Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 27 July 2012

Where Can I Buy Bullseye Glass Now You Asked

Yes, I love Bullseye that much!
Since our July 18 post (see below) where we recap the sad situation about Bullseye no longer having a distributor in Canada, we've been getting a tremendous amount of email and phonecalls asking about alternate sources.
Well folks, sadly, there really isn't one here in Canada, as we so aptly pointed out in that same posting,
So, what's a coe 90 fuser to do?
Why not try out the best source there is- buy from Bullseye direct!
Yes folks, it's true! 
Why bother with the couple of Bullseye dealers that most likely won't have what you want, when you want it, when you can go on Bullseye's easy-to-shop website and buy it swiftly, easily and painlessly there. And by doing so you'll get everything you need. Easy. Ah heck Gary Brown does it in his underwear (boxers sadly, not briefs). And besides, it seems that with such a beautiful on-line shopping cart along with some very generous discounts they offer (up to 50% off!), it's obvious that Bullseye themselves would prefer you buy from them rather than their dealers anyway.

With the dollar at close to par and no duties (NAFTA Agreement) there really isn't a price penalty either, especially when you see the incredible discounts Bullseye gives every day. 
And in August, they are having a sale so big that you could save enough money to make flying down worthwhile!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Free Fusing Seminar Sat. August 11

One more time!
Come on in on Saturday August 11 and bask in the glory of  knowing that you will be enjoying yourself unashamed and unencumbered by the worry of finance as you will be taking our six hour Intro to Fusing class (10am to 4pm) as taught by Louie 'I'm not from Barcelona' Deeaz, absolutely free (run-on sentences Mikey has to still work on).
That's right folks. 
No casuistry or sophism, no stratagem or subterfuge (sorry, I've been reading Conrad Black's book again...Mikey), really- no tricks at all. 
Just 100% absolutely free! As a matter of fact this is the same course we actually usually charge real money for ($195.00!)(see here).
And why free?
Seems Mikey is just so lonely and bored in the slow month of August. He can only put up with so many beauty naps (apparently not enough for me... The Missus) and wants to spread the love and passion of fusing to as many people as possible.
Now, as promised, the course really is free, but we do have a system to guarantee a successful running, so here's all that we ask of you-
Call the store or drop in and leave a $50 goodwill deposit that will be refunded when you attend the class on Sat. July 21 (if you decide to not show up then you won't be there to get the refund. But even better, you will now be ever joyful in the glow of good feelings aware that Mikey's family will now take that forfeited money and once again be able to enjoy weiners in their evening dinner of Mac'n'Cheese). 
Simple and way too cheap!

Don't delay as both freebies in July filled quickly!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bullseye Glass

Wow, we sure didn't expect our little post about Bullseye to cause such waves as it did.

Let's recap:
Bulleye's only distributor in Canada announced last week that they will no longer carry Bullseye Glass. 
That means no more catspaw opals, no more streakies, no fracture/streamers, and most importantly, no more fusible glass. 
All we did was post that fact on our blog.

A couple of days later, Bullseye issued the statement copied below:
"To our friends and customers in Canada,
We recently learned that a glass distributor in the Toronto area has announced that they are no longer carrying Bullseye Glass products. That’s too bad and we’re sorry to see them go. Fortunately, Bullseye Glass continues to be readily available across Canada.
We recommend these three suppliers who welcome your business:"
They then list off the three businesses.

So is Bullseye still 'readily available across Canada'?
We did some asking around. 
Not really.
Oh, sure if you want just the rudimentary stuff like common colours of sheet glass, nothing too out of the ordinary. but need some of the less popular stuff? 
Not likely.

