Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Music Makes Us Better Craftspeople

Listening to music makes us feel better - but many doctors are now beginning to believe that it does much more. There is emerging evidence that it can bring about physical changes to the body that can improve our health and ability to do glasswork. Famed stained glass and fusing glass emporium, Fantasy In Glass, in Canada has actually conducted a somewhat, kind of scientific study of this and has seen some very impressive results. Mikey and the staff of FIG Inc have found that students who listen to well recorded and reproduced music need less cutter lubricant, are able to cut Youghiogheny art glass with much less pressure and that, most significantly, grinder usage decreases dramatically.
According to Dr Gary Brownoff who carried out the study (a Barry Manilow admirer), there is growing scientific evidence that music creates physical changes in the body which can help such things directly related to this craft of ours (like listening to Barry Manilow makes most fusers throw up?), such as evening out glass cutter excursion pressure. He said: "The physiological benefits have been measured. It is a fact. Music reduces blood pressure, the hear rate, and hormones related to stress."
It is primarily for this reason that Mikey, President (and lead researcher) of FIG Inc regularly plays a varied and eclectic mix of live and acoustic blues amongst the odd side journey to Radio Paradise (look it up- great commercial free internet radio).
Here's Mikey's current dose of some musical medicine- Boogie Woogie. And tell me you can't stop tapping your toes when this one gets cooking.
Pick it up at the 1 minute mark.


Friday, 27 November 2015

Oops...

Looks like Vanna Opal's 'How to Do Photography with an iPhone 3' is paying off although Mikey seemingly forgot to post her pics...






... and looks like we got a mystery tool from some tool...




It's That Time of Year

Inventory Notes


Mikey was going to have a bit of a fireside chat here today to fill you all in on the sad state of getting supplies due to the lack of a distributor here in Ontario, but Vanna told him to forget it as we have a store busting at the seams with inventory. So what have we got in recently?
How about a truck shipment 2 weeks ago that brought our fusing glass supplies back up to normal where we can assure a 100% fill rate on everything! 
And Taurus Ringsaws (wow- ON SALE at $499.99 in-store).
And over 1000 sale squares from Spectrum, Uroboros and Kokomo!
And in yesterday- a shipment of bandsaws, some new grinders  (yes, it is true, Inland doesn't seem to be making/shipping any of their grinders any longer)(apparently even Mikey has no clue what these new grinders look like... Vanna Opal).



and all manner of tools (check out the Tool Caddy for under $40 below!). 
Also in, iron stands, oil-fed glass cutters, lead vices, metal runners, mosaic cutters and some rotary Wankel engines (just checking).



And today, we have arriving- more Spectrum fusible (including some new experimental Fusers Reserve)(and yes, we still have some of their newest Black and White Opalart as well as their amazing Southwest Fusers Reserve), Glastac glue, stringers, nichrome wire in several new gauges, earring bails, tinned copper wire in all sizes, zinc and lead comes, another 1000 sale squares from Spectrum and on and on (like Mikey... Wanna Opal)...

Friday, 13 November 2015

Employee of the Month

TORONTO, ON- Stan Davids a housewears department shelf stocker and occasional cashier at Acme Glass, expressed sadness Wednesday over the rapidly approaching end to his reign as Employee of the Month. Fellow employees didn't have the heart to tell Mr. Davisdunn his reign had actually ended 8 years ago.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bullseye Glass Too Cheap Once Again

How can you compete if the manufacturer themselves are selling direct to retail and then offering discounts of up to 50%? 
That’s the case with Bullseye Glass.  
And their sales seem to be coming more frequently on-line as well as at their retail locations.
Ever Helpful Mikey thought as he does not carry Bullseye he'd do his civic duty and let you know (for the twelve of you still desperately clinging to this line of glass), that they are having another amazing sale-


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Back To The Future

The Taurus 3 Ringsaw is an item we get a lot of requests for. We don’t normally carry it in inventory. 
Why not?
Well, it not being cheap is the main reason.
But it seems that budgets often are of no consequence this time of year so we’ve brought in a skid load.
Checking back in our blog, we see that Mikey put them on sale for $499.99 in November 2007.
Wow! How did he do it?
So trying our best, we have the T3 Saw on sale for an amazing $539.88!
And we'll ship it anywhere in Canada.
But, hang on, that's not quite good enough.
Come and personally pick one up at Fantasy In Glass and you'll get one for only $499.88!
Well, he’s done it again.
Just like Back To The Future.


