In Memory of Hayden Bowman

06/03/54 - 14/06/18

{My part of his Eulogy}

Hayden looked like a tough biker when I met him, but I quickly learned he had a heart of marshmallow. We met while both selling goods at markets - me old beads and jewellery - him his leadlight creations - mainly Australiana designs such as blue wrens and warratahs

We became friends before dating - so were off to a good start.

Once that started however he was fully committed - I was just about to open a shop in Brunswick street Fitzroy, at the then grotty end - all wide eyed and innocent. He moved in and stayed to protect me- knowing how rough the streets and alleys were after dark having worked in the area.

That first shop was a mix of half “normal / light ” and half dark / gothic - gifts and jewellery - but it was the gothic side that really took off. In those days (well before it was fashionable, or we had the internet) it was hard to find anything gothic or witchy - and his work was quickly in demand with the other handful of alternative shops around Australia. We closed that shop after a year and moved away from the mass humanity that was inner Fitzroy to “quiet” Woodend and concentrated on wholesale.

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.

His work slowed down as bad health set in - mainly diabetes and eye problems. Always the frustrated artist with a detailed perfectionist streak.

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 .

In summary Hayden was a kind, friendly people person - who chatted to almost everyone, but liked to consider himself a grumpy old man.

Very artistic and creative by nature- but he was at heart a true homebody that wanted nothing more than care for me, the dog and the cat - a job he did very well.

It has also been comforting to receive hundreds of condolence messages from our online audience.

A highlight was from a friend who’s husband was sent to the temple in McLeodganj to make an offering for prayers to be said by His Holiness Dalai Lama for Hayden. Another, our Northern Hemisphere Witch friend, who will light a candle for us on her Summer solstice altar in Denmark.

It touches me that our support has been so wide, so deep, and so long (most of the names I recognize and some of the stretch back 20 years).Also that many of them still treasure a creative piece made by Hayden in the past.

{An Interview I did with Hayden as part of our Positive Pagan Interviews - many years ago}

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 handcraft enthusiasts.

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.

Over the next few years Hayden produced some of the most amazing glass works (using the copper foiling technique - most commonly used on tiffany lamps etc) - stretching the genre to its limit with has fancy solder work and 3 dimensional designs. From simple glass coffins to very fancy spider web clocks - and my favourite a pendulum "cuckoo type" clock with witches flying out of a house chimney .

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)

He 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

27/3/21 - a great find

Today I drove to Ballarat to pick up some boxes of books I have sold. I had planned to make a day of it and have lunch and look through some of the local op shops etc before my appointment, but was running late and didn't have time to go to the big ones - however there was a little one right near where I was going that I spotted and I did have 15 minutes or so to spare - so popped in for a quick look.

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!