Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 24 December 2010

Boxing Sales

Others might do a Boxing Day Sale.
Some others might even do a Boxing Week Sale.
Fantasy In Glass does a Boxing Month Sale!
Go here for our Boxing Month Sales, good until January 31, 2011, or while supplies last!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Happy Christmas To All

From all the staff at Fantasy In Glass we wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas and Happy New Year.
Aww shucks...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Davide Salvadore At Uroboros

Here's a pretty cool video we tripped across from Uroboros.
Italian glass master Davide Salvadore creates a series of murrini to use in his blown glass creations during a residency at the highly renowned Portland Oregon facility. Salvadore lives and works on the island of Murano near Venice, where his family has been in the glass making business since 1650. His sons, Mattia and Marco accompany him on his American tour.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Uroboros Glass video

 The whole process of making sheet glass for stained glass (or fusing) is a mysterious one as there really isn't that much information out there.
Until now.
Do yourself a favour- even if you have a short attention span, just take in the first 10 seconds of this video and tell me you aren't amazed!


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Monday, 13 December 2010

What Is This Remarkable Thing We Call Glass?

 So, what is it this mysterious substance we call glass? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Do four out of five dentists recommend it? (Which makes you wonder who visits that one out of five dentist, and what does he recommend?...Ed) Let's join hands and explore the subject together.
    Okay, let's assume it's a liquid for a minute. It has to be, right? We've all heard the stories about pulling glass out of old windows and how the pieces were all thicker at the bottom proving that the glass was slowly flowing downward. Heck, the way the glass was flowing pretty soon all our churches will have their sanctuaries full of puddles of flowing stained glass windows. You'll have to step over the Good Shepherd and his sheep to get to your pew! With all those uncovered windows with all their cancer causing light streaming through them congregations will be forced to take communion wearing Vuarnet sunglasses and wearing sunscreen. Actually it's a sham. Old glass is typically mouth blown and therefore varies sometimes quite significantly in thickness, disproving the notion that glass might be a liquid.

    Well if it's not a liquid then it stands to reason that it's a solid, right?  Webster's Dictionary defines a solid as "a substance of definite shape and volume; not liquid or gas." There you go, problem solved. But, hey, wait a minute. Isn't something a solid only when its molecules are motionless and lined up in flawless geometric fashion, like your grandma's furniture doilies. We call this "crystalline" (the solid, not grandma's doilies, unless she seldom washed them). A liquid on the other hand is quite the opposite. Its molecules are constantly in motion and entirely random in structure. Well, what do we do now? It seems then that according to the scientist, glass is neither a solid or liquid because its molecules are motionless (like a solid) but random in configuration (like a liquid)- so we'll call it a liquid? 

    Actually a better word is vitreous.

    If you look around, there's lots of stuff that's sometimes a liquid and sometimes a solid. Take that stuff wrapped in foil at the back of your fridge for example. Or water. Or iron. At any given moment, their state depends on their temperature. Water's molecular structure is random until the temperature moves down to zero Celsius (how come they don't use centigrade?) when its molecules start to crystallize- namely, line up in perfect lattice-like order and stop moving. Below zero and bingo, now it's a solid. And the amazing thing is that zero degrees is like a light switch. Above it's a liquid, below, it's a solid. But vitreous substances (like glass in case you've been sleeping until this very moment) do not have a freezing or melting point. As temperature decreases the free flowing molecules in molten glass simply slow down to the point where they just won't move anymore. But they stay random with no crystallization occurring. 
Got it? 
    So, glass then is neither a liquid nor a solid, but it's sleazy and exhibits definite characteristics of both. You might say we now have Four States of Matter instead of three- liquid, solid, gas and glass.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Coneart B3K117 Kilns

The largest kiln you can buy that will still run on normal, 'just plug me in' household current is the CSA Approved Canadian made Coneart B3K117 kiln. The model we sell comes complete- meaning you get a stand, kiln shelf, posts kilnwash  along with a Bartlett 3-button computer controller, a fusing reference package on disc and paper and Mikey's expertise in fusing and his help in pre-programming the kiln all at one price.
So much stuff, how can one human being cope?
On December 14, we are putting three (3) of these kilns on sale at $888.88 (cash/debit)!
That is all...

Thursday, 9 December 2010

More 90 coe Dichro

Almost Forgot!