Here’s some helpful but somewhat boring copy on the saw;
Taurus is an industry leader, known for quality and precision, so you can count on top quality and dependable service.
This tile shaper ring saw allows you to make straight or curved cuts on tile and stone with ease. This saw can cut forward or backward...even sideways because there is diamond on all sides of the blade! It runs whisper quiet and since the blade goes through a water bath it does not make a mess like traditional tile saws do. The saw easily detaches from the waterpan/base so you can run it handheld- just like a jigsaw. Talk about revolutionary!


The special 6" blades deliver at least the same life span as a 7" tile blade at the same price. The difference is, these blades have no center, and are driven from the outside! This revolutionary design offers many advantages: the ability to make STRAIGHT or CURVE cuts; easily cut a slice off the edge of your material; the blade remains stable and rigid without wandering; the diamond coating is all around the blade making FORWARD, BACKWARDS AND SIDE cutting possible; use the same blade for all materials- there is no need to change blades; blade will never glaze over, so there is no need to ever dress the blade.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Another Boring But Helpful Posting

They can't always be witty and creative. 
Sometimes they need to be just plain boring and helpful.
Just in on another large truck shipment today (seeing as there is no full line glass distributor any longer), some inventory holes now filled-about 20 Kokomo's including their gorgeous Red Opalume, Spectrum Clear, Black and White fusibles, many Uroboros Collage glasses, System96 Mardis Gras stringers and confetti, about 300 frits and powders, all those great Morton Layout add-ons which now are even of more use as we now have homesite work boards back in stock (yippee!... Wanna Opal), all Aanraku bails, 127 new colours from Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks, the new Spectrum Liquorice Swirl (amazing- a black and white baroque style mix), another 900+ sale squares from Kokomo, Spectrum and Wissmach. 
The list goes on and on (like Mikey apparently... Wanna Opal)

Monday, 19 October 2015

Triolyse Glue

This is without a doubt THE BEST GLUE EVER! I don't care if you say E6000, crazy glue, epoxy, silicone, gorilla glue or elephant spit is better, you'd be wrong. If you want to glue two non-porous surfaces together then this is your best (only) choice. 
Triolyse is used by most jewellers for gluing bails to their glass (or whatever else) pieces with absolute confidence knowing that the bond is permanent and secure.
We now have confirmed that our shipment is on the road and expected with 10 days.

Want's some insight into the trials and tribulations of a lowly glass store owner? 
Triolyse glue's distributor is located in Quebec, a cheap phonemail away. 
Something that we've done repeatedly over the years. 
In both French and English. 
To a good number as verified by the voicemail recording. 
And not once in all those years have we ever gotten a call back. 
Very strange. 
So to secure a decent supply we  find it necessary to bring this wonderful glue up from the U.S. along with the added costs associated with cross-border buying.
Oh well, can't say we didn't try our best to give a fellow Canadian our business. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Mikey's So Excited!

