Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

New Bevel Clusters

The GST line of bevel clusters are a very unique line. These are the people that brought us the polar bear, the soaring eagle and the whale tail amongst others. Coming in this week are these three new ones,

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Sale Stuff For March and April

Just posted here today is our sale for March and April. Why two months you ask? Well, it seems Sammy and Zenia have been building forts in the storage room with all our boxes of inventory, playing cops and robbers, which means that we have too much stuff in inventory (or the staff have way too much free time!).

Monday, 26 February 2007

Savoy Studio Patterned Dichroics

As if 3500 pieces of dichroic glass just wasn't enough to make Sam happy, our never ending compulsion to bring in the largest and best priced selection of everything continues with the addition of this line of glass. Twelve patterns in, eight already sold out. Four left. I guess next time we'll just need to get more. How does it compare to CBS we've been asked? Well, one's an apple, and the other's a rutebega. They're both amazing but not comparable.

Lampworking Course at FIG

Just posted details and dates for our newest course- hands-on Flameworking with Caryl. Find more details here (as well as a less embarassing picture)...

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Next Set of Stained Glass Classes

Monday March 19 marks the first day of our next Beginner Stained Glass Course in the evenings. If you are afraid of the dark then try our Day Beginner Class which has a start date of Wed. April 18.
To fill the increasing demand for classes at the Intermediate level we've added Tuesday March 20, as well as Wed. March 21 and Thursday March 22 for evening classes and Friday April 20 as a day class. Totally confused (as Mikey usually is) then just call the store.

Inventory Factoid # 14

Year end inventory means we get overwhelmed once again when we realize the amount of stuff we have! How's this- Sam says we have 3448 pieces of fusible dichroic glass in the store as of today...

Friday, 23 February 2007

Intro To Flameworking

With Zenia's hard work setting up our lampworking section and Kirsty Naray's excellent demonstrations paying off, we find ourselves in a quandary- too much demand and the need for more resources. So, to rectify this we've brought in another 20 or so books (giving us the largest selection of books on this topic anywhere in Canada), increased our tool selection, added every conceiveable rod colour from Bullseye (now over 100), and hired another instructor- Caryl (the one Zenia said was okay to hire because she didn't look too dorky wearing flameworker's glasses- you be the judge).

Caryl has done her homework and set up a very comprehensive hands-on course, which will run one day at six hours. We have scheduled eight dates, at the amazing cost of only $155.00. Zenia says amazing because this includes everything- hands-on torch time, a teacher/student ratio of 1 to 2 or 3 and the use of all our tools, kiln time and a cache of rods which you get to keep. And in the unlikely chance that you should get a hangnail or blister, Caryl can kiss it and make it feel better because she was a paramedic in her previous life.

First date is Tue. May 8 or Sat. May 12. More details and dates will be posted on the website soon.

A Samism

Mikey asked Sam today to hang up the new bevel clusters that just came in on the previously mentioned truck delivery.You know what he said to Mikey? He said "I'll need to get the stepladder then as I don't really get along with my real ladder"...

Featured Spotlight- CJ's Flux Cleaner

Expanding on yesterday's news about our big truck shipment there are so many new items we want to spotlight. Today it's CJ's Cleaner (and Crumble the University Student of course). Because of the loss of a reasonable product- Gauthier's Neutra 5000, we decided to bring in a spectacular one- CJ's. It's a professional strength, environmentally safe flux cleaner that will thoroughly remove that greasy mess and residue from all types of flux (my mother-in-law should try it). Crumble has even been known to use it for his own personal hygiene (you think that nice bright smile comes from a water pik and Colgate?). Clean your pieces with this stuff and you'll get the best patina finish possible- brighter coppers, deeper blacks (whiter whites?...Pat). We have the 16 oz size in stock right now at $13.99 which also makes it the best priced cleaner currently available. Mention that you heard about CJ's on Mikey's blob and get a buck off until March 30!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Another Truckload of Goodies Arrive!

