Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Once Upon a Time Fantasy In Glass Created the Best Stained Glass Store

The end.
We also take the occassion of announcing our monthly sale with particular glee as it offers us an opportunity to post another embarrasing picture of Zenia.
This month we turn the tables...

Gaze your eyes upon Tania...

Oh yeah, we just posted our February Sales Page here...

Solder Situation

Twenty five years ago, we sold 60/40 solder for $15/lb. That's right. Damn Brits!  A tin cartel on the London Metals Exchange held prices artificially high. And if you translate those 1983 dollars into today's dollars, we would be paying about $60/lb, so the current price, while painful seems insignificant compared to what us 'early adopters' had to contend with.
Of course, we've been used to prices of around $7-10/lb for the last fifteen years, excluding the current situation where solder found itself nudging up to $20/lb. or $100/5.5 lb spool.
But, it looks like the metals market has cooled off a bit as of late. We just got a quote, and placed an order for literally a ton of solder, and you'll be pleased to hear a 1 lb spool of 60/40 solder will now set you back from today for $12.99! 
Or $11.88 if you tell me you read it here first (1/visit, until Feb. 12)

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Another reason For Bullseye to be P.O.'d Maybe?

Oh, I guess about 15 years ago, Bullseye came out with a stunning Aventurine Blue, a steel blue with a never before seen metallic flake finish.
Now from Spectrum, System 96 #138AV Aventurine Blue just arrived in our back door. 
Copywriter warning- "Fire a piece – and peer into the depths of the icy, blue-black, galaxy of metallic flake. It’s riveting… intense…. elegant. Dazzling new Blue joins Extreme Green in the Aventurine family"... and once again Spectrum seems to be following Bullseye (letters to fig@fantasyinglass.com)... 
We have a Bullseye shipment due in the next week or so. With it will be coming about a dozen new colours including their original Aventurine Blue cathedral as well as an Aventurine Blue Streaky. More details to follow.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Stained Glass Window Catches Mikey Speechless

Made by Derrick, using mostly Spectrum solid opals.
Picture is clickable for a closer look.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Onslaught Begins (or is it Continues) and Why we Have No Monthly Sale This January

Allow us to quote a previous entry:

“The opportunity this year is greater than ever: to lead change, and inspire. While the rest of our industry huddles and holds back, here's a golden chance for us to take charge and continue to be a leader and grow this industry.
How? We plan to increase our selection of glass and tools while our Canadian supplier is doing the opposite. We will continue to source out alternate supply sources to keep our pricing as economical as possible. We’ll buy Canadian supplies from Canadian sources that won’t add on an ‘American Dollar Surcharge’ (presently around 16%).

Tomorrow will demonstrate our resolve.
Monday marks the receipt of two truck shipments from the U.S. in one day! These shipment find us expanding (and some replenishing of) our inventory of tools, dichroic glass (yes, scrap packs too), all manner of cutters (including the long lamented bottle cutter finally!), Sys96 fusible glass, and some other stuff best left unsaid at this time.
We also hit the trifecta Monday with a third delivery from our One and Only Canadian Supplier (OOCS), which hopefully should have some of the many Spectrum glasses that have been out of stock for some time such as Clear Baroque, Clear Krinkle, and numerous fusible glasses. We’ll also get a fresh supply of Sale Squares (about 1000 pcs!).
Coming up later this month, another U.S. truck shipment and a factory direct Bullseye shipment which will include all of their new colours (about a dozen)...

Friday, 23 January 2009

Fusing Photo Paper at FIG

As if having pictures of every relative you have, on the mantlepiece or dining room wall,  wasn’t painful enough. Now, whether they want it or not, you can return the favour by turning all your family pictures into pieces of art(?) by printing them on ashtrays, beer coasters and trivets and all manner of other things by using this new fusing photo paper and enclosing them in glass. What a great way to have relatives (or people allegedly named Roman), that you're not really fond of, never forget you with this terrific way to give a personalized gift. Oh, the humanity!
Fusing photo paper comes with two pieces in the package (8 1/2” x 11”) and requires the use of a laser printer with a cartridge high in iron oxide to work.
How does this magic work? The printer uses an electrostatic charge to stick the toner to the paper. When using the fusing photo paper, the pigment in the toner burns out and leaves just the iron. The iron is what produces the sepia colored image. Fantasy In Glass once again offers the opportunity to inflict ourselves on those who may or may not think so highly of us.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Glass Patterns Quarterly

Winter 2008 issue arrived and we neglected to tell you.
Mike takes the rest of today off so he can go home and have his daughter read it to him.

A Free But Worthy Plug

(click on image for a larger view)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Deep Thought From Gary Brown

If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-shooter in my holster, I'd carry a 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.

Our Latest Local Delivery Report- Without Editorializing

It’s been awhile since we filled you in on the Canadian supply situation. As you may not know, all Canadian glass stores and studios have only one Canadian source for supplies. We’ll refrain from commenting here as we’ve editorialized about this more than enough in the past. We’ll just post the facts for you to determine whether things have changed and how we are being served by this situation.
January 20, 2009 delivery of a truckload of supplies from our Canadian stained glass supplier:
Out of 72 unique items, we received 47 or 65% of what we ordered.
That is all…

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Dates For Our New Fusing Club

Fusing Club Start Dates (runs for 8 consecutive Mondays):

[136a] Mon. February 23, 2009.....7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (8 weeks)
[136b] Mon. May 4, 2009............... 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (8 weeks)

Cost....................$190.00 / 8 weeks

NB: Can’t commit to 8 weeks? Then come for $30.00 / week (+GST)

