Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Big News Story Finally Revealed

The time has now come for Mikey to reveal the true purpose of his retelling of the story of Swiss Cheesed Glasswerks, a line of glass so magical and mysterious as to inspire awe in all those who cross it's hallowed threshold. As if merely retelling the story wasn’t good reason enough...
It seems that the executive board of Fantasy In Glass (read Pat) has been investigating ways to generate additional revenue and recently decided to offer for sale the naming rights to it's building and facilities here in Toronto's west end.
The Fantasy In Glass building (located at 703 The Queensway) is arguably the most recognizable commercial building in Southern Ontario, often serving as the centerpiece of the Etobicoke skyline. That’s why the naming rights for the building, when recently put up for grabs, generated significant interest from companies from all across Canada.
Mikey Figgy, current president, property manager and assistant janitor for this popular glass emporium, said that after advertising the building’s naming rights availability he noted that there was an onslaught of enquiries.
“The naming rights of this magnificent neo-classic 2-story building that sits just east of the intersection of Royal York Rd. and The Queensway would offer instant local and national recognition,’ he said.
“Signage of this building is an unparalleled marketing device. I really didn’t think there would be a blank fascia for long, and of course, I was correct, once again.”
“We’ve had all manner of businesses approach us, but one company stood out, head and shoulders above all others- and that company is Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks, one of the most respected and revered glass manufacturers producing glass today. A line of art glass originally influenced by the musings and wishes of Mikey, president of FIG Inc. and was just recently written about in The Diary of a Demented Store Owner. 
That’s right folks, effective immediately, the building at 703 The Queensway, currently occupied by Fantasy In Glass, will now be officially known as 'The Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks Building!' 
Appropriate signage identifying such has been put in place to reflect this great honour.
This agreement does not include various other possible licensing agreements in the future, such as contracts known as "pouring rights" for drink manufacturers.
Contrary to rumours, Mikey has not accepted a proposal by Gary Brown to rename the blue Denver kiln in the kiln room 'Brownie'.

Friday, 29 July 2011

While enjoying a simple, smooth and surprisingly satisfying mineral water at home the other night,  Dutch Mason popped up on the turntable (vinyl rules!)- 'I Ain't Drunk' (don't read anything into that please, Dr. Freud)- a great song, and one that once again reminded me that not only is stained glass something that brings us all joy, but so can the workings of a great artist like Order of Canada recipient Mr. Mason. 
It also reminded me about the often overlooked but incredible richness of our Canadian musical heritage, especially in the blues genre. Canada has given rise to David Wilcox, Paul James, Carlos de Junco, Fathead, Jeff Healey (who grew up just down the street from Fantasy In Glass), McKenna Mendelson Mainline, Big Sugar, Colin Linden, Downchild, Harry Manx, Matt Anderson, Sue Foley, Colin James, never mind the mainstream artists not even mentioned here.  
As such, I have mandated August and September (one is not enough) as Canadian Blues Months at Fantasy In Glass. Don't like the blues, maybe try the malls, 'cuzz that's all we're going to play.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The Canadian dollar went up over $1.06 U.S. this week.
It used to be when the dollar floated just a penny or two below the U.S. dollar, one of our One and Only Canadian Stained Glass Suppliers was very quick to add a surcharge.
Now that the table's reversed, an only fair rebate still doesn't come.
Mikey doesn't wait.  
Another truck delivery arrives tomorrow from the U.S. 
Along with that comes a round of price reductions because of the low American dollar...

Amazing Glass Art Sale

Okay, well, maybe not that amazing. 
But, still, not bad.
After hanging on to way too much stuff over the years, Mikey thinks some of his posters might be best displayed in some of his friends and customer’s homes and studios.
Most are plaque mounted. Some are in traditional frames with glass covers. Some are ‘slightly loved’. Many are brand new (even still with styrofoam corner protectors and shrink wrapped) (therefore duplicates below really aren’t- one might be a new plaque mounted poster and the other may be not).
All priced to sell.
First come first serve.

Details here.

Friday, 22 July 2011

IT'S NOT JUST SAND, SODA ASH, LIME AND SOME OTHER STUFF Part 7 or the Last in a Series of 7

This retelling of Swiss Cheesed's beginnings comes in anticipation of some very big news to come- a disclosure so significant and earth shattering in its scope- only to be revealed at the end of Part 7 of this saga.
We continue our story...