Continuing our determination to break free of a poor Canadian supply problem, and to meet demand for our many out-of-stocks, Sam and Mikey take delivery of four skids of fresh supplies today and what a treat it is! We now have;
for the stained glass person- German Knipex Groziers (the absolute best- Mikey's pair is over twenty years old!), powered glass engravers to sign your work, Verde Green Patina (just like Tiffany), several styles of brass banding (including the ever elusive zipper banding), iron cozies (now you don't have to wait for your iron to cool down when leaving class), German glazing nails, really cool candle light frames, CJ's Flux and Patina Cleaner (to take the place of the no longer available Classique Neutra 5000), large and small square vase caps (that's right folks- we've got 'em), some amazingly ornate bevel clusters like a Madonna, a ribbon and a cross with lillies, some gorgeous wheel engraved bevel accent pieces, and over 2000 sale squares!

for the fuser- liquid stringer and the applicator bottles to go with it, bending glaze, fancy precut dichroic shapes like spirals, swirls and squiggles, Primo Primer (amazing stuff), cross shaped fusing bases, barette molds and clips, tie and money clips, ceramica pens, Aqua Glow (make your fused pieces glow in the dark), 17 and 24 ga high temp wire at half the price you're currently paying, polarizing sheet (now you can test your own glass for compatibility- it's important that we all get along isn't it?), Spray A and Super Spray, and several patterned dichroics from Savoy Studios with patterns like Snakeskin and Nautilus...

for the lampworker- a new air drying bead release, mini- paddles, goldstone, bench mounted didymium shields, metallic essence, gold didymium shades (all the rage this year on the Riviera) and at a great price too, and about 20 new books all on lampworking!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Here You Go Deb! Supply Status Report

Because we love Deb and John sooo much and they are doing such a wonderful job in St. George, Ontario as DJ's Stained Glass, and they complained that they had to read way too much on Mikey's Blog, and laugh too hard before they had a chance to find out what's out of stock, here's the Out Of Stock Report for today (stuff Pat went to pick up but was unable to get at our one and only Canadian stained glass distributor)-
8" Fletcher running pliers, 3" x 3" square bevels, large Morton worksurfaces, bevel cluster CH18, 4" x 8" rectangles, 3/4" Quick Fit bits in regular and smooth grits, all sizes of glazing cement, large square vase caps, gold and silver leaf and of course, L-squares in all sizes...

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Our Tough Interviewing Procedure

You think you had it rough when you were interviewed for your last job? Zenia, our alleged torch working expert had an actual torchworker in today- Caryl R. While they all had a nice chat, it seems that Zenia felt the need to test her out on how funny she looked in lampworking glasses as part of the interview process.
We have Kirsty Naray doing a wonderful job doing a bead demo for us that has generated alot of interest and a demand for a more involved hands-on course. That's where Caryl comes in. Give us a couple more days to finish our year-end inventory and we'll post details of a more involved course here and on our Seminars Page.
And talking about inventory, Mikey found out that it seems that as there is no one on the FIG Staff (double check your invoices everybody) with any math skills (apparently, the bus stop by the store is for short ones only), so he had to bring in the big guns- namely Crumble The University Student. We promised to put up his pic here if he taught us the multiplication tables.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Another Deep Thought From Mikey

If you want to make a stained glass window from scratch, you must first create the universe...


First of Our New Advanced Fusing Seminar This Sat. Feb. 24

These workshops are designed for those who already have some basic fusing knowledge, but need more- more information, more technique, more guts and more kiln access/size (we have five for you to play with!) These topic specific classes give you the opportunity to get away from annoying family members where you can create at our tables, use our equipment, take advantage of the expertise of Pam the Studio Advisor, live on the edge of danger and make a lot of stuff and learn some more advanced techniques. Pam (not pictured above) will cover the process of firing for fusing and slumping, kiln preparation and operation, glass compatibility, kiln carving, using ceramic fibre papers plus other sundries such as frit, powders and stringers, and other inclusions. Heck, she's even planning on introducing you to how to design your own art glass. And if that's not enough, she'll cover pate de verre, how to make pattern bars, kiln casting, solving the problems unique to hot glass, and on and on (like the techniques covered in Richard La Londe’s book). Each course segment is seven hours and stands on its own. In other words you need not take one class to take another. Still a couple of spots left.

