Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 29 June 2012

Unflattering Pic of Zenia Now Up

... and that means that the Fantasy In Glass Monthly Sale has now been posted! This month's sale goes until our annual closing starting August 21, reopening September 4.
Contrary to popular opinion, Zenia is not part beaver...
Find the sale here (make sure to refresh your page).

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Continuing with Tiffany

Autumn Landscape, 1890s

This window is from Tiffany's impressionism period where he was impressed mostly with Mikey. The window appears completely spontaneous because of the light that is transmitted through it, a uniqueness of glass unknown if you were a traditional painter on canvas.

Again, every single piece when analyzed seems to make no sense at all, but when combined, actually does (unlike Mikey)...

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Video Series Continues

Here's another in-store video on the new shipment of frits and powders (Sys96) we just got in... 

Friday, 22 June 2012

We feel like bragging a little bit today. 
Why not? It's the dog days of summer and we've been busy securing some very exciting inventory for anyone doing stained glass and fusing.Bringing in a truck shipment from Uroboros in Portland this week means that we continue to be the largest glass supplier in all of Canada, carrying virtually every single colour available in System 96 (also ideal for stained glass). Here's some numbers (Neal the Accountant, please skip this part):Our sale square colour variety currently stands at over 200!Our sale square piece count (now 3 sizes- 12" x 12", 9" x 12" and the amazingly popular 6" x 6") currently numbers over 5,000 pieces! And that's just in Sys96 (we still carry a smattering of Bullseye coe 90).This shipment fills out all those colours that have been perpetually out of stock, or even worse, discontinued by our one and only Canadian glass supplier. We'd be in some serious trouble with supply and selection if we had to depend on these guys!We also brought in a ton (literally) of fresh new Heads and Tails. These are the cutoff top and bottom of stock sheets of Uroboros glass that have the most interesting colour mix. And at our new lower pricing, they work out to be a fraction of the cost of their stock glass.We close with a little Heads and tails photo pictorial, Mikey likes to call "Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" Seems Vanna Opal and Nicholas Picholas might have...

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Continuing with Tiffany

Jonquil Fire Screen, c. 1890

Tiffany's  (and Mikey's) love of nature (although Tiffany wore clothes) and painterly approach to stained glass is evident in this fire screen. Much of his secular work included decorative panels and objects for the interior.

Monday, 18 June 2012

While Zenia is Away...

... caught on camera- Vanna Opal using Zenia's  personal tape measure...

Friday, 15 June 2012

The List Just Keeps Growing

The retail stained glass (and fusing) market continues to suffer greatly and I place the blame squarely at the poor supply situation we currently suffer. 
As a retailer, we procure our supplies at wholesale, then resell them with a fair markup added to be able to provide the services, selection and knowledge that we do. It only makes sense that if there are no supplies to be had, then the retailer can't survive and grow the market. 
We had a very healthy industry for many years, and while we continue to see a strong interest from the public, it can be trying at times. Our classes are full, and run several days and nights each week. But what can you do if you have a new class starting and there are no glass cutters? What if you run out of a certain glass colour and then have to wait months for it to come in? Or find out too late that  our supplier has delisted a glass colour you needed? 
We've lost a couple of very good competitors in the past few months- Glowing Panes and Celestial Glass. You might think that this is a good thing for Mikey and Fantasy In Glass, but really, it's not. 
Competition grows our industry- people take classes elsewhere and visit other stores. We all benefit. It also stops the good retailers from becoming complacent. It keeps us on our toes- quick to keep abreast of what's new, to figure out new seminars, etc.
We are sorry to hear that Hues in Glass adds their name to the list- they are closing their retail outlet this month and no longer will be selling supplies. They are planning to still offer custom work. 
Plug below:
"For the remaining time at Brookdale Plaza, 825 Chemong Road, Brookdale Plaza, Peterborough we will be offering you GREAT SALE PRICES starting Tuesday, June 12th.
ALL glass, supplies, tools, books, as well as some work-tables, etc will be on sale. In fact everything that we aren't going to be using at our Ennismore studio will be available for sale at great prices.

Obviously, the sooner you get here, the better the selection will be."  

Friday, 8 June 2012

News Bulletin!

One of Canada's Stained Glass Distributors Decides to Abandon Wholesale Market!
Enters Retail and Plans to Destroy that Market As Well!

Just got a newsletter yesterday from one of our Canadian stained glass suppliers stating that they now will sell glass in 12" x 12" squares at wholesale!
     Hey! Isn't that what all us still existing retail stores do to try and make a living?
     I can only assume that since stores such as Celestial Glass and Glowing Panes have gone out of business (could poor supply availability frustration have been the cause?), this wholesaler sees an opportunity to get into the retail market. 