Figimodo loves to sit on homesote
The best surface to work on whether it be a copper foil project, a lead panel or even a fused piece, is without a doubt homesote. It's what our studio tables are made from and most of the horizontal surfaces you'll find in the retail part of our store. It accepts push pins easily, is impervious to spills, lightweight and self healing, it really is the ideal work surface. Problem is it's not easily found and if you do, the quantities are usually too large for one person (we had to buy 60 sheets on our first order many years ago which we cut into a total of 600 pieces and sold every single one in no time at all!
We are now happy to announce that this Tuesday homesote is back at FIG and for sale. We will carry it in 19" x 48" sheets which should be optimal for most purposes (remember it's light so weight isn't an issue). And the great thing about homesote is that if you want to change the size it is easily cut with a knife. We'll even cut it down for you when you buy a sheet if you'd like.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

More Sales at Bullseye

Once again, how can you compete if the manufacturer itself is selling direct to the retail market and is then offering discounts of up to 50%? That’s the case with Bullseye Glass. If you are in Southern Ontario it would definitely be worth the drive down to Mamaroneck, NY for these savings. It might make the glass almost as affordable as Spectrum! 


One of the reasons we no longer carry Bullseye...

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sales Page Update


Our Monthly Sales page is now The Unpredictable and Sporadically Always Changing Sales Page and already Mikey has changed and added stuff- see here (you might need to do a page refresh)...

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Social Media



We've had a Facebook presence for a few of years now. 
And when we say we, we mean both Fantasy In Glass and Figimodo.
We also have a YouTube channel.
And an Instagram feed.
Even a Twitter feed.
And our long time running blog (still the go to place with over 1500 entries and counting)
Join us on Facebook and "Like us" to make our blog entries, product announcements, and industry tidbits part of your Facebook newsfeed.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Bullseye Glass Too Cheap

How can you compete if the manufacturer themselves are selling direct to retail and then offering discounts of up to 50%? That’s the case with Bullseye Glass. If you are in Southern Ontario it would definitely be worth the drive down to Mamaroneck, NY for these savings. It might make the glass almost as affordable as Spectrum! 



I'd be scared if I carried Bullseye Glass today.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Feel Good For a Good Cause


You may not know either of these names but if you've bought scrap glass or a wooden glass crate or a used tool (or some other stuff Mikey may not want to admit to in print) then you are definitely linked to both of them. 
You see, it's with your help that we've been able to raise some funds to supplement donations to Silver Creek Childrens' Preschool over the past decade, in memory of Mike Serba, a promising young man who was taken from us way too early. 
This is just a small part of the efforts of many who gather in Mike's memory for a golf tournament on Saturday Sept. 12 (details here).

So if you are a golfer or just want a very pleasant night out for a dinner and some fun (silent auction, etc) then consider attending. 
You'll wake up the next morning looking taller for your contribution.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Why No Bullseye Glass Oh Mikey One?


We get a lot of enquiries as to why we no longer carry Bullseye Glass. After all we are the largest supplier of fusible glass and sundries in Canada. There are several reasons, here’s another one-
Who can compete if the manufacturer themselves are selling direct to retail and then offering discounts of up to 50%? Just go to their on-line store here. No need to even change out of your underwear and drive to a retailer here in Ontario with these deals.

Here's a sample of how a retailer can't compete selling Bullseye- buy 100 sheets of Thinfire fusing paper for $350.85 (U.S). Now assuming you are willing to spend $1200 at retail (which really means you are only spending $600)(easy if you get together with a friend or two) at 50% off, a sheet of Thinfire now costs $1.75 U.S.. At today's exchange rate that's $2.29 CDN. Shipping adds about 50cents/sheet, and as this is a U.S. product and there is no duty, this item lands here for a price close to what most retailers would pay.

I'd be concerned if I was a retail store trying to make a living selling Bullseye Glass today.

Social Media



We've had a Facebook presence for a few of years now. 
And when we say we, we mean both Fantasy In Glass and Figimodo.
We also have a YouTube channel.
And an Instagram feed.
Even a Twitter feed.
And our long time running blog (still the go to place with over 1500 entries and counting)
Join us on Facebook and "Like us" to make our blog entries, product announcements, and industry tidbits part of your Facebook newsfeed.

Summer Vacation Closing- Figimodo's Out of Here!


