It all started with Rupert the Bear. As a little boy, this Winnipeg-born artist was a big fan of “the bear” and one story featured pictures of men playing with molten glass, moulding it into different shapes and sizes. He was fascinated. Between then and now a lot has happened, but Hayden’s passion for the art form and his craft has only grown.
He moved to Calgary in 1997, and growing up, he’d wait until family “fire pit” evenings wound down and then bury glass deep in the embers to see what would happen. At age 13, Hayden had his first chance to blow glass while attending a workshop hosted by well-known artists Julia Reimer and Tyler Rock. He was hooked, choosing to blow glass over other activities, with or without friends along.
Things don’t always move in a straight line and, as a teenager, Hayden stepped away from glass and into the wrong crowd and drug addiction. He credits spending time in the wilderness and in a sober house with helping him see other avenues in life. Being 17 and living with men in their mid-20s, who were working on becoming sober, inspired Hayden to decide he never wanted to be in their position. To this day, he makes that choice.
Like a lot of young people, Hayden didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do after high school. One thing he did know was that he wanted to blow glass again. Since 2010, he has been honing his skills, learning from well-established artist Barry Fairbairn. He credits Barry and the late Jim Norton with imparting skill and wisdom. Hayden has learned that to become a successful artist you really do need to put your blood, sweat and tears into your work.
Hayden appreciates the privilege he’s had in learning from some of Canada’s master glass-blowers and is building his career in glass-blowing, exploring colour, shape and textures…creating pieces for beauty and purpose.