Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

January Over Already?

The last day of the month- it must mean it's time to post the Feb. 2007 Monthly Sale. Check for it here.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Sadly, The End of the Road for Bullseye Ring Mottles

Bullseye Glass Co. has decided to discontinue production of their ring mottle sheet glass. And what the heck is a ring mottle you may ask? Here's an explanation from someone incredibly boring- ring mottle glass refers to sheet glass with a pronounced mottle created by localized, heat-treated opacification and crystal-growth dynamics. Ring mottle glass was invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the early 20th century. Tiffany's distinctive style exploited glass containing a variety of motifs such as those found in ring mottle glass, and he relied minimally on painted details. When Tiffany Studio closed in 1928, the secret formula for making ring mottle glass was forgotten and lost. Ring mottle glass was "re-invented" in the late sixties by Eric Lovell of Uroboros Glass.
Traditionally used for organic details on leaves and other natural elements, ring mottles also find a place in contemporary work when abstract patterns are desired.
If you're a fan of this glass (as we are) don't despair as we still are carrying mottles from Oceana and Uroboros. And why of course, expect a typically huge FIG Sale on this glass...

Monday, 29 January 2007

Hand Tools Arrive


As if Monday mornings aren't already tough enough, we had to unload two skids of tools first thing this a.m. Need groziers? We've got them. Need circle cutters or lead dykes? No problem. How about soldering iron stands? Or bandsaws? Anybody?

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Mikey's Still Not Happy

He never got that pony, and the harmonica lessons aren't going well, so Mikey tries to find solice in building the best (stained glass?) website out there. After adding some more free patterns he adds another fifty pictures of FIG customers' works. Ever sent us a pic of your work- you're now an officially published web star!

More Free Patterns! More Free Patterns!

Approaching one million hits a month on our website (who knew Mom, that dropping the piano would lead to this, eh?...Mikey) the most popular page has always been for our free patterns! How about that... and I thought people visited for Mikey's wit and charm? Oh well, to give you what you want, we've added another page of patterns, bringing our hopefully unique and fresh approach of stained glass art to you in over 100 ways as of today. See the newest page here.

Friday, 26 January 2007

They Didn't Think I'd Do It

Every inaugural class has to put up with Mikey's penchant for photographing them. That's why we never get any criminals or witness protection people taking our classes (that's probably a good thing). We present our Tuesday night class here.

As If We Didn't Already Have Enough!

Yes, it's true! Fantasy In Glass is still the only source in Canada if you want to buy every colour of torchworking rod made by Bullseye. These rods are all manufactured from Bullseye's fusible sheet glass so their compatibility is assured (90 c.o.e.), something that is not always the case with other manufacturers (can't we all just get along?). Used for torchworking and kilnforming, each rod is approximately 17" (43 cm) long and 4-6 mm in diameter and now includes thirteen new colours and a new wider clear rod, bringing their selectionto 108 colours. See their palette here and go here to see their great guide- TorchTips to learn more about the characteristics of Bullseye's rod colours.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Dichroic (Dichronic?) Glass Arrives!

That's right! Dichro Boy (Sam He Is) is so ecstatic that Mike's been forced to put a drool bib on him. And we're just about at the point of having to issue galoshes to the staff.
Sammy's helpful teaching lesson here- dichroic means two colours, and this glass appears to be different colors when viewed from different angles or in varying degrees of illumination. It's created by adding thin layers of metallic oxides which transmit certain light wavelengths while reflecting others, causing an ever changing and iridescent effect. Think heads-up displays on military fighter jets and you'll see one of the first uses for this technology.

If you've preordered, your stuff has been pulled from the shipment and is ready for pick-up.

And, the best news- due to the size of the shipment, the great deal on shipping (thank you Traffic Tech) and a stronger CDN dollar, our savings on this shipment is so significant that we've now revised our pricing downwards- see here. And we'll ship this stuff right across Canada too!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

A Slice of Life Reaffirms Mikey's Faith in Humanity

Letter, slightly edited, to FIG posted January 22-
Dear Mike,
On Sat. Jan. 20th I purchased several items at your store. When I got home I realized that you had neglected to charge me for a book priced at $21.79. Enclosed is a cheque for $23.10 which I believe covers the cost of the book and the tax.
Sincerly,
J.W.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

