them to the post office etc) - and increasingly took on most of the household duties as well - he particularly loved meal planning and cooking. Favouring old fashioned favourites such as soups, risottos, roasts and curries.
Hayden and Margaret proved to be a good fit
(he loves cooking she loves eating)
Particularly once they appreciated that opposites attract
Hayden being caring, sharing, practical, hands on, one step at a time
Margaret more impulsive, changeable and trying to do 1000 things at once.
He kept her grounded and mostly on time, she kept him from falling into a rut.
There was also lots of teasing, fun and laughter - which you need to you are to live and work with someone for over 20 years.
As someone so physical Hayden’s declining health and energy levels these last two years have been frustrating - yet he continued to enjoy the simple things - such as shopping and long chats with the locals .
Hayden was bought up in a non
religious household and was always a hands-on arty child with a fondness for
paper. He had a very encouraging father, who could draw very well
himself. At school Hayden was good at the practical subjects like science
and English but did not do well in other subjects - it was the early 70's and
there was a lot of "new age" education - students were not required
to learn to spell for instance. He would have been more suited to a technical
school - but his mother wanted him to be a doctor. It was not to be
however and at 15 he was bored with school and started to look for an apprenticeship
with his fathers help. They settled on screen printing - as it was both
artistic (Hippies) and hands-on. His father took him to the local print
shop to check things out.. They then rang around for days before finally
finding him a position. He completed his four year apprenticeship
with that business and stayed on another 3 years until the place closed down.
He ended up working at two other firms - mainly working on advertising and
retail shop displays. But with Keatings "Recession we had to have" -
all that work dried up and both those firms too went out of business.
Leadlighting was a hobby Hayden
had taken up some time beforehand but without any work prospects Hayden took to
it seriously and was soon selling his works at local craft markets
- in those days he made "pretty" detailed glass jewellery boxes
and Australian animal suncatchers etc - that were popular with local pilots and
He had been doing this for around
12 months when I met him and trying to convince the CES officials to let him
into the newly set up NEIS scheme - but was continually rejected as none of
them could see a viable business in leadlight boxes.
I was about to set up a bead shop myself in Brunswick Street Fitzroy - and
Hayden ended up joining me in that and moving in around the same time .. ..
I was already dealing in pewter charms and Hayden started using them in his work finding the most inspiration in the gothic bats and spiders etc. Our shop was originally set up as half dark and half light - but if was the dark half that got all the attention - as there was very little around for the Melbourne Goths to buy, so Hayden happily turned his creative attentions there.
Most of the big pieces were sold
at Mortisha's - the big goth shop in the city - Hilary the owner would buy
everything Hayden made. Hayden also developed the jewellery line featuring the
redbacks we still sell today We closed the Fitzroy shop and moved to
Woodend to concentrate on wholesale.
In time however the coloured
glass and leadlighting supplies started to get very expensive with the
falling Australian dollar - plus there was more competition from imported goods
- such as coffins from Mexico etc. Then Mortishas closed down.
So Hayden eventually stopped
doing his glass work - I complain I live with one of the best leadlighters in
Australia yet the ugly yellow glass panel on our back door has been broken and
held together with packaging tape for years. (I'm resigned to it now)
is still an expert with a soldering iron however and still hand works most of
our jewellery designs and has his distinctive black finish. We saw a lady
in the supermarket here the other day wearing one of his designs that must have
been at least 15 years old. Another time questioned a young man at a
Music festival who was wearing one of Hayden's early glass coffin pendants - it
was my mother's he said - "an antique"! Indeed
Found the mirror above . . . and knew it immediately.
It was made by Hayden Bowman (my highly talented, late partner) - I'm guessing around 10-15 years ago. We sold them at markets and in our own shops (Woodend and Daylesford) as well as wholesale to places like Mortisha's in town. It is one of his medium sized ones - there were small plainer ones and some very large fancy ones. They were his unique creations using mirror tiles, coathanger wire, copper foil, lead solder and pewter charms.
I don't actually have much of his glass work left - so was thrilled to buy this one for $4!