We revived our CBS distributorship about a month ago. We'd realized that our mistaken belief that dichroic glass popularity had passed was actually based on the fact that Bullseye 90 glass was dropping off while Sys96 was increasing. 
So, we saw the need for a good source of Spectrum compatible dichroic glass.
And why have Bullseye sales in fusible glass crashed so dramatically that the OnStar operator keeps calling to ask if we've been in an accident?
Probably because we were the only full-line dealer promoting Bullseye for years, with little support from our full-line distributor (and Bullseye), that we just couldn't continue trying to do it alone.
We're now diverting our resources into System 96, carrying more than twice as much glass in quantity and selection over the past six months, including many colours unique to us given our cross-border purchases from other suppliers as well as Uroboros direct.
While we will continue to increase our Sys96 line for fusing, we will also carry a selection of Bullseye glass for those who wish to continue with this manufacturer. 
To service our 90 customers we've brought in some more CBS dichroic as seen here...

Go here to see our catalogue page on CBS on our website.

Christmas Store Hours

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Plug For Our Own Classes- Fusing this Saturday

Some room still available this Saturday-
   This is a full one-day six hour course that has been set up to cover everything from the basics to more advanced techniques of fusing regardless of your knowledge level (you can read Mikey’s Fusing 101 Paper here).
      Not only will you get a cool syllabus and learn from the master herself, you will actually get to play with sharp glass and stringers and noodles and all manner of things and make as much stuff as you possibly can within that day and to have it all expertly fired by Mikey.
      Now pay attention 'cuzz pricing is complicated (I'll type slowly). Cost for the 6 hour day is $160.00, *but this includes a store credit of $40.00 so you can choose your own materials. And do we have the materials! We carry virtually everything available from both Bullseye (coe 90) and System 96 (Spectrum/Uroboros). We will provide instruction and kiln space. Class size is very limited, so book early. Bring a lunch.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Sitting at Home

Last  night, drinking my Shirley Temple (hold the cherry) Tom Waits popped up on the turntable (vinyl rules!)- Big In Japan- a great song, and one that reminded me that not only is stained glass something that brings us all joy, but so can the workings of a great artist like Mr. Waits.
As such, I have mandated Saturday December 4 Tom Waits Music Day. Don't like him, maybe try the malls, 'cuzz that's all we're going to play.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

December Monthly Sale Up Early

Being totally frustrated at my inability to get a totally unflattering picture of Zenia to announce this month's sale, I succumb to bribery as an inducement. It seems that once she's taken my money, however, that she loses the ability to be embarrassing. So I must apologize for the substandard quality of this month's picture of Zenia., but invite you to see the December Sale which can be found here.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Why and What of Kerosene As A Cutter Lube

It was a Canadian who discovered kerosene and invented the kerosene lamp. Dr. Abraham Gesner showed off his invention in 1846 on Prince Edward Island (how do you think he figured out where he was? He could finally read the map). He named it by putting the Greek word for wax, keros with the shape of his belly button, ene (not an oute).

Dad said you really never learn to swear until you learn to drive. That's not true- it's when glass cutting with the wrong lubricant. Yes folks, it's true- the type and the quality of lubrication is critical to successful glass cutting.
Now, a bit of a discussion as to why you want to use kerosene as a cutter lube:

Glass is a strange material- it's not a solid, or a liquid, but a vitreous solution- something exhibiting traits of both and none of either- never mind- read FigHelper # 7 for an explanation, we have to move on. The only thing you need to concern yourself with for the purpose of this discussion here is that the outside skin of glass is in a state of 'tension' (sort of like Mikey's home right now…), holding the middle in 'compression'. When making a score with your glass cutter, the wheel only penetrates the surface of the glass by a mere 1/1000th on an inch (less than that in centimeters…helpful Ed), into the area of tension, but, at the same time it drives a crack well into the deeper compression layer. Using a lubricant will minimize excess surface fractures as your wheel rolls along the glass. A lubricant literally 'oils' the score line reducing surface damage, and as a bonus it reduces the tendency of the score to heal itself (that's Earnest Ainsley's job). The lubricant best suited to this job? Kerosene! 

Now, while you might be a better person for understanding the principle behind making a score, you're not really any closer to finding out why we want you to use kerosene. After all, why put oil (which kerosene is) on glass that's already clean? This means we'll have to clean the glass before copper foiling people whine. Oh, the horror. Hey, if we analyze the purpose of a lubricant we could theoretically use any liquid (don't go there Ed). After all, it's the presence of a liquid that's important, not the type. Sounds kind of like Deja Moo- the feeling that you've heard this bull before.

