Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 31 January 2014

Monthly Sale

We understand your confusion as an unflattering picture is  our traditional means in announcing our Monthly Sale. Mikey obviously had a weak moment this month (or couldn't find a picture suitably unflatteringly enough) so he dug deep into the archives and pulled this one out. 
Any comments about her extremely large forehead are not warranted...
Go here (don't see it? Try a screen refresh)...

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Latest Shipment Arrives!

Still without any full line glass distributor in Ontario, we seem to be doing even better today as we continue to shop elsewhere. 
And we couldn't be more excited! 
And why do you ask?
Selection is so much better than it was the last ten years under the old Hollander Glass, as they slowly slid into bankruptcy. 
And prices today are significantly less.
So, what came in yesterday?
How about all the out of stocks on our fusible glass such as the very popular SP226.72 Lemongrass? Or Sp100F Clear Crystal Iridescent? Thick SPBlack? Even SP100F Thick Clears in Ice and Crystal. 
Also in, all missing Spectrums (most importantly all their clear textures), the long time gone black c-chain, a bunch of Youghioghenys (the most popular YO4444SP), filters for Fumetraps, Bullseye Clear fusible,  grinder coolant, all Morton tools, Taurus ring saw blades, pre-tinned copper wire in all gauges and plutonium (just checking to see if you were paying attention)...
We also got a pile of Rat Paks in and look what we found hidden inside-




While all three are pretty cool, Mikey's most excited by the one above- a fusible Spirit made from Spectrum's amazing Blue Aventurine! 
Here's another shot below as it's tough to photograph how awesome this glass is.


And a special thanks to The Other Mikey who helped Vanna Opal unload the shipment as Mikey snoozed at home blissfully unaware...

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Audiophile Craziness

Trying to come up with a good way to illustrate the flexibility of molds, we thought of doing so by making some cable lifters.
Now if you are a crazy obsessive audiophile (read Mikey... Vanna Opal), you are convinced you can hear the difference between speaker wire or record mats or different vacuum tubes, then you are the kind of person who would love a set of these. 
You see, there are all manner of tweaks that audiophiles like to try, to see if they affect/improve the sound of their stereo and and this is one of them. It seems that speaker cables that are lifted above the floor will sound better (allegedly) so rather than buy some esoteric (read expensive) cable lifters we took a look at some of our molds to see if there was one we could make use of. Obviously there is no cable lifter mold, but if you are imaginative, you can use sections of existing moles to suit your purpose. Here's what we did-

We took a Candle Bridge Mold and cut some strips 2" x 7" - each lifter needing 2 pieces- ours was SP4001 Spirit for the top and SP1009Black Cord for the bottom (remember, the Cord texture 'memory' will remain if you fuse the textured side to the Spirit).



We then fused the blanks together and laid them out on the Candle Bridge Mold- 



and slumped them so they look like this-




and finally put them into the sound system enabling us to finally hear angels' wings flapping...



Friday, 24 January 2014

Look!


Just checking to see how many of you actually pay attention here...
Or who might need a job...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Working the Details

Start with this-

Slice it up like this-


Shift the strips a bit and space them out like this-


End up with this-

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Yippee!


Finally got around to posting our Seminar Schedule for 2014!
Go here and try and consider learning something...

Great Used Kiln For Sale

A couple of mea culpas- Red has a beautiful, virtually new Evenheat GTS23.9 23" round by 9" deep kiln with 6 button computer controller (not Comeart as previously mentioned). 
This pristine kiln new sells for $1700.00 U.S. then add brokerage, exchange and shipping to have it land for over $2K.
Red's price is $1200.00!

Contact her at rcooney4378@gmail.com


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Mikey's Helpful Hint of the Day

Get one of these gorgeous glass crates (they are free at Fantasy In Glass with a $5 donation to Silvercreek School)


Go to Ikea and pick up a set of wheels for about $10.00 (feeling a bit light headed spending that much money get a hot dog while you are there for 75 cents).



Screw one to the other (like my bank manager)


Place in studio, fill with glass and enjoy the great efficiency gained by such a simple act...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Great Used Coneart Kiln For Sale

'Red' is graduating to a very large Coneart kiln from a somewhat large Evenheat one. Not being independently wealthy means she needs to sell her pristine 23" round kiln to finance the buy. Here's the details according to Red-

Model # - GTS23.9 RM2
240 volts - 30 amps
6 individual fusing programs
Comes with kiln shelf , 3 shelf posts and stand
Heating coils in lid and walls 

In excellent condition..... $1800.00 


Even though this kiln is a private sale, Mikey will provide his normally helpful guidance on setup and fusing as if it were a kiln sold by us. 

You can reach Red at  rcooney4378@gmail.com

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Full Antique Glass

We can split sheet glass used for stained glass into three basic groups (see here). One group that few craftspeople get exposed to today here in Ontario with no full-line distributor existing, is mouth blown full antique- a spectacular glass with an equally spectacular process of manufacture. Here's a video from Lamberts Glass in Germany. Make yourself a drink and wait until the three minute mark. It gets particularly interesting then.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Kiln Shelf paper

Up until about a year ago the only real choice you had aside from using kiln wash when fusing, was Bullseye's shelf paper. It was ok in that it gave a nice smooth finish, but at around $5/sheet and only good for one time use it wasn't cheap. Spectrum then came out with their own version, Papyros paper, which costs about the same for the same size sheet (20.5" square) but with care can be reused several times making it substantially less expensive. 
And cleanup is way too easy with the hazard of breathing in dust virtually eliminated. Here's a short video showing a Spectrum Papyros user with way too much time showing how easy it is to remove a full sheet with a spatula. She might be fixated a bit too much on the spatula thing but we thought the video showing how intact and unaffected the sheet was after a firing pretty impressive.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Life Goes On, But Not For All


Mikey insists that this blog be a place of brevity (hard when he has Conrad Black peering over his shoulder with a thesaurus) and knowledge- about our industry, technique, the trials and tribulations of being a retail store owner and even personal matters related to staff and our customers. 
Today it's personal.
Today we talk about Florian.
Florian was a student of Mikey's so long ago that it was a time before Fantasy In Glass even existed. 
And for the next 35 years she was a constant companion to all of us here, using the studio often five days a week, bringing her lunch, sharing conversations with whoever else might also be there, doing stained glass as well as the daily crossword in pen to everyone's annoyance. 
The only time we didn't see Florian was those times when she took off (by herself) on a driving road trip to Mexico, remaining there for several months- a ritual she continued at for many years until her health finally got her to reconsider. 
Florian saw many people come and go over the years- many much younger and less vibrant than her. She watched our children be born and grow up into adults. She shared both happy and sad events with all that came in contact with her. And for those 35 years, always remained a loyal and friendly constant to all of us here. 
In the later years admittedly she did slow down, but failing eyesight and weak legs assisted by a walker still left her determined and undeterred to descend those studio stairs every Friday and partake in the camaraderie of the Friday Intermediate Class. She sat at her regular spot, waited patiently for Vanna or Mikey to make her a coffee and then chatted away, perhaps even berating Donna if Mikey didn't get his dish of Cheeto's in a timely manner.
She celebrated her 93rd birthday just three weeks ago with the lifelong friends she had made in that Friday group.
Sadly it will be her last.
Florian passed away on Christmas Eve.
We will dearly miss her.
Our deepest condolences to her family and all those that she touched.