Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Human Genome Project Finds Mutated Gene That May Explain Baffling Fondness For Stained Glass

TORONTO, ON- As the first phase of the mapping of human DNA comes to a completion, a preliminary draft reveals the discovery of a mutated gene that may explain the baffling popularity of stained glass.
“The loud, repetitive pattern of sound that a Toyo Tap cutter imparts as it glides across a sheet of Spectrum opal seems to trigger a favourable response in the brain that goes counter to our understanding of what we normally consider pleasurable stimulus. We believe it’s caused by a gene mutation we sequenced,” said Zenja Chaboosky, a lowly research assistant at McMuster University involved with the project. 

The gene theory was met with relief by noted stained glass store owner Mikey in Toronto. “I’ve been puzzled for years. This may finally be the answer,” he said. 
Subsequent comments by the staff are best left unsaid...

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sales Page Update

Our Monthly Sales page is now The Unpredictable and Sporadically Always Changing Sales Page and already Mikey has changed and added stuff- see here (you might need to do a page refresh)...

Yup, Still No Full Line Distributor

... but we seem to be doing just fine. In today comes a truck shipment with 2 skids full of stuff like over 800' in Spectrum Sale Squares, 450' Spectrum Fusibles, hobby came in rolls, all foil sizes and colours, 400' Kokomo art glass, 450' Uroboros art glass and fusible glass, all manner of tools (still looking for that elusive bottle of Scotch- Mike's favourite tool), bevels, frits and powders...

Christmas Gift Idea

Just a quick note- we have a bunch of hand made fused glass pendants from the Brain Injury Association and they are a lousy $10 (tax included).
A great last minute stocking stuffer!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

FigSip Silver Patina Back In Stock!

You've surely noticed that the need for a top-quality Silver Patina has increased dramatically in recent years.
It seems that people are no longer merely satisfied with Black, Copper and Antique Brass Patinas.
As our expectations rise so do our demands for better choice and quality.
That's why FIG Chemicals has developed a Silver Patina for the discriminating connoisseur.
The Fantasy In Glass Silver Patina (or FigSip) is of the highest quality assuring the user of an even, rich shiny silver finish with just one application.
So, when you want that unique, rich look of silver, try FigSip Patina, the choice of professionals.
Available exclusively at your Fantasy In Glass supplier.

(paid advertisement)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Everything's $1000' Store Goes Out of Business

TORONTO, ON- Citing 'phenomenally poor sales' the retail store Everything's A Thousand Bucks Glass Store filed for bankruptcy protection Monday. 
"When we started, we were really excited about the concept. It was working for the Everything For A Dollar Store, why not try it?" the store's owner Guiseppi Rengia said. 
"You could walk into my store, plunk down a grand and walk out with anything you saw on my shelves. We had it all- from flux brushes to copper foil, from Youghiogheny to Bullseye glass!  Unfortunately the public just never seemed to respond." 
When pressed for reasons for the store's failure, Mr. Rengia was unsure, "It's hard to say. I wouldn't want to speculate but maybe we didn't do good enough of a job marketing ourselves. You know, with stores like Fantasy in Glass and that Mikey, it's a tough industry." 
Rengia said he would eventually like to open a 'more upscale shop, perhaps in the eight to ten thousand dollar range' to fill the space formerly housing his Everything For One Thousand Dollars Stained Glass Store located in the Acme Mall between Tom's Crystal Emporium and Canadian Tire.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Intermediate Students

Some are so clever and talented. Here John shows off his fused piece from Frozen...

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Another FIG Success Story

"Thanks FIG!"

"Before I started buying all my stained glass and fusing supplies at Fantasy In Glass, I ate macaroni and cheese and people loathed and shunned me. 
I was a total loser.
But now, thanks to the friendly folks at FIG, I have a hot new girlfriend, a numbered Swiss bank account and an impressive collection of Steuben glassware."

David Chase

Honest,We Didn't Set This Up

Could you ask for a more appropriate paint scheme for a car parked in front of a stained glass store?

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Spectrum's Newest Fusers' Reserve

We talked about this glass earlier in Mikey's blog and how it reacts under heat; namely, that the centre lightens considerably while the outer edge remains its original colour, creating stunning effects in pieces built on-edge, or stacked.
In addition to this cool 'sandwich' effect, Vanilla Cream is also highly reactive when fused next to Copper-bearing glasses. 
So what does Mikey do?
He tests it out by cutting up a bunch of strips in both the Vanilla Cream and a high copper blue and does a fuse and slump to see how this glass strikes and reacts. Here's the result-

Help Santa Do His Job!

