Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Is It March Sale Time Or...

... is it just another opportunity to post an embarrassing picture of Zenia? We think either reason is valid. 

This month's sale here (don't see it, just do a page refresh)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Continuing Warm Glass

There are times when you just want to slump a single piece of glass into a mold (not everything needs to be double thickness or more). But, oh the horror, if you use a 'normal' slump temperature you end up with a raw (sharp) edge, when a nice fire polished edge is preferred. So here's the schedule we use to achieve it all- nice slump, and nice fire polished edges. Glass used is the stunning Uroboros 60-25. Mold is Slumpy's Wave #9249.

1- 500/hr to 1050, hold 5 min
2- 500/hr to 1200, hold 5 min
3- 250/hr to 1260, hold 10 min

You do have to remember this is a bit of a compromise as at this temperature, to get the glass soft enough to round off the edges the glass is also soft enough to pick up the texture of whatever it is sitting on. We use a cheap $5 mouth atomizer to apply our kilnwash to the mold which gives the smoothest surface eliminating brushstrokes (ask us and we'll show you how the atomizer works)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Lack of Glass Knowledge Affects Toronto Couple's Relationship

TORONTO, ON— The budding three day romance between Gary Browne and Katharine Chase ended this week after a failed series of questions over fusible glass caused Browne to re-evaluate Katharine's attractiveness as a potential spouse. "So I ask Katherine, what's the coefficient of expansion of glass? And she says it's the length a piece of glass expands and contracts over time. And my response is.... no, not even close," said Browne.
"Then I asked her, if the expansion of Spectrum fusible is .00000096, is that the numerical expression of the percentage change in length per degree change in temperature?'. 
And Katherine says no. And I'm all like, ummmm, WRONG!".
"And I start thinking, do I really want to marry a woman who is going to have kids that are as glass fusing science inept as she is?" 
"Katherine just didn't seem like the kind of Mom who is going to teach her future kids the truly important things in life, like compatibility testing and how to use a stressometer. So I had to dump her."
"It's really sad because I did care about her and we had some great times. But her glass skills are just the kind that can't keep an average guy like me interested. And I don't want my future children growing up with a mother that can barely conduct a thread pull or bar test after a massive amount of coaching. That's just not acceptable." 
According to Lani McGroggy at Bulls MatchMates, a Toronto-based dating agency, this sort of male behavior is very common now, in a powerful emerging trend referred to in dating agency circles as "glass shallowness".
"We're seeing more and more 'glass shallow' men come in who don't even want to see a photo of the woman, but who want to know whether her preference for glass lies in the copperfoil or lead technique, or whether they prefer Bullseye, Uroboros or Spectrum for fusing. It's really becoming a crisis for us because it's getting to be every guy who walks in our doors - and they are openly rejecting women who refuse to even consider the use of Bullseye or Uroboros art glass," noted McGroggy.
"My best advice to a young woman who wants to date and possibly marry is three words: Glass, glass, glass. It seems that the average beer-guzzling, hockey-watching Canadian male just doesn't care about physical appearance or a nice personality anymore - all he can think about is coefficients of expansion, appropriate copper foil widths and the proper application of patinas.
Browne may have found a new match - a Beginner Stained Glass student at Fantasy In Glass named Louise Barcelona, whom he met during a Saturday seminar on mosaics.
"I was just kind of chatting with Louise, feeling her out, seeing if she was hot or not, and I asked her about Mikey's formula, and she's all whispering in my ear going 'Mikey's formulas are only valid for linear systems with an invertible matrix coefficient', and I almost died. Katherine never did anything like that. Louise Barcelona is one woman who knows how to talk to a man."

Saturday, 16 February 2013


... chillin' with a couple of extremely fashionable students...

Friday, 15 February 2013

Test Firing Slumpy's New Molds

Working out some firings to make things easier for you...
Here's Slumpy's 6" diameter SM473 Top-Hat Candle mold (retail-$23.99). It posed a bit of a challenge because the sides are vertical and glass doesn't like to fall/slump straight down that easily. Because the drop is about 1.5 inches, the glass will stretch and perhaps thin out too much so we first fused two pieces of SP Spirit glass together giving us a 1/4" thick blank.
We got a perfect result with this schedule-
400/hr to 1050- hold 15 minutes
500/hr to 1275- hold 10 minutes.
While the temperature and soak time may be a little higher than the norm, due to the mold shape the glass needed that extra help. We did pick up some back texture from the mold (see pic) but it was minimal as we used a mouth atomizer to apply our kiln wash...

Thought You Should Know...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Pizza Boxes

We started using them to pack up your glass about 15 years ago, so we did it first Awreckzia, Loo Loo Lemon and all those other stores that stole Mikey's stroke of genius ...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Freak Accident paralyses Man From Waist Up

TORONTO, ON- A bizarre, un-precedented spinal injury sustained in a car accident Saturday has left local resident Al 'Only Two Hands' Nicarosiac paralyzed from the waist up.
“Al is back on his feet,” said Toronto Hospital head of surgery Gary Sorrel. "Unfortunately though, he has lost all feeling in his head, arms and torso. No longer with the ability to move from the waist up, he cannot speak, dial a telephone, cut stained glass or most tragically no longer use a handfoiler.” 