Last Day Open:  Sat. August 15 

Reopening: Tue. September 1

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Spectrum System96 Glass

Spectrum has been steadily increasing the selection of their glass for fusing (remember, it is just as good to use for your stained glass projects as well). In particular their expansion has been in their OpalArt line (that's the glass with the wild, distinct swirls of colour) with many new short runs showing up in our shipments (see below).
  
One of their more dramatic ones has been their Santa Fe which has been a favourite of Mikeys (see below again... Helpful Vanna)
Just added to their regular line is the newish Strawberry and Creme. a great colour with Xmas (and Valentines Day... Wanna Opal once again) coming up!


Monday, 3 August 2015

Freak Accident Paralyses Man From the Waist Up

TORONTO, ON- A bizarre, un-precedented spinal injury sustained in a car accident Saturday has left local resident Al 'Only Two Hands' Nicarosiac paralyzed from the waist up. 

“Al is back on his feet,” said Toronto Hospital head of surgery Gary Brown. 
"Unfortunately though, he has lost all feeling in his head, arms and torso. No longer able to move from the waist up, he cannot speak, dial a telephone, cut stained glass or use a handfoiler.” Doctors said Nicarosiac should be able to resume his career as a professional soccer player as early as next week.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Social Media



We've had a Facebook presence for a few of years now. 
And when we say we, we mean both Fantasy In Glass and Figimodo.
We also have a YouTube channel.
And an Instagram feed.
Even a Twitter feed.
And our long time running blog (still the go to place with over 1500 entries and counting)
Join us on Facebook and "Like us" to make our blog entries, product announcements, and industry tidbits part of your Facebook newsfeed.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Revolutionary New Grinder

Wow, another revolutionary new grinder from those folks at Gryfun- home to the ‘I’m too lazy to stand and grind for a sec’ Twyster Grinder (Chubby Checker and The Fitness Institute should sue…)!
This amazing new model comes with two heads, water reservoir and special high capacity sponge. Incredibly, it uses only 1/2 oz of water or about 1/1000th of that of competing models, but must be filled about eight thousand times while in use. (letters to ed@fantasyinglass.com).

Monday, 20 July 2015

Mars Soil Great For Glass Manufacturers

Preliminary chemical test results streaming back from the Phoenix spacecraft that landed on Mars May 25, has brought some shocking revelations. 
It's been discovered that the Mars environment is much more hospitable to human life than initially thought- one that might allow future colonists to live, work and even do stained glass on the distant planet. 
"We're absolutely over the moon about this news" says Gary Marron, assistant to the fill-in scientist on the wet chemistry experiment for the spacecraft.  
Analysis of Martian soil shows a pH level of between 8 and 9 which means that while we can grow crops such as corn, wheat and rutabagas (Gary's favourite), more significantly we are able to manufacture a glass from the sandy soil that is similar in quality to a Uroboros artglass. This was confirmed when a test utilizing a sample of soil about the size of a sugar cube was mixed with some soda, lime and some of Ed the Cat's cremated ashes brought from Earth. 
The excellent quality of this glass came as quite a surprise to scientists given that for years it was argued that Martian soil could only sustain production of a lower quality glass such as those from machine rolled manufacturers.
Further tests are planned in the days to come to see if the coefficient of expansion of this glass can be adjusted to allow colonists the opportunity to make nice shiny fused objects in their spare time...
 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Silvercreek and Mike Serba

You may not know either of these names but if you've bought scrap glass or a wooden glass crate or a used tool (or some other stuff Mikey may not want to admit to in print) then you are definitely linked to both of them. 
You see, it's with your help that we've been able to raise some funds to supplement donations to Silver Creek Childrens' Preschool over the past decade, in memory of Mike Serba, a promising young man who was taken from us way too early. 
This is just a small part of the efforts of many who gather in Mike's memory for a golf tournament on Saturday Sept. 12 (details here).

So if you are a golfer or just want a very pleasant night out for a dinner and some fun (silent auction, etc) then consider attending. 
You'll wake up the next morning looking taller for your contribution.