Get a copy of your own helpful Christmas Wish List here. 
Stick it under someone's pillow and if they don't take heed, print off a second copy to stick somewhere else! 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Stained Glass Store Employee Caught Texting while Cutting Glass

TORONTO, ON- Fantasy In Glass employee Zenia F.L. Blossom was texting on her iPhone while cutting a sheet of Uroboros 60-25 (Crimson Red, Grenadine Red and Pumpkin with Wispy White) when customer Gary Brown took a picture of her Thursday morning.
The shot, taken at Canada's Greatest Stained and Fusing Glass Emporium located at 703 The Queensway, in Toronto's west end, was full of customers at the time and clearly shows the slight of stature employee focused on her smartphone rather than the glass. 
"The FIG staff member's attention was clearly and alarmingly divided between typing and cutting that gorgeous sheet of Uroboros art glass. This is incredibly serious", said Gary Brown. 

"It would appear that she had little regard for the skill and craftsmanship that the employees of Uroboros put into their glass, and has treated said glass with wanton disregard".
When contacted by the press, President and Founder Mikey Figgy said that disciplinary actions are being considered, and that there will be no wieners in said employee's Mac'n'Cheese dinner tonight.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Don't have many friends? 
No one to Xmas shop for?
Looking for some excitement?
Then consider some of these craft shows coming up-

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Supply Situation

Still without any full-line distributor here in Ontario, you'd think getting supplies might be an issue. 
And it might be. 
For some.
But apparently not us. 
We just took delivery of our 9th truck shipment in five weeks and the store has never been this full.
In today- all English Muffles and Spectrum Rough Rolls, bevels such as the 1 3/4" x 3" diamonds (the most popular size), all o/s Spectrum fusibles (now at 100% coverage!), including some very cool Fusers Reserves-

Aanraku bails, chemicals (some new and larger sizes), Morton work surfaces, fruit makers and sifters, and it goes on and on (as does Mikey... Wanna Opal)...

Of special note- we've got more of the newest Spectrum Almond in. This is a very clever glass (unlike Mikey ... Vanna Opal). In its cold state (like Vanna?... Mikey), it looks like an Almond Opal, but when fused you can see that the center lightens considerably while the outer edge remains its original colour, creating stunning effects in pieces built on-edge, or stacked.
Very tricky (like Vanna… Mikey).

Monday, 17 November 2014

Fusing Seminar This Saturday

Think you know everything?
If you do then don't bother reading any further (like Mikey). 
But if you don't, then consider coming in this Saturday November 22 for our Intro to Fusing seminar with Louie the 'I'm not from Barcelona' Instructor. 
This is a hands-on day (but hands off Louie- the class after all is only $155.00 with $40.00 as a store credit) will teach you everything you'd need to know to explore the world of fusing, the fastest growing segment in glass art and crafts. Bring your hand tools as you will make lots of stuff this day and we'll fire it for you. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Paul Is Dead

The investigative staff of Fantasy In Glass' acclaimed journal, the Diary of a Demented Store Owner has irrefutable proof of the demise of Paul McCartney, affirming rumours heard throughout the Sixties. 
We have documentation proving that he was replaced by an associate- someone with even less talent than the real Paul McCartney (send letters care of Ed at fig@fantasyinglass.com).

Apparently, it was John Lennon's wish to announce the change in the Beatle's lineup with the release of what was to become their last studio recording originally entitled Gary's Pound of Brown after Gary Brown, glass instructor to the music industry's rock stars. 
It seems John, along with George, Paul and Ringo had become disillusioned with the Maharishi and his teachings on transcendental meditation, and looked to stained glass in their quest to find inner peace, harmony and inspiration. It was during the recording sessions for this album that Paul met his unfortunate death when a truck's delivery of lead shifted and came crashing through the bathroom window onto Paul while he was indisposed.
John wrote 'She Came In Through the Bathroom Window and Carry That Weight in memory of this tragic event.
With the imminent release of the now renamed Abbey Road, the need to replace Paul became apparent. Searching no further than their fellow stained glass students, a young lad of small frame and poor complexion was chosen, it seems not for his resemblance to Paul, but for his skill at cutting compound angles in flat 1/4" lead. Going by the name of Mikey, his lack of songwriting skills (as Paul) (once again send letters care of Ed
 at fig@fantasyinglass.com…) were immaterial to the remaining group members.
It was at this exact moment that Ringo first coined his famous phrase- “Peace and Lead, Peace and Lead” (see below).