You see, Bullseye is sort of right, but they are not really being totally forthright.
It seems that yes, you can get some of their product according to Bullseye at these three places that they promote as legitimate suppliers (which leads me to ask why you would want to be a reseller of Bullseye when Bullseye would rather sell to your customers themselves instead of you, I don't know, but I digress).
But hey wait a minute. 
Are these guys really full-line suppliers? Is Bullseye really 'readily available'?
Not really.
Sure they carry some Bullseye. Heck they might even special order all the stuff they don't carry if you're willing to wait a month or two. What these suppliers really are is one dealer and two teaching centres and not full line suppliers and therefore carry only a portion of the Bullseye line (something we know all too well having been a dealer for over a decade). No dealer could afford to carry every item Bullseye makes. That's actually the responsibility of the full-line distributors. And that's ok, because while distributors have higher buying requirements to assure a good support base of supplies, they also get much better pricing to compensate this. But that's how and why we used to be able to get everything Bullseye produced so readily.
But now, we no longer have the benefit of a full line distributor as Bullseye neglects to mention. 
But Bullseye seems to think that's ok, not to worry, there are three other sources to buy from. So maybe we should look at those three suppliers then.
Two of the three are what Bullseye calls 'Bullseye Kiln-Glass Resource Center Preferred Partner'. This means that these shops were given a Bullseye dealership along with some preferred pricing.
But, get this- they are not allowed to carry any other glass than Bullseye. 
No Spectrum Sys96. No Uroboros fusible glass. I know, hard to believe, and these businesses are owned by what I thought were entrepreneurs.
What if you want some Sys96? You got to go somewhere else. Is that right? How does that help the market when a supplier forcefully limits free choice?
So, sorry Bullseye, we still say that Bullseye Glass is not 'readily available across Canada'.
Think we will have a wee dram of some Oban Scotch and commiserate that fact...

Seems Someone Has a Death Wish

'Boy, the boss' tape measure really is nice.
Good thing he ain't around to see me use it!''
says Nicholas Picholas unknowingly

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Glass Fancy

There are lots of blogs out there dealing with glass, but not  too many of the quality of this one from Kerstin, a fusing artist. Beautiful quality, original designs, technically challenging- she has it all. (dig deep into the blog and don't judge her work based on that top pic of the censored bunny).
See for yourself here... 

Friday, 13 July 2012

Video Series Continues from Elsewhere

It's no secret that we have always been huge fans of Uroboros. They are the only glass manufacturer left making Tiffany style glass such as fracture/streamers, Drapery and the stunning Ring Mottle, as well as a full line of fusible glass in two different coefficients.
We just received a large shipment from them earlier this month and wanted to share these two videos from them to give you some insight into what they are all about...


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Again More Goodies From A Huge Mess

Our old custom framing guy made these up for us a few years back, and they were obviously just dumped in the Doom Room. Stained, nicely finished, size is 21" x 35"

New Custom Wood Frames


Continuing with Tiffany

Landscape with Waterfalls, early 1920s.

This window demonstrates how Tiffany's craftsmanship manipulated several kinds of glass to create extraordinary naturalness. Mottled glass recreates intense sunlight as filtered through the leaves of the trees. Striated glass evokes movement of the water in the foreground. Plating several layers of coloured glass on the reverse creates the impression of distant misty, mountain peaks. 
And if you analyze it piece by piece, it shouldn't make any sense at all...

Teenuh and James

Today, we introduce the new Mrs. Teenuh Neill to the world. 
Married at a wonderful celebration on Sat. July 7, 2012.
Congratulations you two!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

Yet Again More Mess Goodies

Here's a brand new grinder base (new motor) in a discoloured casing. If you've got an Inland Wiz or Wizling, here's your chance to get a backup for next to nothing!