Doctors said however that Nicarosiac should be able to resume his career as a professional soccer player as early as next week.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Seuss and Facebook

We just finished off our fusing Seuss project of Green Eggs and Ham, with the Cat in the Hat along with One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and posted pictures and fusing/slumping information on how it was done for those who might be interested on our Facebook page.
Oh yeah, and if you do stop by there, tell us you 'like' us...


More from our Slumpy shipment - in Sys96, a dozen new colour mixes of millefiori, a great embellishment for any fusing project (in Sys96)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New From Slumpy

If you've been peeking at our facebook page then you know Traffic Tech worked like heck and got our Slumpy order to us today doing a great job beating the pending storm. Lots of molds, millefiori, and some particularly nice mixed colour frits- see video below for a taste...

Slumpy Mold Discovery

Fantasy in Glass has discovered that rats can be trained to help in the manufacture of their molds for glass slumping and fusing.

Apparently it's not just any rodents, but specifically the "highly social, intelligent" Figus Rattus- a small caviomorph rodent that is native to Toronto. And while they don't use tools in their natural habitats, they were taught by researchers as well as the staff of Fantasy In Glass (Canada's first and still only glass supplier) to do so in captivity.
After several months of training and practice, researchers say, the figus rattus can move a rake as smoothly and efficiently as any croupier in any Las Vegas casino- a handy skill when mixing the mud-like slurry that these molds for slumping glass are made of.
“This is first time rodents have been trained to wield tools”, said Gary Brownosley, a pseudoscientist, who led the experiments at the Laboratory for Really Cool Science in Toronto. He elaborated about how they are so efficient and quality conscious that the Teamsters’ Union has petitioned the mold manufacturer to either stop using these poor little helpless animals or to certify them to unionize the shop.
While these figus rodents are best at manufacturing molds 14” or smaller in diameter (a size that is easily accommodated by most of the kilns sold at FIG), scientists from the LRCS are considering training baboons in the manufacture of larger molds- a specialty of Brownosley’s.
While it has long been thought that tool use is a hallmark of higher intelligence, Dr. Brownosley said, the brain structures that underly such abilities may lie dormant in many animals with good hand-and-eye or paw-and-eye coordination. Training these figus to make molds in captivity provides insights into the plasticity of their brains, he said, and may even shed light on how early humans evolved tool use in the first place.
In separate studies, Dr. Brownosley notes they are examining gene expression in the brains of macaques and marmosets trained to check the coefficients of expansion in Uroboros glass.

Oh yeah, almost forgot- our Slumpy has arrived...

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Advantages of Retail...

You really do meet the nicest and sometimes, most talented people when running a retail store. One of them is Enoch Kent (nice for sure, talented see below), and we are proud to call him a customer.
Scottish-born, this legendary songsmith was co-founder of the acclaimed Singers Club with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. He even can make claim to hooking up Bono's parents so without Enoch there would be no U2!
Since immigrating to Canada in the 60s, Enoch performed in many folk clubs and festivals across the country to wide acclaim. During that time, he focused on live performance and decided to put recording aside for, as he says, “a wee while”.
After a 36-year recording hiatus, at 70 years young, Enoch well made up for lost time with his return to the studio and the release of 4 outstanding CDs on the Canadian indie label Second Avenue Records: “I’m A Workin’ Chap”, “Love, Lust & Loathing”, “For The Women”, and “I’m A Rover”. These albums have been garnering rave reviews, extensive airplay, 2 Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, and tour opportunities across Canada, the US, and UK.
But, aside from all this free PR above, we just want to let people know about a new project of his that is well worth attending- the Wee Folk Club, a small intimate club featuring some of the best folk, blues and traditional music in Toronto.
The next Wee Folk Club is THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen St E, Toronto). Cover is $10. The music starts promptly at 7:30pm. Tell Enoch Mikey sent ya and he'll have to buy you a nice single malt scotch...
http://theweefolkclub.wordpress.com/. The night features The Bilge rats and Owen McBride.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

$5 Shipping, Amazing! But Free This Month!

While we ship just about everything we carry, we have no problem and do ship glass regularly. 
But here's where it gets really good-  we also ship over 230 colours and styles of glass in 6" x 6" squares anywhere in Canada and we'll do it for a flat rate of a lousy $5.00 (five bucks!) regardless of how many you want!!
Yes, it is all Sys96 glass but remember it is also perfect for any of your stained glass projects too.

We've also built a new up-to-date colour palette chart complete with pricing (suitable for framing- go here) to make ordering (form here) just way too easy.

NB: This month, we'll ship this glass to you absolutely free!. Go here for more info...

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Kiln Is Dead. Long Live the Kiln!

Our Big Blue Denver Kiln was one of the first major pieces of equipment we bought 30 years ago! 
In those early startup days of Fantasy In Glass. 
And money was tight in those early days- we didn't have the opportunities we have today, like selling the naming rights to our building to the SwissCheesed GlassWerks Company.
As a matter of fact things were so hard that we could never afford wieners in our Mac'n'Cheese. 
But that kiln. 
It ran day and night, like a Swiss clock, unfailing, unrelenting, ever persistent, never asking for anything but the occasional dusting to show off its blue paint.
And work it hard we did (yes, Zenia, maybe even harder than you).
That blue monster fired painted glass for windows that ended up in churches all across the country. Heck, they even published a book on our work using this kiln for St. Basil's Basilica in Edmonton.
But alas, that dutiful, sweet, gentle Denver Blue Kiln is no more.
It died today.
But despair not. We have very exciting news pending...