Friday, 14 November 2014

Some New Stuff

Spectrum Glass has just refreshed their stained glass and fusible glass catalogues.
Get the stained glass version here.
Get the fusible glass version here.
Or come in and get a paper copy here.
Mikey is so helpful, isn't he?

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Christmas Fusing Seminar

Our Christmas Ornament Fusing Seminar taking place this coming Saturday is full. 
Next week (Sat. Nov. 22) we have an Intro to Fusing Seminar that we are now adding a Christmas Ornament component with patterns, etc. 
So if you were sad to miss it this Saturday, you don't have to be.
As usual everything you make that day will be fired as part of the seminar cost.
Still a few spots left.
See here for more info...

Spectrum Project

Just got notification of a new Spectrum Sys96 fusing project and this is a good one!
Go here to download the pattern and instructions or ask for a copy next time you are in...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Ring Mottles as Somewhat Stolen From Uroboros

Ring Mottle Opalescent Sheet Glass- a unique art glass style of glass slowly dying off in popularity... shamefully.
Originally discovered/invented by Tiffany Studios in the early 20th century, Ring Mottles are a special effect of localized, heat-treated opacification and crystal-growth dynamics. 

Louis Comfort Tiffany was searching for glass containing realistic natural effects to express his representational imagery with minimal use of painting. He couldn't have been happier than when he saw the first accidentally formed Ring Mottles, and he found a myriad of uses for them!
After the closure of the Tiffany Furnaces in Corona, New York in 1931, Ring Mottles were thought to be lost to the stained glass industry. In the mid '70s, Uroboros' founder Eric Lovell successfully reproduced them and brought them back into the stained glass marketplace. Since then, like in Tiffany's day, Ring Mottles have been used for realistic-looking shadows, sunspots on leaves or ground, or to create small background repeats of larger foreground pieces. Cut lines that follow individual rings can produce the best shadowed effect.  An example is the use of green mottled areas in the background areas behind individually cut green leaves.
Another is the use of flower-colored mottles in the background of larger flower pieces. In large pieces, mottles may be used in groups or cut in half to break up the circular images and achieve a single band through each piece.
Ring Mottles are also used in contemporary works when nonlinear or abstract color patterns are desired. Typical locations might be in border row pieces, background areas around a beveled interior, or in flat panels in lamps.
Bullseye stopped producing mottles several years ago, pretty well leaving Uroboros to carry the torch alone.
And carry it they seem to do with great effect. We carry as much of their mottles as possible, as well as the rest of their line, and are glad to show it off when you come in. We also have several reference books such as Alastair Duncan's Lamps of Tiffany that can show you to great effect why you might want to consider ring mottles in a project.

See here for more.

A Rare Free Plug

Some Housekeeping Stuff

A couple of notes ...
As usual, Spectrum at times discontinues some colours and brings in new ones. We are usually pretty good at telling you what's new, but not so much on what's been dropped (Vanna Opal's fault no doubt... Mikey).
In the regular line BR604, 6029.83, I100V, I100QR are all gone.
In fusible 218.71, 403.96 and OA244.54 are no longer available.
On another note, we've always used antiques as store fixtures but as we grown over 30 years, due to space constraints these fixtures have been 'decommissioned' and are now sitting unloved and forlorn just waiting to be picked up by someone to be once again loved and admired. Go here to check them out...

This antique not for sale... yet...

Monday, 10 November 2014

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 twenty years ago by Joe. 
Long time customers would understand the significance of the title and this entry...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Current Hours 

Monday ......................Closed (sorry)
Tuesday ......................10 am to 5 pm
Wednesday.................. 10 am to 7 pm
Thursday..................... 10 am to 5 pm
Friday......................... 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday......................10 am to 4 pm
Sunday....................... Closed (sorry)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A Reminder- Our Christmas Ornament Fusing Seminar

Once again, just think... if Sandy can do it...

... then so can you.