Friday, 16 February 2007


Part 2 of Mike's story of the origins of Swiss Cheesed Glasswerks; I had a very special strain of vintage Egyptian ash imported, the type that was mined by the Hebrews during the time of their exodus from Egypt (1350 B.C.). This is the ash of liberation from the bondage of boring glass, and any man who is on the path of enlightened stained glass deserves glass containing this rare type of ash. Humanity needs to break the bonds of mediocrity and after cutting some Swiss Cheesed Glass you will immediately notice how liberated you feel- and know why you are dancing unclothed in your living room (ask Sam about his first experience upon his exposure to Swiss Cheesed Glass...Mike's Wife). ... to be continued

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Yippee! Snow!

Today marks the first significant snowfall of this winter and yes our evening Intermediate Class has been cancelled.

Decorative Soldering Seminar This Saturday

While it's not quite as much fun as Mikey's Soldering in the Nude seminar this one comes close. Saturday Feb. 17, from 10am you can choose to spend with Treece and learn how to do decorative soldering and get those pesky patina finishes perfected. Cost is $39- three spots left.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Everything You Need to Know About Blogs But Were Afraid To Ask

I've been been writing a diary, or 'blog' as they call it today, since June 2003. I sometimes have a hard time believing that- gas was 48 cents a litre, solder was $5.99/lb. and we had a choice amongst wholesale suppliers in Canada. Blog software has made it way too easy to do this diary thingy. Posts can happen instantly and news gets passed on quicker and more frequently, the layout is pretty cool, and the ability to scroll through past posts is quite easy. But, more importantly, it allows you a chance to add your own comments! Agree or disagree, you are invited to offer your views and the best thing about this is that you can do so anonymously if you like. It's up to you to decide whether your comments get directed to me privately or to the blog's public viewing area- you choose.
Secondly, you are invited to subscribe to this blog and get all my rants delivered to your mailbox whenever they appear here. Just make use of the subscribe button at the bottom of this page.

Dichro Slide and Fantasy In Glass

Dichro Slide- what a name, sounds like a ride at an amusement park- is a thin dichroic coating that's stuck to a decal like backing that can be cut and applied and fused to any glass. It's been getting some enquiries at the store here lately and we thought we should make some sort of comment here.
We carry almost everything that's of quality, availability and value and have decided to pass on Dichro Side.
It's been closely inspected and tested in our corporate labs under the watchful eye of DichroBoy and we've got several reasons to not bring it in; firstly, cost- it's too expensive! We sell a 4" x 4" piece of dichroic glass at $29.98. A piece of Dichro Slide the same size would be $24.99! Secondly, (and I know that this is subjective but who would ever dare doubt the famous DichroBoy) the colours are not as rich or crisp as the Real Thing, and thirdly, there ain't no patterns! No Boxes, no Spotses, no Splatter (it does matter), no Squares or Pixie Stixs, no Honey Comb or Balloons or Dots or Stripes, no Brick or Hot Lava or Aurora Borealis or Nautilus or Retro or Snakeskin or Spangle or Targets or Tesselation or Navajo or the other twenty patterns we neglected to mention....

Monday, 12 February 2007

Feb. 12 Supply Status Report

Out-of-stocks from a pick-up by Pat at our one and only Canadian wholesaler today;
3" x 3" square and 4" x 8" rectangle bevels, L-squares of course, most coloured bevel clusters like crosses and angels, some 3D castings...

Sunday, 11 February 2007

New Silent Convective Water Cooled Kiln Line Comes to Fantasy In Glass

Tired of your kiln getting hot and overheating? Upset that everytime you turn it on it keeps melting your glass? Had enough of burning yourself whenever you turn it on? Then the BoneArf is the kiln for you.
With BoneArf's new water cooling technology you never have to worry about all those heat related problems associated with a hot kiln! Utilizing special silent convective water cooled dedicated overclockers and thermoelectric coolers in place of more common standard heat exchangers. the patented BoneArf water cooling system is a technological tour-de-force. Its uniqueness lies in the way in which it cools water directly by the evaporator coil of a phase change system and is therefore able to chill the circulating coolant below the ambient air temperature of the surrounded room's air and, as a result, provides superior cooling of the kiln's heat-generating components.
Remember, with the BoneArf and its patented cooling system, you no longer get all those pesky problems associated with a hot kiln (like melting glass).