IT'S NOT JUST SAND, SODA ASH, LIME AND SOME OTHER STUFF- Part 1

It's time for Part 1 of Mike's story of The FIG Exclusive Swiss Cheesed Glasswerks- How It Came To Be;
There are many qualities of artglass that are used in the production of stained glass. Most glass is made from ordinary sand and other stuff, which usually results in unremarkable glass. Because of my connoisseur glass standards of taste, and my love for my customers and this craft of ours, I was compelled to arrange for the production and importation of a superior line of artglass, a glass people would be in awe of, a glass so brilliant and inspiring, a glass with no equal. This is the tale of my pursuit of the perfect artglass. To begin, I arranged for the lease of 100 acres of fertile Mississippi River Delta waterfront land and installed on the shoreline stereo speakers so while the lilt sand of the headwaters of the Mississippi were forming, they could be properly serenaded by the sounds of music of our forefathers- music from Muddy Waters and Chester Burnett, from Zappa and Zimmerman. In this way I was assured that this sand used in the production of my beloved Swiss Cheesed Glass would be richly endowed with soul, energy and the passion of stained glass which we so love. I was also compelled to import thunder and lightening because I needed to empower this raw material of sand with the type of pure primal pagan energy that all great artglass expresses. ... to be continued

A FIG EDITORIAL Repeated from November 1, 2006


An editorial worth repeating- first published Nov. 1, 2006;
A second order of glass has arrived from the U.S. in as many months, with regret, as we try to keep up with demand and overcome a continuing (and seemingly worsening) Canadian supplier problem. Yes folks, the rumours are true- as of July 1, 2006 stained glass is now being served solely by one distributor. Is that a good thing? Well, given the number of items that have been out of stock and continue to be so, coupled with some recent and substantial price increases, we’re getting a little concerned. How about this- if you were dependant upon this one supplier you would have been without many essential items- Toyo glass cutters (TAP) and 7/32” Edco foil come to mind- in September just as new classes were starting and our industry starts to get busy. The stained glass retailer’s busiest time of the year happens during a very short period. To not have items such as grinders, glass, flux, books, the list goes on, at that time is madness. Not only has it been detrimental personally to our business as well as our customers, but possibly fatal for some of our competitors. And this damage will be far-reaching- if we are unable to service new customers and students our industry will fail to grow and prosper (hey, remember, even Mikey was a student hobbiest once).
At this moment, we are out of stock on the following- flux brushes(!), Gryphon Omni-saws, Glastar All-Star grinders, several bevel sizes, many Spectrum and Youghiogheny Glass colours among others, lead, Spectrum Rat Paks (although we still have over 10,000 sale squares in stock, we prefer an inventory level closer to 15,000), 2050 flux, numerous books, the list goes on…
While we are hopeful that this supply problem is a temporary one (albeit now going on 5 months with the merger of two companies with their combined expertise and knowledge of this industry stretching back more than a quarter century still unable to rectify these problems), it has taught us an invaluable lesson. We will never allow ourselves to be at the mercy of someone else.
We will source out alternative suppliers and will do that at an ever increasing and aggressive pace. We will try our best to hold down prices and will increase our inventory levels to minimize out-of-stocks from occurring. In other words, we will do our best to protect and grow this industry of ours as best we can in spite of adversity.
That is all…

Saturday, 20 January 2007

CBS Dichroic Glass Coming!

Our CBS Dichroic order arrives Wed. Jan. 24. As usual, Anja will be modeling the latest shipment- here! (but not yet). This shipment is so big it's coming by truck. Can't say much more as it seems all the competition (and some suppliers) check this modest little blog out to see what we're up to.

Friday, 19 January 2007

I Know, We Said It Once Before

But this glass is just way too cool, and for the month of January it's on sale. And what a sale it is- it's 40% off our already on sale Sale Square prices!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Another Intermediate Class Added

To handle to overflow (and our inability to say no to any of our longtime Wed/Thur Intermediate students), we’ve added a Monday night Intermediate Class. It will start Mon. Feb 5, run for six weeks and cost only $67.00.

Contemporary Warm Glass


On order and due mid- month is Brad Walker’s Contemporary Warm Glass Book, a big favourite around here. If you’re a fuser and aren’t yet aware of Brad’s website- http://www.warmglass.com/, make sure to check it out. Probably the best site on the web for fusing information!

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Our Continuing Canadian Supplier Problem #52

New classes started the week of January 15. We’ve got five full classes and like every year since we started (25+ years) we count on our stained glass supplier to be there for us with supplies such as hand tools. It happens every year- and it happens every September and every January- this isn’t new- it’s not a surprise! After all, without the simple basics such as grozing pliers we can’t properly teach and help grow the industry (and ironically help build more customers for our sole Canadian supplier). Jan. 17 delivery report from our only Canadian distributor – ordered, but out of stock; Bevel King Grozing Pliers, Inland Grozing Pliers, Leponnit Grozing pliers, 12” L-squares, 18” L-squares, 24” L-squares (all these items by the way are essential to our Beginner Toolkits), 1” x 2” bevels, 1¾ x 3 diamond bevels (we could have easily sold another 300 boxes in December if we had the inventory), Inland Strip/Circle Cutters, soldering iron sponges, Youghiogheny Stipple Glass #’s 55CR, 1107 and 1157, Spectrum #151 red waterglass, Table Foilers and Taurus Slim blades…

Sunday, 14 January 2007

The 2007 Seminar List is Up!