Yes, folks. That’s right!
Now you too can be somewhat ok at this craft as she has almost sort of become.
Here Sandy somewhat modestly shows off her 432nd batch of fused pieces she made just after taking our one day Fusing Seminar With Louie (I'm not from Barcelona) Deeaz.
And now she has decided that this is the best way to be able to continue to afford wieners for her Mac’n’Cheese by making fused Christmas ornaments for all her friends and family.
And she’ll do so by taking the newest Seminar being taught by Louie 'I'm Not From Barcelona' Deeuz.

Get prepared now for the Christmas season & get your fill of fusing. Over the summer the staff ( Vanna & Voovoo to be specific) have been filling up the kilns with adorable fused Christmas themed ornaments.

This seminar includes a comprehensive folder of patterns and inspiration (for you to keep), studio time, all firings, some of Mikey’s bad jokes (don’t worry- not all of them). It will also 

include accessory glass such as stringers, noodles, glass rods and dots, some wires for wrapping, frits and powders, and Xmas appropriate refreshments, all conducted under the watchful eye of your instructor. Louie will go over the basics of fusing and will teach various techniques related to making these ornaments (i.e. wire wrapping).

Just bring your personal tools and fusible glass and get ready to rumble ( oops wrong ad).

Cost ........ $99.00
Saturday November 15, 2014 .............. 10:30 am to 3:30 pm 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sales Page Just Updated!

Our Sales page is now The Unpredictable and Sporadically Always Changing Sales Page and already Mikey has changed and added stuff- see here (you might need to do a page refresh)...

Of special note is the huge sale on all Spectrum Sys96 Cathedrals!

They Just Keep Coming and Coming

After a large truck delivery a couple of days ago, we find another one coming in today- a necessity as there is no longer a Canadian full-line glass supplier.
Literally this one contains a ton of Uroboros Glass and over a thousand sale squares.
Also coming in is (yippee!) another skid load of Taurus 3 Ringsaws- badly needed, as the last load sold out in less than 10 days. Mikey's fault as he demands they be sold too cheaply! 
See our Sales Page for special pricing...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Employee of the Month Sad It's Already the 15th

TORONTO, ON- Sam Savid a housewears department shelf stocker and occasional cashier at Acme Glass, expressed sadness Wednesday over the rapidly approaching end to his reign as Employee of the Month. Fellow employees didn't have the heart to tell Mr. Davisdunn his reign had actually ended 7 years ago.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Upcoming Seminar

Thursday November 6  evening!

#303- Be The Glass- Fusing and Firing Schedules
This seminar allows you access to one of the most unique and interesting fusing repositories (suppositories? … Vanna Opal)… Mikey’s Brain.
Mikey has been fusing for over 30 years, even before compatible glasses were readily available. He has so much technical information in his brain he is losing space and needs to share all that information before his head explodes. This seminar is not only going to be extremely useful for fusers of all levels, but it may just save his life. Mikey can answer those questions you all have… Why didn’t that fuse the way I wanted? Why didn’t my plate fall as far as I wanted when it slumped? Why is my plate pulling in on the edges? Why are there bubbles in my piece? Why is the sky blue? Why is my piece picking up so much texture? How long should I anneal my piece?
Many fusers may know the basics of firing, because there are enough schedules available out there. But, do you know why you might fire at 200 degrees an hour and not 800 degrees? Do you know how many segments to use in a firing schedule? Or why annealing temps and lengths may differ? Can you program a Bartlett Controller? Do you know what that button with the X on it is used for on... oops, that’s Playstation, never mind. This seminar will teach you to think and ‘be the glass’ allowing you to use your own logic in determining a proper firing schedule that is project specific and the reasoning behind altering/adapting a program. We will cover such technical topics as developing and adjusting firing

schedules for your kiln, understanding why firing schedules are so important, annealing, troubleshooting project issues, programming your kiln, avoiding unwanted bubbles, volume control, and most importantly (and most requested) SLUMPING!

    Cost of this course includes multiple handouts. And don't be afraid- bring in some of your pieces to share and/or critique.

