The season for our business starts today and as we anxiously open, chomping at the bit we thought we'd reflect a bit on the past year and make some predictions on what is in store for the future.
Yes, love it or hate it, this is the big growth area in glass. As well as catering to stained glass, many of our long term customers who have 'done it all' aren't yet ready to hang up their tools and with fusing they can still apply the same skills using the same tools.
Our classes have been overwhelmed with demand so much so that we now include free firings for our Intermediate students!
And fusible glass prices have actually dropped at FIG in the past year as our selection and inventory has more than tripled.
The only stumbling block of course is kilns, but with our excellent relationship with Coneart (Frankie is so cute... Not Mikey) we've been able to hold our pricing and to increase selection. Buy a kiln from us and support extends to Mikey even sharing his home tel# with you (nobody ever calls him, he feels so lonely at times... Vanna Opal). Heck, the boys and girls at Coneart even made two square kilns according to our specifications (see here).
Secondly, glass availability.
With the demise of a national full-line distributor last year, we still sit here without a supplier here in Ontario. But while this has hurt our industry in general (too many competitors have disappeared in the past couple of years- not a good sign as Mikey craves competition), we have always maintained a good relationship with suppliers elsewhere. So, not only do we inventory the entire Spectrum line ( including Sys96), we also have Wissmach (including 96), Wasser, GNA, Youghiogheny, Kokomo, Oceana, Uroboros (also 96), tons of dichroic (both 90 & 96) many clear textures, Gluchip, even some Bullseye and Schlitz (no longer around sadly).
And thirdly, we intend to continue to provide the widest, deepest selection at the best price anywhere, to teach and inform and to have fun doing it!
All at Fantasy In Glass located in the Swiss Cheesed Glass Building here in Toronto!
That is all.