 It is well known that Swiss Cheesed Glass has powers few can understand and even fewer will ever realize. It is therefore essential that the proper ritual be followed to respectfully exploit the magic of this glass making you more effective in your true crusade. 
Step 1: Bathe in a cold mountain stream by moonlight to both purify yourself and to feel your connection to the flowing of the Single Harmonic Which Can Be Found In The Glass. 
Step 2: Anoint your body with Classique Neutra Flux and Patina Cleaner. This powerful cleanser will help you liberate the dynamic power of your repressed artistic craftsperson's soul. Step 3: Pick up your Glass Super cutter and dance on fire coals. This is a swell process for purging the spiritual weenies from your soul and will put you in touch with the demons and saints found on the path to stained glass happiness. There should now be no doubt that your spirit has been uplifted and is now affecting every aspect of your life. 
... and that is what Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks is all about.
The End

Monday, 18 July 2011

More On Glassline Paints

We've been getting a lot of interest in the Glassline Paint entry below, and they've been selling out so fast we only have about a third of our original order left! Here's a bit more info on them (boring alert)-
they are used as a lining and shading material for glass. They're simple in design, easy to use, and can be thinned with water. A metal tip set is recommended for fine line drawings on glass. The Tip Set consists of one each of the following size tips, find, medium, and bold (only $9.99/set). These tips are placed on the applicator bottle and used to achieve a variety of line widths.
The Glassline colors can be applied between multiple layers of glass or on the top surface for a complex dimensional look. To further explore your creative edge, Glassline colors may be sprayed to achieve subtle shading variations on glass. Glassline Pen colors are compatible with all types of glass from float to 90 and 96 COE. Glassline colors are best fired to 1500 degrees F., but may be fired lower or higher depending upon desired results.  They are lead-free and food safe when fired.  Comes in 2-oz bottles- $15.99 ea.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Another Fantasy In Glass Exclusive!

Check Your Glass For Holes!
If you're looking for great cutting glass, we suggest you look on the back side of your glass.
For holes the size of a dime. Or a 15mm jewel. 
Lots of them. 
Because glass that has these holes is a full three decibels louder when being cut. Which may not sound like much. But an increase of three decibels will double the cutability of your glass cutter at its tuning frequency (30 hertz). And reduce what's known as 'cutter wheel excursion'. With the resulting added sensitivity, your glass cutter requires less pressure to generate force to the glass.
Of course, with this type of glass, there's one thing you'll miss- frustration.
Simply, Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks' cathedral glass is unmatched in ease of cutability when compared to glass without holes. It cuts with less pressure and therefore less stress on your cutter wheel.
Now remember, this is a science, so there's more here than just drilling holes. Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks' engineers fine tune each sheet of glass for optimum performance and efficient cutability.
All of which means that if your glass doesn't have holes you might want to talk to a Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks dealer.
And get the hole truth!
Available exclusively at Fantasy In Glass Glassworks, Canada's first and still only officially sanctioned stained glass emporium!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Oh, Yeah, We Forgot...

... to mention that we now have in stock our regular complement of mosaic/patio stone molds.
And there's a woman with very strange fashion sense in Mikey's office...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Current Status of Uroboros Order

Last crate now emptied.
Glass cut, labelled and racked!

The Things You Sometimes Find

Tina had been slinking around the store the last couple of days looking like the cat who caught the mouse. You see, she's been around here long enough that Mikey can tell when she's smirking and snorting like she has been recently, that she's been up to something. 
So, Mikey knows she's definitely been up to something.
Coming in early today, with stealth like moves, Mikey began to search around the new Glassline paints section in the store where she's been spending a lot of time lately (guess the beer fridge must be empty). And lo and behold, a pleasant little surprise was found.
Here's an example of what can be done with these new paints. And this is just the beginning.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

In Keeping With Tradition

Occasionally Mikey is want to post the packing slip of a truck delivery order here.   
Today is one of those days. 
Here is the Uroboros order that just arrived yesterday-
Technical help provided by Sophie's Choice

Some Pics of the Uroboros Shipment Just In

The first crate of Heads and Tails-

 several all lined up ready to unload-

Uroboros Art Glass Arrives!

One of our most favourite people in this humble little business of ours has to be Kat- the go-to girl at Uroboros. I guess it all started over a dozen years ago when Mikey wrote an email newsletter (before blogs and websites), and gouded Uroboros (namely Kat) into donating some swag (t-shirts, aprons, etc) for a charity promotion we were running. She did so gladly.
It was a different decade- Kat probably doesn't remember.
Which brings us to today.
While we've carried Uroboros for almost 30 years (without a doubt, the most spectacular artglass available) they are very (correctly) protective of their distributors and it is not easy to buy from them directly, so we are dependant upon a very poor supplier situation here and often suffer long stock outages. But as Uroboros are such nice people, we do feel compelled to convince them somehow that we actually are worthy of their interest. So, knowing how persuasive Zenia can be, we call. Zenia relentlessly cajoled Kat, she might have even wept a tear. And she did convince them to sell us a dozen crates full of their wonderful glass. All without them breaking any of their sales rules in place to protect their relationship with their suppliers.
So, we've got art glass, and fusible 96. Reactive Reds in sheets, stringers and noodles. Short Cuts and Prime Cuts. But most exciting is our Heads and tails! See pics to follow, with pricing at less than half of regular pricing- but you don't buy Heads or Tails to save a buck- you buy them because that's the best part of the sheet!

