Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

February 2012 Sales Now Up

While we're sure there are a few of you who are excited to see the Fantasy In Glass sales for February, we know there are many more who are anxious at the prospect of what horror this month's picture of Zenia will inflict upon the innocent.
Here goes...

Monthly Sales found here... 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Solder Explained

Did you know that...
... the atomic weight of lead is 82, its symbol is Pb, its density at 300k is 11.4. Tin’s symbol is Sn, and its electron configuration is ... oh, never mind, that’s way too much information.

Solder is an alloy of tin and lead, and the proportion of the two affects the melting point, but in a strange way. The most popular alloy for almost all stained glass work, and most definitely copper foil work is 60/40 (60% tin, 40% lead... Helpful Mikey)(a titanic intellect in a world full of icebergs...Ed). Looking at the two metals by themselves we see that tin melts at 450F and lead at 621F. But something really weird happens when you combine the two- the melting point drops down to as low as 361F depending on the mix of the two.
Check this out:

Ratio tin/Lead   Melting point
0 / 100     621F
30 / 70     496F
50 / 50     421F
60 / 40     375F
63 / 37     361F

If we continue to raise the amount of tin to lead past 63% the melting point begins to rise again to where it is 450F at 100% tin, therefore 63/37 solder has the absolute lowest melting point. Pretty weird, eh? (what, you forgot about Marv Albert?...Mikey) And you thought that ratio was a gimmick? With respect to cost, the last time Stan (Mike’s metals commodities broker) checked, tin was about ten times more expensive than lead, telling you why solder prices can vary so extremely according to the amount of tin they have.

Monday, 23 January 2012

FIG In Litigation


Fantasy In Glass Owner Mikey filed suit in federal Supreme Court in Ottawa today accusing Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks 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 Swiss Cheesed intend to vigorously dispute the suit as 'frivolous'. Attempts to placate the staff of Fantasy In Glass with Cheesed labelled T-shirts and aprons have proven unsuccessful (thus far).

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Gary Harrington and Great Music

(hang on to your hat from the 30 sec mark on)
Last  night, as I was drinking my third Shirley Temple of the night (yes, I do push the envelope at times), the late and great Chester Burnett (Willie Dixon's muse) was crackling and popping on the turntable (vinyl rules, especially Chess Records vinyl!), and The Wolf was in all his glory he was. How Many More Years was the tune. Who knew how topical it would be as he howled those words.
It reminded me that not only is stained glass something that brings us joy, inspires and invigorates us, but so does the workings of a great artist like Howling Wolf.
As such, I have mandated the balance of January as Old Blues Artists Month. Don't like the blues? Maybe try the malls, 'cuzz that's all we're going to play.
As an aside, music wouldn't sound as good as it does without the great guidance of and equipment procurement by such great guys as Gary at Harrington Audio. If you are considering any stereo or home theatre purchase and need some help, advice and equipment I can't speak more highly of a guy like Gary- website here... 

It's Not Like Bragging

Mikey just uploaded to the Fantasy In Glass website over 200 pictures of the stained glass found in the museums at Navy Pier in Chicago (excluding the incredible Tiffany windows that he posted awhile back)(if you are on Facebook, you would have already seen them as he posted them there a couple of months ago.
Go here to see...

Friday, 20 January 2012

Things That Make You Wonder

Anyone can buy a Taurus III Ringsaw in the States in a retail store for $324.00.
That's about $200 less than what you have to pay wholesale for the same saw here in Canada. A substantial difference that cannot be explained away and justified by any added costs of landing the saw here.
Came across an article in the paper the other day on why we pay so much more for goods in Canada compared to the U.S.- seems we have less competition.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Stained Glass News #98

... is here. 
Pick up your free copy next time you're in. Just don't get your hopes up on this issue's pattern- rather lame and below their usual high standard in our opinion, but, you be the judge.

In SGN #98, you'll find:
• new items, including: a few new books, a new soldering iron, new lamp design, new System 96 items, some new bead molds, another new adhesive for mosaic artists, and a new (old) texture from Kokomo… and more!
• reader hints, a reader's workshop and more on "The Readers' Page"
• Mosaics and Stepping Stones Julie Bishop-Day—Julie gives you a step-by-step on "crash glass."
• Let the Glass Do the Talking Judy Coleman—Judy addresses the beauty of beveled glass.
• Design it Your Way Carolyn Kyle—In this continuing series, Carolyn talks about things that you should know before coming to the glass store to pick out glass.
• Health and Safety Fleming Fallon, M.D.—Fleming continues his series on adapting to changes as you age, and changes that you can make to continue enjoying your glass hobby. This issue he talks about lighting and your eyes.
• The Beadmakers' Corer Andie Kosak—This time, Andie takes you step-by-step through making a Millefiori decorated bead.
• this issue's Free Pattern: Skier is an overlay pattern that will appeal to the snow skiers in your life.
• a page of photos from readers in The Readers' Gallery
• and more…

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Over 140 colours/styles of glass for stained glass and/or fusing, measuring 6" x 6", starting at under $2/pc (most under $4), any quantity, shipped anywhere in Canada for a measly 5 bucks!
Selection here. Order form here.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fusing Expanded

We've just purchased another large kiln (from those lovely folks at Coneart)(*NB: it's CSA Approved- be wary of others offering kilns sourced out from the U.S. that are not electrically legal for installation in Ontario). This one (measuring 42" x 24" x 13" high) will be set up on the main floor adjacent to the retail area of  Fantasy In Glass (located in the Swiss Cheesed Glasswerks Building at 703 The Queensway, Toronto) allowing us to run the kiln supervised (only the staff are unsupervised) all day long and allows us to offer more capacity for others to have their projects fused by us. 
We are also beginning to write up and publish some of our own in-house experiments and projects for hand-outs. This goes in concert with Zenia's hard work in the past few weeks setting up a FIG Fusing Resource Centre with patterns, firing schedules, project sheets, and various technical articles.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

If You Don't Count Mikey...