     Is it true that the wholesale supply industry is in such dire trouble that they now must try and sell glass as if they were a retail store. And in doing this they will take market share away from their existing clients, all while still wanting to sell to them as they compete with them.
     That means that either their business model has failed to the extent that they are now aiming for the smallest wholesale customer- customers so small that they couldn't buy full sheets (and therefore perhaps shouldn't be buying at that wholesale level),... or worse yet, they now want to move into the retail market.
     I wonder what the manufacturers who sell to them might think about this.
     Never mind that- I wonder what all of our fellow retailers are thinking right now! I imagine they'd have to be a pretty nervous bunch. 

(comments welcome, and can be made anonymously) 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

An Annual Tradition

What to do? What to do? We are a day late posting our annual June 5 fries picture. They could have disintegrated into a fine dust!
These french fries, bought on June 5, 2007, are now five years old and looking as new and fresh as the day they were bought. 
The newspaper being ably held up by one of our customers proves the picture was actually taken today...

Look What We Found

We got another U.S. sourced truck shipment in last week as our OOCSGS (One and Only Canadian Stained Glass Supplier) has virtually no inventory. Digging into the shipment we came across some very cool Spectrum OpalArt Glass (suitable for both stained glass and fusing). We also loaded up on so much Sys96 glass that we've had to expand out Sale Square boxes- we now have several boxes at $6.66 and $7.77 full of Sys96 glass (which remember, is also suitable for stained glass).

A Bit of Background

As we carry well over 10,000 sale squares at all times, writing on them to describe colour or texture is an important customer aid. And apparently an aid for some of our staff as well as it also allows us to make sure Mikey keeps up on his (lack of?) reading skills. I mean, what can you say or do about a guy who writes Dark White on an obviously black glass? And with a straight face no less!?
Like below:

And then what does Mikey do? 
He ends up hiring Conrad Black!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Uroboros Is In the Pipeline!

Yoohoo! We've finally gotten confirmation that our factory order direct from Uroboros is now on its way!
Watch in wonder and amazement at the wonderful job Zenia did spending FIG's money!
Thanks Kat and all the great people at Uroboros, and curses to the Google spam filter that ate the email that told us the order was ready last week. The order consists of:
1 skid with three crates- 673 lbs
1 skid with two crates and one box- 506 lbs
1 skid with four crates and one box- 1026 lbw

As is our tradition we post the order pending here...

Nicholas Picholas Rights a Wrong

It was recently pointed out to us (not so subtly) by Nicholas that our store pictures on the website are somewhat dated (coal powered soldering irons went out of favour awhile ago), so we have (subtly) been posting more up-to-date pics here on the blog (see Sale Square Rack pics posted here).
Today, here's Vanna Opal showing off our Grinders Area-

and here's our Tools Wall- 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

See, I told You There Is No Downside to Being Related to the Boss

That headline comes from the Mikey of course, because if you asked the product of that gene pool you may not necessarily agree (after all as Gary Brown so eloquently noted in a previous blog comment, the man can't even spell weiner correctly). But it does allow for me to goof around and occasionally create and share some interesting stuff- 
Maximizing a 12x12-
Finally getting Spectrum's Blackberry Cream Opal Art back in stock (sorry Kat) I thought we'd show off this glass and some new/small molds (they are easiest to fit in a small kiln such as Coneart's B3K114). Using a single 12x12, I was able to make four small plates by strategically (I've also been reading Conrad Black) laying out the molds. Below is a photo pictorial of the process... 
Here's the molds and the glass:
The glass cut to the mold size (the only scrap left over were the two pieces on the right):
The plates were then capped in clear and fired with a long bubble squeeze to minimize trapping bubbles which is more prone to happen with OpalArt: 
The pieces were then loaded back into the kiln and slumped to give this final outcome:
Not bad- four plates out of a single sale square!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Still Some Room Left

Zenia Does Zeuss

Take this-

Add this-

Get this-

Finish with this-

Is It Just Me?

Or is everyone getting old?
Today marks the 45th anniversary release of The Beatles‘ seventh album, 1967′s ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
Out on June 1, 1967, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ would draw the line between the past and the future. It was where pop and rock and roll became “rock,” and when 33 & 1/3s overtook 45s, as the significance of the single bowed down to the artistic statement of the album. It was the day that popular music became 'art'. It also became the day that Mikey threw out his Neil Sedaka CD's before they were even invented (talk about being ahead of his time!) and thought up the great idea to use the CD case as a copper foil dispenser!
The greatest album ever made? It did lead to the invention of the CD dispenser. Could it get any better?