But why kerosene? Let me illustrate the ways;
1) Well, most importantly it is a liquid.
2) It "facilitates the smoothest penetration of the glass surface, keeping microscopic chipping to a minimum" according to the experts.
3) It's cheap and widely available. 
4) Its oil base protects cutters from corrosion unlike many of the synthetic cutter lubricants that make unscrupulous retailers lots of money
5) It evaporates almost totally, leaving little residue

Let's expand a bit here and discuss the cutter wheel doing all the work. The angle to which the wheel edge is ground is the hone angle. This is an important factor in determining how well the wheel can have and then hold a sharp point. Getting it right with steel is very difficult, as steel does not allow itself to be well sharpened and then almost impossible to keep sharp. To compensate, manufacturers steepen the hone angle to compensate for steel's weakness. Stained glass cutters with steel wheels average 114o to 120o hone angle. The ubiquitous Toyo Supercutter's tungsten carbide wheel uses a wide (135o) hone angle with a very sharp point. 

Now what does all this highly technical talk about hone angles have to do with cutting glass. Well, it seems that the difference in impact between a steel wheeled (steeper angle- blunt point) cutter and a tungsten carbide (shallow angle- sharp point) one is sort of like dancing with a 250 pound man in open toed (but with wool socks) sandals or with a woman wearing an off the shoulder chiffon red dress and matching stiletto heels. The pressure applied to the glass is directly proportional to the amount of wheel touching the surface of the glass. This is one of the reasons carbide wheels regularly outlast steel by 50-1.

That is all.

Friday, 19 November 2010

CBS Borderline Patterns

Coatings By Sandberg has releasing thirteen new patterns they're calling Borderline Patterns™.  These are detailed patterns with intricate border colors and are unlike anything on the market today.  Each unique pattern has different coloured edges, depending upon the color and pattern of the Dichroic coating.  
We're bringing in their Borderline Patterns™ as 4” X  4” squares  and 2” X  4” pieces, on thin black 96 COE.  
(These new patterns are only available at present 
through CBS Distributors such as FIG)

Coming to your favourite Fantasy In Glass store within two weeks- 
limited supply due to high demand)

Peace and Lead, Peace and Lead Redux

In celebration of The Beatles now finally available on iTunes-

Investigative staff of Fantasy In Glass' acclaimed journal The FigLeafLet has concrete proof of the demise of Paul McCartney, affirming rumours heard throughout the Sixties. We have documentation proving that he was replaced by an associate- someone with even less talent than the real Paul McCartney (send letters care of Ed, 703 The Queensway, T.O.).Apparently, it was John Lennon's wish to announce the change in the Beatle's lineup with the release of what was to become their last studio recording originally entitled Gary's Pound of Brown after Gary Brown, stained glass instructor to the music industry's rock stars. It seems John, along with George, Paul and Ringo had become disillusioned with the Maharishi and his teachings on transcendental meditation, and looked to stained glass in their quest to find inner peace, harmony and inspiration. It was during the recording sessions for this album that Paul met his unfortunate death when OOCSGS's truck delivery of lead shifted and came crashing through the bathroom window onto Paul while he was indisposed.
John wrote 'She Came In Through the Bathroom Window and Carry That Weight in memory of this tragic event.
With the imminent release of the now renamed Abbey Road, the need to replace Paul became apparent. Searching no further than their fellow stained glass students a young lad of small frame and poor complexion was chosen, it seems not for his resemblance to Paul, but for his skill at cutting compound angles in flat 1/4" lead. Going by the name of Mikey, his lack of songwriting skills (as Paul) (send letters care of Ed, 703 The Queensway…) were immaterial to the remaining group members.
It was at this exact moment that Ringo first coined his famous phrase- “Peace and Lead, Peace and Lead” (see photos above).

Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Last 96 Dichro Sheets

Uroboros Black Radium Mixture Fusion
 Spectrum Black Green/Magenta
 Spectrum Clear Emerald CRINKLIZED!
 Spectrum Murano Spirit Silver
 Uroboros Black Mardis Gras Cyan/Copper

Pictures of our new Bullseye 90 coe dichroics to follow

A couple of notes- 
1) many of the above sixty or so sheets pictured come on a thin base as well as regular thickness making them particularly handy for jewelry work.
2) the crinklized texture is a surface crazing that is unbelievably cool, but only occurs when fired. It even happens when capped. Go here to see some samples of how it looks or just come n and see it in person!

Yup, Still More Dichro!

Uroboros Black Magenta/Green Splatter
 Spectrum Black Green/Magenta Blue Fusion
 Spectrum Clear Red/Silver Blue  Spectrum CRINKLIZED!
 Spectrum Clear Cord Silver
 Spectrum Clear Cord Black Cherry

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

More CBS Dichroic (Mostly 96coe) for Fusing

Spectrum Black Mixture Puzzle CRINKLIZED!
 Spectrum Clear Green/Magenta Blue CRINKLIZED!
  Spectrum Clear Cord Aqua
 Spectrum Black Rainbow Square 2
 Spectrum Black Silver Fusion