... one of the nicest people in this business is Tosca at Nanopod. Here's a free plug for the courses she has coming up-

Sorry about the poor quality above, but you can find the info here too!

Shipping Glass Cheap

Mikey in all his genius (I know, but what can I say, we have to live with him), came up with the bright idea to offer every single style and colour of Sys96 fusible glass currently available, in 6" squares. This includes all of Spectrum and Uroboros' transparent cathedrals (42+), opalescents (34+), Spirits (11), Opalarts (7+), Streakies (20+), Fracture/Streamers (9) and Mardis Gras (7+) (heck, even a bunch of iridescents and wild textures like Radium and Herringbone Ripple). Starting as low as $1.99 each (with most at 2.99-3.99), they are ideal for those who want a larger selection (or smaller quantity) for less money. 
And remember, they're not just for fusing- they all are suitable for stained glass too!
Full catalogue found here-. 
Below is also a video done a few weeks ago which shows only a small portion of the line-

Now, some big news;
You can order from these more than 140 colours/styles and use them for your fusing and/or stained glass projects, shipped for a flat rate of $5.00, anywhere in Canada!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Since we began to emphasize and increase our selection of System 96 glass and products, sales of fusible glass have really taken off. 
Now don't start rolling your eyes, all you stained glass people because, remember, all this glass is also suitable for stained glass, and most often offers an even wider colour selection for the non-fusible artist as well.
While the release of new products from Spectrum seems to have sadly slowed down recently, Uroboros Glass in contrast, has been pretty busy.  
Now In:
Red, White and Blue Streamer Bit sheets join Black and Clear in the 12-series line up. Combine them with other colors or layer them over contrasting colours. They provide unique visual components for fusers and casters.

12-200-96 White Streamer Bits on Clear
12-424-96 Cobalt Blue Streamer Bits on Clear
12-2502-96 Red Opal Streamer Bits on Clear
Exotic Black Cherry Opal. It's the darkest maroon, glossy and so deep! This beautiful new tone adds bass notes to the System 96 Red Opal palette.
60-618-96 Black Cherry Opal

 Mardi Gras Noodle Bits and Mardi Gras Sprinkles. Sprinkle them on, pile them up, mix them with frit! Short lengths (1" and under) of Noodles or Stringer in a fiesta of colour to sprinkle into your work.

GNMG-96-8 Noodle Bits, Mardi Gras
GSMG-96-8 Sprinkles, Mardi Gras
Noodle/Stringer Mardi Gras - both in one tube. Mixed colours, transparents and opals - handy for anyone looking for instant variety!NSM-96-5 Noodle/Stringer Mardi Gras

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

If You're Too Cheap On Valentine's Day

... here's a couple of free patterns.
Remember, if nobody loves you, at least we do!

This one below, we've made using only bevels. While the hearts are no longer available, a cut piece of red glass looks even nicer!

Stock Notes

We have another truck delivery due in tomorrow from the U.S. (we also have an order pending from our one and only Canadian glass supplier, but with a 60% fill rate we have no choice but to continue to source out goods from the States).
Lots of new glass and chemicals (unusual as we normally can't order them during the winter months with the threat of freezing)- we have a great new Boron Nitrite mold release in a pressurized spray can that will retail for less than $30- as well as a bunch of tools including the great (Mikey's Fav') Mitsuboshi super cutter (yes, after 35 years, there finally is a glass cutter worthy of being considered a match, if not superior to the old standby Toyo Supercutter. 
And Mikey still has it on sale this month at only $36.88 or almost the cost of a Toyo replacement head.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Devitt Union and Jennifer Returns

Some might say "what is the logic behind giving free promotion to a 'competitor'? Won't it just hurt his own sales you might think? 
A short sighted look might say yes.
But I've always believed that a strong industry with quality competitors only help grow and strengthen the business. That's why Jennifer and Home and Haven get a free plug.
After a long and arduous journey that would test the sanity of many, Jennifer once again is open and ready or business. She sells supplies and teaches glass fusing. 
And if bending over a worktable has got your back in a knot, her husband works as a registered masseuse out of the same location.
Official grand (re)opening of The Devitt Union is Friday January 13 at 6:30pm.
Located at the The Devitt Union at 14-16 Union St. Waterloo Tel: 519 279-1601

Seminars Up!

The FIG Seminars list for this year has finally been uploaded to the website.
After months of researching new courses and ideas (apparently single malt scotch can be pretty inspiring), Mikey and staff are somewhat proud to announce the list for the upcoming year which features many specific project based seminars. 
Many of FIG 's favourites are still being offered such as Designing with Tina, Glass Cutting with Mikey and the ever popular Soldering in the Nude ( Mikey's personal favourite ) to mention a few, but there's lots of new ones including Puddles and Plates, You Be the Glass, Garden Stakes (not a title for a vampire movie), and Working On Stuff.
Click here and you will be instantly and miraculously transported to the wonderful world of FIG Seminars...
Also note- our regular weekday and weeknight Beginner and Intermediate Classes all start this week- see details here.
And along with classes starting, so has our extended store hours-
Monday.................... Closed (sorry)
Tuesday .................. 11 am to 7 pm
Wednesday.............. 11 am to 7 pm
Thursday................. 11 am to 5 pm
Friday..................... 11 am to 5 pm
Saturday..................10 am to 4 pm
Sunday...................  Closed (sorry)