Newest Lead Cutting Tool

We forgot to mention that last week we took a chance and brought in a few 'Easy-Cut Lead Cutters'. Quoting from the manufacturer's site- 'This is the ultimate tool for cutting lead at perfect 30º, 45º, 60º, and 90º angles! Simply set desired angle on the swivelling fence, feed lead under the blade against the length stop, and depress the handle: it's so easy! Cuts lead came quickly and efficiently with minimal waste. Convenient too; use inexpensive standard single-edge razor blades for replacement blades. Lifetime warranty (excludes blades)'. We withhold our right to editorialize at this juncture...

Jen Ken Kilns Part Two- And Still Less Than ConeArt

Response to this top quality line of kilns has been amazing. So much so that Mikey's compelled to post some pre-order pricing here. Care to take advantage of a savings ranging from 11-18% then here's what you do: call the store and with a 40% deposit you get to reserve your own Jen Ken kiln at these special prices-
The Infamous Chili Pepper for $628.00 (best choice for lampworkers)
The 11/4 (11" x 4") hex kiln for $623.00 (we have two of these in our torch room)
The 11/6 (11" x 6") hex kiln for $722.00
The 15/6 (15" x 6") hex kiln for $887.00 (our most popular)

All these kilns include a Bartlett computerized controller (and tech support from our staff of course!), kiln shelf, posts and kiln wash! Unbelievable!
Jen Ken makes one of the best kilns on the market and offers by far the best value; for example, what other 15" kiln do you know that has top and side firing coils and runs under 15 amps on normal household current? Offers a quartz window? Has a dedicated lid lift support? Comes in such an attractive colour? Our pricing on Jen Ken is better than our old original prices on ConeArt (which now will be much more due to distributorship changes) and now with pre-order pricing, there is not a comparable kiln on the market you can find at such an attractive price!
Preorders must be in to Fantasy In Glass before Feb. 28 (our year end). Thanks, that is all...

Friday, 9 February 2007

Just Like Neil Young Only Different

There's an old story about Neil Young having Graham Nash up to his farm to listen to the tapes of their CSNY album before its release. Neil tells Graham to get into this old rickety row boat and they row out into the middle of this lake. Now Neil Young wasn't always the most rational person, and Graham started to worry for his safety when all of a sudden he heard their music waft over the lake. Neil had set up speakers at the house as the right channel and across the lake at the barn as the left channel. Suddenly Neil looked upset (Graham got nervous again), picked up a walkie talkie and yelled into it and said "Pete, more barn".

I now know what it feels like to be Graham Nash, only its all of you who follow this humble little website yelling "Mike, more patterns"

Jen Ken Kilns

Mikey is about a week away from putting in a sizeable order of kilns from this top-quality manufacturer, including the famous Chili Pepper kiln shown here.

If you are interested in a kiln, give Mike or Sam a call- we have set up special pricing if you preorder with a deposit

Dichroic Scrap

Because we've brought in so much CBS Dichroic Glass, inevitably (especially if the staff have been drinking again) some gets broken. Mikey in his genius has packaged it all up into nice little clear boxes weighing six ounces. This scrap is all clean and unscratched as Sammy demands we treat all our dichroic as if angels had delivered it on extended wings from fluffy clouds in the sky. Six ounces is the equivalent of seven 2" x 4" pieces (with a retail of $105.00 and up), but as it is scrap (albeit top quality scrap- the angel thingie remember?), it's yours for only $49.99 (very limited supply).

More New Colours From Bullseye Xxxx Co.

Just got a note from Bullseye- they wish to announce the addition of five new opals and five new cathedrals- details here. And if you are a fuser they are now making all their fracture/streamers fusible too.
Their last batch of new colours (0013 Dense White, 1321 Carnelian, 0138 Marzipan, 0139 Almond, 0309 Cinnabar, 0310 Umber Brown, 0421 Petal Pink, 1321 Carnellian and 1332 Fushia) have been in our store already for several months.