Inland Grinder Base and New Motor


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

"John predicted Bullseye Glass’ Newest Colour Releases’” claims Yoko

Paint scheme inspired by Bullseye Glass colour palette
New York, New York - Yoko Ono, widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, claimed today that "my John" had foreseen the introduction of many of Bullesye Glass’ pending new colours over the years, before they were released and even more shocking- even before the formation of the Bullseye Glass Company. 
The latest colour correctly foreseen by John is their new and exciting Aventurine Blue. This assertion for predicting the production of BU#1140, which has shocked everyone in the industry, is based on an early, unrecorded version of a song that Lennon wrote in 1967, 13 years before his untimely death.
Ono unearthed the song while "rooting through a few drawers". Underneath an old Spectrum Glass stocklist, she discovered the song, recorded on a portable cassette player, entitled "Yer Blues" that predates its release on the Beatles’ White album (a reference to Bu #0113 no doubt).
"He just loved that colour and how it sparkled and made him forget about his less talented song writing partner Paul (letters to Ed at fig@fantasyinglass.com)".
"Many a night John and I would stay up, recording our own music, just the two of us (you know, the really good stuff like Two Virgins), influenced by colours such as Aventurine Blue, never having yet been invented" she reminisced.
Famed record producer, Phil Spectrum exclaimed, “For all those years up until his tragic death, John waited anxiously for that day when Dan, Boyce and Ray at Bullseye would listen to his music and finally realize John’s dream and develop this colour.
Scientists have dismissed Ono's claim, stating that at the time of Lennon's death, the glass community was preoccupied with finding a really nice Honey Opal . One journalist, with no interest in stained glass, asked Yoko "Is it not obvious that McCartney was vastly more talented than your late husband?" and was told "Do you see any songs written about System 96 colours? Or any about Slumpy's fusing molds? Besides, what do the songs say eh? Lennon/McCartney. LENNON/McCartney, THAT'S what they say. McCartney never even foresaw the proliferation of reasonably priced Coneart kilns".
It’s also speculated that Lennon foresaw Bullseye’s manufacture of a line of rods for torchwork when he wrote a song with the working title of ‘Give Beads a Chance’.

Bullseye Glass Discontinued

Boy oh boy, here's an entry where we have to seriously bite our tongue. Like shooting fish in a barrel, just too easy to make comments. 
But for once, Mikey says take the high road. Sort of.
Our one and only Canadian glass supplier has just announced they will no longer carry Bullseye Glass!
That's right folks. No more catspaw opals. No fracture/streamers. No more 90 coe glass for fusing. All gone. No longer available here in Canada.
But you know what? To be honest, it really wasn't much of a surprise considering the very deep discounts they were offering prior to this announcement.
Also, it's not really much of a shock given the trend of OOCGS supplier steadily reducing their selection to where we might soon end up with only Spectrum and gluchip!
Look out Kokomo and Wissmach- you could be next...
We rerun a blog entry from the past in memory of the death of Bullseye Glass in Canada below...

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Calm Down, Everything Is Going To Be Just Fine

It really is no secret that our stained glass industry is in trouble. 
Pathetic supplier situation. Stores closing. Difficulty getting inventory. Increasingly alternate sources of amusement competing with our hobby.
But we persist. 
And that’s why we feel compelled to address an awkward issue. 

Seems with the recent glass store closings many of you have asked us what our intentions are. 
Will we be next?
It’s dangerous to even bring this topic out in to the open as merely addressing it causes all manner of speculation. 
As such, we feel an uncomfortable need to allay our customers and make the following statement:
If you’ve been into Fantasy In Glass recently you’ll see that we still believe that we have a place and a purpose to provide a needed service to this craft and our customers. 
And the proof of this can be found by the significant increase in our inventory in recent months. Not really the kind of thing you’d see if we were planning to close (although it might be the sort of thing a sharp retailer would do if he suspected a supplier of his might be due to fail... Vanna Opal).
So, relax. 
We’re not going anywhere.

But... this does give us an opportunity to bring up a somewhat related topic- our store hours. 
We are adjusting them. 
Firstly, it was perhaps an error to open so late in the day at 11 am, so we are rectifying that by opening at 10 am (besides the drive-thru line up at Tim Hortons is more manageable then).
Our closing times remain 5 pm and 7 pm on class nights. 
But now we will also be closed on Tuesdays (along with Sunday and Monday) effective August 2012.
I know, its a little unconventional.
Ah, what the heck, it's a lot unconventional.
Who has a retail store that is only open 4 days a week?
Well, it seems we will.
And why?
We’ve been in business for thirty years. Still love the craft, and more so our customers. We have a responsibility to continue to be there for you. We also have a responsibility to ourselves and feel that after 30 years, it is time to enjoy life a bit more outside of our business. 
So look at this as a good compromise. 
The alternative is not one we would consider as it seems there are many in this craft that expect us to be there for them...
Still Not Singing...