Saturday October 4, 2014 ......... 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Thursday November 6, 2014 ......... 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Cost .................................. $19.00 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Supply Truck Today

If you've ordered any supplies and are waiting for them, they are due in today (still no full-line distributor since the demise of the last one). That includes more Taurus 3 Ringsaws, Sys96 glass stuff such as the new Striker Almond (very cool!),  all manner of frits and powders, popular Yogi colours such as the perpetually sold out YO4444, lead and zinc cames, Tekta, Papyrus, DL drivebelts, weird heads such as the 5/8" Starlet, some great new Uroboros ( lots of great hot solid colours such as reds and yellows) and about 1200 more sale squares are due today.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lack of Glass Knowledge Affects Toronto Couple's Relationship

TORONTO, ON— The budding three day romance between Gary Browne and Theresa Teacher ended this week after a failed series of questions over fusible glass caused Browne to re-evaluate Theresa's attractiveness as a potential spouse. 
"So I ask Theresa, 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 Theresa 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?"
"Theresa 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 Louie Barcelona, whom he met during a Saturday seminar on mosaics.
"I was just kind of chatting with Louie, 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. Theresa never did anything like that. Louie Barcelona is one woman who knows how to talk to a man."

Monday, 27 October 2014

Upcoming Seminars

Puddles and Plates........ Sat. November 1 and 8
Be The Glass................................... Thur. Nov. 6
Xmas Fused Ornaments........ Sat. November 15
Intro to Fusing................................. Sat. Nov. 22
Glass Cutting and Jigs........... Sat. November 29
Decorative Soldering............. Sat. November 29
Soldering in the Nude.......... Nov. 31 (sorry- full)

More details here.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The FIG Reasonably Helpful Hint of the Once in Awhile

Dig out that old Neil Sedaka (isn’t it Neil Dekaka?...Mike) CD (Vanna’s is usually in her player… Mikey) and remove the disc, ‘cuzz we’re gonna give you a great use for that case. 
Take a hacksaw and cut a single notch through the middle of the top side of the top part of the CD case. Still with me? Put a roll of copper foil inside said case. Pull foil through said cut slot. Bingo! Instant foil dispenser. 
Relegate Neil Sedaka CD to burnishing tool. Can’t figure it out? Come in and see our sample (but leave Neil at home...Ed)(He prefers Tony Orlando...Mikey).

Ernest Ainsley Has Got Nothing On Mikey

Watch in amazement and wonder as Mikey miraculously heals a sheet of glass... 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Circle of Life

Allow this author a quiet moment to reminisce and share something with you.
This is a picture of a moment frozen in time. 

Decades ago. 
A time where you left your front door unlocked. When you let your dog, Spot (for real) out the front door to roam the whole day free without fear and retribution. Where liquor was bought by nervously sliding a paper tag to a judgemental store clerk. 
In other words, it was a time when Mikey was born. 
Now I just know that this picture will surely bring a tear to the eye of some of you. 
And for that I apologize. 

But it was necessary.  
For a couple of reasons.
Firstly, you might have noticed there is not a single picture of our extremely handsome and benevolent leader on this website. 
Until now.
Yes, folks, that is Mikey being lovingly swaddled in the arms of his mother Mary, as his father, Josef gazes lovingly into his eyes. 

Just as you all now can do also. 
Secondly, we get to share with you something seldom seen today. 

You get an opportunity to see the stylish features found in a late 1950's home, unsullied by third world manufacturers and Ikea. 
Take special note of the cabinet to the left of Mikey's dad for that is the first new thing that they ever bought. 
And fifty five years later it proudly resides in the home of Joe and Mary's granddaughter.
With  a stained glass window made by her... 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Upcoming Seminar

Think you know everything?
If you do then don't bother reading any further (like Mikey). 
But if you don't, then consider coming in this Saturday October 25 for our Intro to Fusing seminar with Louie the 'I'm not from Barcelona' Instructor. 
This is a hands-on day (but hands off Louie- the class after all is only $155.00 with $40.00 as a store credit) will teach you everything you'd need to know to explore the world of fusing, the fastest growing segment in glass art and crafts. Bring your hand tools as you will make lots of stuff this day and we'll fire it for you. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Last month, The Fig Blog known as the Diary of a Demented Store Owner, mistakenly reported that a sudden and completely unpredictable auto accident had crippled Ferrous Man Moe Davis, and that an investigatory probe had found the Bambini Bros. completely blameless in the accident. 
In actuality, these events will take place next week. 
The Diary regrets the error. This however does give us the opportunity to remind you of all our free patterns found here...