IT'S NOT JUST SAND, SODA ASH, LIME AND SOME OTHER STUFF Part 6 or the 2nd Last in a Series of 7

This retelling of Swiss Cheesed's beginnings comes in anticipation of some very big news to come- a disclosure so significant and earth shattering in its scope- only to be revealed at the end of Part 7 of this saga.
We continue our story...

People who don't care about glass quality! My loyal readers, we are not all created equal. 
I know, it's tragic, but true. 
We are not all born with the same level of glass appreciation. Most people do not care for glass of such quality as Swiss Cheesed and therefore choose glasses of lesser quality, polluting young fertile and impressionable minds. Compassion, not scorn, is in order here, because I believe, there are thousands of hobbyists who, if they could get their first taste of Swiss Cheesed glass, would succumb and convert. Chances are they don't even know that such wondrous glass exists. It is incumbent upon you, to educate and convert these people.
... to be continued...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mikey in the First Person

Just the other day, I received a form letter masquerading as a personalized letter from one of my one and only Canadian stained glass suppliers. The supplier even said that it was a privilege to have me as a client. 
I was touched. 
The pseudo-personalized touch actually affected me. 
So much so that I wanted to send doilies and scented candles back as a thank you. 
But I held myself back. 
You see, I had only met the man once in the past five or so years. I wasn't sure if he was a doily and scented candles kind of guy. 
In other words, I had a business relationship with this person, yet I didn't even know him.
And he for sure didn't know me. 
Bill Dick's daughter came by the other day, which made me reflect on how we conducted business when he was around.
Many of you wouldn't recognize this name. 
It's a shame. 
You see it's because of Bill Dick that many of you are reading this today. It's because of Bill Dick that stained glass became an industry and a popular vocation for some, a hobby for others.
It's because of Bill Dick that I started Fantasy In Glass.
For many of us, our first exposure to him was through the stained glass store he opened known as Renaissance Glass back in the 1970's. Later it was through his opening of a stained glass wholesaler, which carries on today under a different owner.
I knew Bill Dick wasn't a doily and scented candle kind of guy. 
Because I knew him.
You see, we worked at our relationship and understood that that made for good business.
And a mutual respect that I still miss today...

Friday, 8 July 2011

IT'S NOT JUST SAND, SODA ASH, LIME AND SOME OTHER STUFF part 5 of a Continuing Saga of 7

This retelling of Swiss Cheesed's beginnings comes in anticipation of some very big news to come- a disclosure so significant and earth shattering in its scope- only to be revealed at the end of Part 7 of this saga.
We continue our story...

Well, of course, your friends!
The hard reality is that most likely most of your friends are not as cool as you and are probably in possession of stained glass objects that are upsetting their energy. Which brings me to the subject of our responsibility to our fellow man. It is our responsibility to uplift our brethren and that means exposing them to Swiss Cheesed Glass' magic.
...to be continued...

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

... and more...

Maybe I'm Sorry and Maybe I'm Not

I was going to apologize for not filling this entry with witty (sp?) prose prior to posting a bunch of pics, but that requires time which we seem to have little of this week. And these pics don't deserve to wait.
So, here's the background- Mikey and The Missus went to Corning on the weekend, and here's some pics for your enjoyment.

Witty prose to follow later...

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Ghost of Joe

Check out the reflection in this gorgeous pasta bowl Mikey made for The Missus, out of Spectrum's Aventurine Blue. It's of the Flowering Lotus Lamp that hangs over their dining room table made over a dozen years ago by Joe. 
Long time customers would understand the significance of the title and this entry...

Friday, 1 July 2011


This retelling of Swiss Cheesed's beginnings comes in anticipation of some very big news to come- a disclosure so significant and earth shattering in its scope- only to be revealed at the end of Part 7 of this saga.
We continue our story...

 Well, you of course!
Oh, glorious modern day manifestation of four million years of human DNA's struggle to ascend. From being a mere over-anxious, food hurling, competitive tree dwelling ape… to the artistic, sensitive glass-cutter tool using person that you are; endowed with superior eye/hand coordination. 
Be proud! 
Celebrate the fact that you are, firstly, a member of a very elite tribe of glassaholics, and secondly, that you have separated yourself from the masses of mealy minded mediocre glass dead heads who have little sense but to use mass produced machine rolled common cathedral and opalescent glass. 
Swiss Cheesed be thy savior from mediocrity in glass. 
...to be continued...