Can't Always Keep It Light Can We?

If you've been into FIG in the last twenty years or so, then you most likely have run into Teenuh. She has been an integral part of our business, usually away from the 'limelight' as she does the bulk of our commission work. She started as a student who showed great talent, worked for us for many years when we were a church window studio (with the window in The Ivory Tower a good sample of the kind of work we did), and now we just can't seem to get rid of her. Part of the reason is her generosity with her talent and time- she's the first to perk up her ears when she hears a customer with a design problem, and run out with an yellow Eagle #2 pencil to offer her advice and talent, or the first to have her coat on when she hears the beeping of a delivery truck backing up to our rear door.

Teenuh's mother Betty Alison deJersey passed away on January 24, after a courageous battle with cancer. She wanted to pass on the following:

"I'd like to extend a resounding thank you for everyone's wonderful kindness and support over these past few difficult months (you know who you are Sam and Anja, and a huge hug to Louie and her Friday Class!). Ladies, stay up on your mammograms!'

Current Supply Status From Our Sole Canadian Supplier

Our Feb. 7 delivery arrived- a good sized delivery but becoming less significant to us as Mikey continues to successfully source out alternatives that actually can promise the inventory we need to service you, the customer, who we love and cherish.
We won't bore you with the minutia of the missing (wow, cool alliteration!), but to stave off some of the pending phonecalls, here are some of the highlights of what didn't arrive;

no L-squares of any size, or square vase caps now going on three months or so, Worden molds, 40% of the book titles we needed, Uroboros 96 coe rods, groziers (don't worry- we've got lots from elsewhere)...

Thursday, 8 February 2007

New Customer #3,486

Sam related a story about a new customer that came into the store yesterday looking for some Spectrum 329.6 dark green. Apparently he's the guy who invented the crossword. Sam couldn't remember his name but said it was five letters and started with a T.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Just Thought You Should Know

A fresh batch of Diamond Tech's Speedster XL Band saws arrived a few days ago (along with a shipment of handtools we were unable to get locally (anybody else need groziers, cutters, running pliers, rulers- we've got lots now).
The Speedster is the least expensive diamond glass cutting saw on the market and at only $289.99 it comes with an industry leading 3 year warranty and TWO, count 'em, TWO blades! All self-adjusting with an automatic water feed and mitre guide, this is definitely the best buy on the market. We know because we carry them all- Taurus Ring saw ($599.99), Gryphon C-40 ($459.99) and Omni-Saw ($439.99) – all in-stock and always available.And easily shipped anywhere in Canada.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Bullseye XXXXX Company Settles Dispute with Fantasy In Glass On Their Use of the Word 'Glass'

Dear Mr. Mikey Figgy,
We are not interested in the bad publicity. We have been speaking with our lawyers and even though they are confident this is a frivolous lawsuit, they have recommended that we sign a settlement, and agree to send Fantasy in Glass $10,000 worth of t-shirts and aprons. We hope this matter can be resolved quickly.
Jim Jones
Sales Manager, Bullseye Xxxxx Co.
3722 SE 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97202
Email: jimjones@bullseyexxxxx.com: http://www.bullseyexxxxx
PS. We cannot be held liable for any items lost in Canadian Customs.
Bullseye Xxxxx Co. is a leader in promoting glass art worldwide through quality production of colored xxxxx for art and architecture, research and education, and the presentation of innovative xxxxx art in itsPortland gallery.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Cisco Sues Apple Over iPhone Giving Mikey a Great Idea!

Fantasy In Glass Owner Mikey filed suit in federal Supreme Court in Ottawa today accusing Bullseye Glass of copyright infringement for widely using the word 'Glass' in the title and marketing of their products. FIG claims de facto exclusive legal use of the word. "We have established the strongest brand name in the history of modern civilization. Whenever someone sees the word 'Glass' they immediately think it should be preceded by the words 'Fantasy In'. so we want to avoid any confusion amongst consumers," said company owner Mikey.

Attorneys for Bullseye intend to vigorously dispute the suit as 'frivolous'. Attempts to placate the staff of Fantasy In Glass with Bullseye T-shirts and aprons have proven unsuccessful (thus far).