Summer Closing- Figimodo's Out of Here


Last Day Open:  Sat. August 15 

Reopening: Tue. September 1

Thursday, 16 July 2015

NEW! Advanced Fusing Course!

This course is designed to build on experience gained in any basic Fusing Seminar. 
While topics listed may seem to be of a more advanced nature and that the skill/knowledge level may vary amongst participants, the instructors (yes, there will be more than one)  will devote some time to reviewing the basics (compatibility, kiln knowledge, programming, slumping, etc) as well as advanced cutting techniques such as strip/circle cutting.
The course runs six weeks (21 hours) on Thursdays from 6:45pm to 10:15pm.


Topics to be covered;
• using dams and kiln furniture
• pulling your own stringers (vitro graphic style)
• making pattern bars
• pot melts
• mini-puddles using terra cotta pots for jewelry, etc
• advanced glass cutting (including techniques such  repetitive strip and circle cutting)
• Creating powder wafers
• Freeze and Fire
• mini pattern bars 
• mini puddles  using terracotta containers
• emboss with the blanket (fibre relief)
• metal inclusions including silver and copper foil
• creating bubbles
• using texture
• glass bottle slumping
• working with reactive glass, copper screen
• using rubber stamps
• Freeze and fuse
• problem solving including the discussion of firing problems such as air bubbles, devitrification, colour change, sticking kiln wash, glass fingering and anything else students may wish to cover.
Whew!

Students will be given a binder (colour yet TBD) the first week of class with notes that will be added to throughout the term of the course. We anticipate the syllabus to be substantial and a valuable resource into the future.

Cost of the course includes:
• all firings 
• glass sundries such as stringers/noodles, powders and frits, preformed dots, etc
• chemicals such as oversprays and glues
• a selection of molds and fibre blanket
• additional kiln shelves and dams for individual use
• syllabus and additional patterns
• use of bandsaw, glass table saw, lamp working torches
• access to frit makers and frit sorters
On class nights the store will remain open to 8PM exclusively for students.
Some Notes:
1) topics covered may vary during the course according to the whim of the students and sober level of the instructors.
2) Studio access is open outside the formal class time for catchup/playing (but no dancing).

Details here.

Cost ........ $395.00 
Six Weeks Starting:

Thursday September 24, 2015 ..... 6:45 pm to 10:15 pm
(ending Thursday October 29)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Paid Advertisement

Finally a Foiler That Offers All the Benefits 
Without the Vices



Don’t end up like this person.
He didn’t buy the FIGFANS 
(Fantasy In Glass Foiler that Avoids Neck Strain) 
and now he’s sorry.



Enter the FIGFANS, the world's best copper foil applicator.

 Packed with a host of proprietary technologies that truly enhances the foiling process, the FIGFANS has been intensively designed and extensively field tested to assure effectiveness and ideal ergonomics, and to avoid malicious lawsuits.

The FIGFANS is another in a long line of proprietary quality products from FIG Tools that began several years ago with the introduction of the FIG GlasStretcher.

But don’t believe us.

Try it for yourself.

After all, when you consider the alternative, 
we thought we’d spare you the headache.


Another quality product from FlG Tools, 
a humble and penitent division ofFIG Inc.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Fusing Seminar Coming Up!

Come on in on Saturday August 8 from 10am to 4pm and bask in the glory of  knowing that you will be enjoying yourself unashamed and unencumbered by the worry of children, pets or spouses as you will be taking our six hour Intro to Fusing class as taught by Louie 'I'm not from Barcelona' Deeaz.
No casuistry or sophism, no stratagem or subterfuge (sorry, I've been reading Conrad Black's book again...Mikey), really- no tricks at all. Just a glorious day learning about the mystery of glass fusing. 
Thinking about utilizing those artistic/technical skills you've developed over the years for the betterment of mankind? 
Or maybe something else if you're Dr. Evil?
Same tools, same skills (or lack of), take the day and learn how to fuse and make a whole bunch of stuff! All firings included in the course fee.
See here for more details...