New Seminars and Dates for 2009 Finally Posted

Just like Mikey's attempts to join the Procrastinators Club (he just never bothered to get around to it) we've finally posted our 2009 schedule of seminars.
While there are several new ones, of special note is;


This is
a one day a week class from 7:00-10:00PM and runs for eight weeks.
It’s designed for those who already have some basic fusing knowledge, but want more- more information, more technique, more guts, more kiln access and more kiln size (ours is computer controlled and measures 26 x 40")( we also have several additional smaller kilns for in- studio use).
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. The focus is on experimentation and play. Pam will cover everything and more related to advanced fusing techniques, from slumping to kiln preparation and operation, to glass compatibility, to kiln carving, to using ceramic fibre papers, to making and using small casting molds, plus other sundries such as frits and frit castings, 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)(lots of pics here)
Or you could just ignore her and take advantage of using our facilities.
And what might the class cost include you ask? How about complete and unrestricted access and use of our studio along with the associated equipment (i.e.glass table saw), use of our collection of molds, and use of the instructor (careful, she's ticklish).

We Have To Talk About Coneart Kilns

So what's with the cryptic notes on our website about Coneart kilns? 
What happened then and how is it going now, Mikey asked. 
Several years ago we had a dealership for about eight minutes with Coneart for their Canadian made kilns. And then we had it yanked away from us for reasons best left unsaid (Mikey will reveal all one day when he retires and writes a book- don't worry Gary, it'll have lots of pictures).
Now we sell them again, and we couldn't be happier (well we could but that’s for a different blog). 
Being a Canadian manufacturer takes away the pain and expense of getting electrical approval and even more so, it gives us a significant price advantage over almost every other manufacturer as most of them are American. 
And heck, since they're local they even deliver to us removing any risk of damages (thanks Ed the Delivery Guy).
We inventory two of their most popular kilns and will special order any other kiln you see on
this page.
The Coneart BX117 kiln for example, is the largest kiln made that can still be efficiently run on a regular household curent. That’s right- you can just unplug the fridge (heck, you won’t be able to afford food anyway after you start feeding your adiction for fusible glass) and run this kiln in its place.
And we sell it for $899.99. Along with a Bartlett computer controller. And a shelf. And a stand. And posts. And kilnwash. And Ian the Really Nice Techie Guy Who’s Really Helpful in the unlikely event of a problem. And of course Frank the frustrated Pizza Maker...
Jennifer, The picture at the top is your birthday present- it just arrived!

Happy New Year

Not really a big fan of New Year's, even if it is the Ukrainian one.
Hollow, forced merriment, excessive drinking (wait- maybe I am a fan) and then there’s those resolutions to come up with, only to break them hours later (I promise to be less critical of our industry- breaking that one should be fairly easy, oops, just did). And then there’s the rope burns (oops, wrong blog....).
But, the new year does offer one great opportunity. A chance to set new expectations and make new goals.
Like a fresh piece of Uroboros ring mottled artglass, the possibilities are exciting. Why not exceed them?
The place where expectations are lowest: leadership. Everyone expects you to get in line and follow, not lead.
Not Fantasy In Glass.
The opportunity this year is greater than ever: to lead change, and inspire. While the rest of our industry huddles and holds back, here's a golden chance for us to take charge and continue to be a leader and grow this industry.
How? We plan to increase our selection of glass and tools while our Canadian supplier is doing the opposite. We will continue to source out alternate supply sources to keep our pricing as economical as possible. We’ll buy Canadian supplies from Canadian sources that won’t add on an ‘American Dollar Surcharge’ (presently around 16%).
You should see these changes happen this month as we start with our Fusing Department. Coming in almost immediately is more fusible glass from Bullseye, Spectrum and Uroboros, more dichroic (yes, scrap paks are back) and more kilns, all with the intent to continue to lead as Canada’s best source for all your artglass needs, whether it’s for stained glass, torchwork, or for fusing.

The Free Stained Glass News #83 Now In

As if it wasn't exciting and rewarding enough to visit Fantasy In Glass, we even entice you with free stuff like the current issue of SGN. Issue #83 just through the door. 
In this issue you'll find:
• new items, including: pattern book and CD, glass cleaning system, a spice cabinet, fusible glass
• reader hints, a reader's workshop and more on "The Readers' Page"
• Stained Glass 101 Brian McMillan—Glass Painting, Part 2
• Fire It UP! Susan Molnar—Slumping Molds, and Tips for Tiles
• Studio Health and Safety Flemming Fallon, MD—A Readers Question and MSDS
• this issue's Free Pattern: Beveled Heart Potpourri Holder
• a page of photos from readers in The Readers' Gallery
• and more…

We Return With A Serious News Story...

Man Doing Stained Glass Has No Time Time To Read Comics
HIGH PARK, ON—Despite his great love of literature, stained glass hobbyist, Jimmy Davison laments he doesn’t have time to read. The 40-year-old High Park resident was interviewed Monday and reported “Sure,” said Davison, “ I’d love to curl up with a good Superman adventure a lot more often,” as he copper foiled another piece of Kokomo #123 copper blue opal and soldered it into place in his 967th nite lite this month. “but, unfortunately, between work and washing my hands incessantly there just isn’t much time.” Davison then flipped over his 968th nitelite (a lovely, colourful, yet subdued teddy bear nitelite) and proceeded to solder the other side...

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Took a bit of a hiatus to deal with some issues in real life. 
It’s good to know we were missed. We were, weren’t we?
A virtual torrent of entries starts soon. 
We have a lot to say (as usual). Look out Gary Brown...