While the popular Soldering in the Nude Seminar remains, to the relief of thousands (well, maybe at least a few), some didn't make it making room for some new and exciting topics.
The biggest news is the increase in the number of fusing related seminars, and a new series from Pam. See Seminars for more details.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Our Continuing Canadian Supplier Problem Part 47

The January 12 delivery from our only Canadian distributor and todays out of stock list- Bevel cluster #’s C02, JL02, JL04, SA5, SA10, SA11, SA2A, Spectrum Glass #’s 151W, 422.1W, 146W, Pilkington #580, Kokomo #103, 64. 1075P, Vegla ZDR #135, L-Squares in 12”, 18” and 24”, Inland Groziers, 7/32” H-lead, Leponnit lead knives, straight bevels; 1” squares, 1 x 1½ , 1 x 5, 2 x 3 gluchip, 1½ x 2½ diamonds, 1¾ x 3 diamonds, 2” stars, ¾” squares, 2 x 4” corners and large square vase caps…

Thursday, 11 January 2007

The Soldering Iron of Justice

A true story related by Mikey a long time ago-
Makes me think that if I lived in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-shooter in my holster, I’d carry a Weller 100 soldering iron. That way, if some smart-alec cowboy said something like “Hey, look, he’s carrying a soldering iron!” and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could say, “That’s right, it’s a soldering iron. The Soldering Iron of Justice.” Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of The Soldering Iron of Justice

Richard La Londe's New Book


The latest fusing book to hit the streets is coming to Fantasy In Glass around Jan.18th-
Richard La Londe’s Fused Glass Art and Technique. 224 pages, 475 photographs. This book includes:• 45 pages of glass fusing history (yawn…Mi Key)• A portfolio selection of Richard La Londe’s art• The technical aspects about glass fusing• More than 50 pages about La Londe’s fusing techniques• Gold leaf and foil techniques• Kilns, glory holes, mounting systemsAll techniques shown in this book to be taught by Pam in our new Advanced Fusing Series! Check out the Seminar Page for details.

Pictures Added to Mikey's Picture Page

Take a spin over to Mikey’s Pictures Page- there are a lot of new additions including everything from some great stained glass in Europe to Les the Shaman's smudging of the store last year. Seems we needed some magic voodoo to rid ourselves the last remnants of some bad karma. I think it worked... ah heck, even if it didn't it sure made for an interesting day and a little pictorial for the website.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Our Little Musical Interlude


Mikey joins the 21st century and replaces his 301 disc changer (as big as a Buick) for a tiny little iPod. Still predominately blues, now featuring Mikey’s latest new discovery- Little Axe- Hard Grind

Monday, 8 January 2007

Classes start again at FIG

Classes start the week of Jan. 15- Beginner classes on Mon. and Tues. nights and Wed. days, Intermediate on Wed. and Thurs. nights and Friday days. To use our free studio space, please check ahead as it is only available when not in use.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

New Books from Wardell Publishing


Just found out and ordered in a bunch of books from our Canadian friend and publisher, Randy Wardell who now sits on a beach in Florida sucking back Pina Coladas dreaming up ways to get more money out of guys like me to pay for the next round (yes, Rick Mercer is right- Florida should be designated the eleventh province). Included in this batch is his newest book- on fusing- ironically called Fuse It (hey, who said creative copywriting was dead?...Mikey).! More details here. In on the 21st of Jan.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Another Ukrainian Christmas

The kutya stuck to the ceiling again, big time (ask a Ukie friend what that means- yes, Mikey actually did it... The Missus) Merry Christmas to all our Ukrainian (and Eastern Orthodox) friends.
And no, according to Anja, Ukrainians aren't two weeks behind, they're 11 1/2 months ahead!

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Bullseye Delivery Arrives

In our relentless pursuit of independance from a seemingly continuingly failing Canadian supplier problem, FIG takes delivery of another tractor trailer load of glass direct from Bullseye. Included are their fracture/streamers, ring mottles (think Tiffany), amazing iridescents, and of course, over 100 colours of fusible opal, cathedral and streaky glass (remember, just 'cuzz it says it's fusible that doesn't mean you can't use it in any stained glass project). Why work in crayon when you can work in watercolour.