More From A Huge Mess

Found about twenty great quality (and typically over engineered and unnecessarily complicated design-wise) Gryphon grinder eye shields. They were originally made for Gryphon's Gryphette grinder, now discontinued.
While they are not made for any other grinder, with a little ingenuity it could be made to work (compare at $25/other brands).

Grinder EyeShield

$5 (final sale)

Friday, 6 July 2012

More Goodies From a Huge Mess

Long time ago, Inland put out a conversion kit to make your Inland grinder into a disc grinder. This kit includes a special top, guides and 6" grinding disc. Just add your Wizling/Wiz! Originally sold for $100.00 (a long time ago).

Inland TwinSpin Conversion Kit
Guaranteed new
$45! (final sale)

You Don't Argue When They Are Bigger Than You

"Hi Mike, these are my husband's (David - not Mike, lol) two completed projects.
One is our dog Harley. He did the wood frame & chain himself as well. This one is huge in size and made his own pattern out of a photo we had taken.The other is a Sphynx cat, he did for his daughter."

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Pinks in the Sale Racks

Seems we have lots of different pinks in our sale square racks. 
Nicholas Picholas is sad that he has only one pink shirt...

More Goodies from A Huge Mess

 Another Doom Room find is a case of Dan Fenton authored Kilnworking Notes book- Glass Under Heat. This really is a great resource, but due to it's high price (originally $79.99) and its low-fi format (3 ring binder) it never really sold. It's a shame as he covers topics here better than anywhere else (if they are covered at all- such as using inclusions).

Glass Under Heat Book
First Come First Serve- $23.00!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Look What We Found- A Huge Mess!

You know, when you've been in business for 30+ years, you tend to accumulate/inherit a lot of stuff. Some of it good. Some of it great. And sometimes, some of it neither (maybe we should call Glass Stuff in Ottawa and see if they want some of our stuff?).
Mikey decided this week to dive head first (that way he's unlikely to hurt himself),  into what we affectionately call the 'Doom Room' and began to clean it out. 
The DR has been the long time home of our large Denver kiln (Big Blue)- our old workhorse that fired all those church windows we made in our old studio days. 
But while the kiln is large, it is small when you consider it sits in a 600 sq. ft space, away from prying eyes. In other words, with a store jam packed with inventory, the Doom Room became a convenient dumping spot.
So, cleaning up means some serious purging and some great deals. Keep checking the blog over the next week or two...
We start our purge today with...

A Gryphon C40 bandsaw

Of course it works (amazingly powerful and quiet direct drive motor). Includes all parts even some new ones. All it needs is some loving care and nurturing to get back into good order. Heck at this price, just buy it for the spare parts!
$50! (as is- final sale)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

And 'Cuzz It's One of Mikey's Favourites

...we must add some more Kokomo pics here....

And Also Also Uroboros

Perhaps the last company still upholding the glass traditions of the last century. Uroboros is all that's left of the art glass field still manufacturing it all from fracture/streamer and other collage glasses, to glorious ring mottles and ripples to drapery glass. They really do it all!

And Also Kokomo

Kokomo Glass is the oldest stained glass manufacturer still in existence producing glass today. They started humbly making electrical insulators and progressed to where they were selling their art glass to Louie Tiffany Himself! It's Mike's favourite so we are required to show it off...

Yet More Glass

Just got some more of Spectrum's new and exciting 'Fusers' Reserve' glass in this morning, and just like the stuff that arrived last month, this batch is just as spectacular. 
Now, remember, while it might be System 96 glass which we usually use for fusing, it actually just is glass, so feel free to use it for your stained glass projects as well.

Hey, think any stained glass designs of those 'Group of Seven or Eight or Whatever Number it Might Be This Week Guys' who paint like my eight year old niece (letters to Nicholas Picholas at fig@fantasyinglass.com...Vanna Opal) could be a good use for this glass?