Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 29 August 2014

Glass Slumping Molds Unique Manufacturing Process Revealed

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 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 have been taught by 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, Mikey points out that the figus can move a rake as smoothly and efficiently as any croupier in a 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.

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.

Mikey notes that our shipment of over 500 molds will arrive Tue. Sept.2!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

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 on Saturday Sept. 27 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. 

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Another Deep Thought From Mikey

If you want to make a stained glass window from scratch, you must first create the universe...

Monday, 18 August 2014

Figimodo's Got His Passport

Guess that means we're off on our traditional (31 years now) summer shutdown. Have a great closeout to this summer and we'll see you all when we reopen Tuesday September 2!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

New Stuff

Mikey just put in a new order for slumping molds, chemicals, dams, fibre blanket, kiln wash, Papyros Paper, Spectrum, Wissmach,  Kokomo, Uroboros and Youghiogheny Glass, tools and maybe some single malt scotch which should be due in a few shipments coming in the first half of September.
Any special requests, send them to us by email and we'll discount all pre-orders by 20%!

Sorry, More Fusing

Just a few days ago we had a bit of a chat here on this blog about reactives and the 'reactiveness' of some of the new colours that have come out from Spectrum. 
As a review, Spectrum's new Peacock #223.74F turned out to be highly reactive- stunningly so- probably the strongest yet. 

The other day Mikey was doing a piece that was originally done by Patty Gray and found that this new Peacock had an interesting reaction with SP267.72F (Sunflower Yellow).
Hmm, will have to investigate further...

Friday, 15 August 2014


Here's a copy of the packing slip of the pending mold order due in Sept. 2, 2014-

Some Administrative Stuff

Spectrum has decided to discontinue the following colours-

218-71SF           Stone Opal Fusible 96
403-96SF           Blue on Clear Wispy Fusible
OA/244-54SF  Orchid - Mauve Dark Purple 

BR/604-1           Pale Purple and White
6029-83CC  Spring Pearl Opal, Clear, Gold-Pink &            

                         Emerald Green
I/100V          Clear Iridized Vecchio           
I/100QR          Clear ¼" Reeded Iridized 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

As Promised

Taking the new and magnificent Fusers Reserve, after a fuse (seen yesterday), Mikey put it on his favourite mold- the Origami 11.5" square, and slumped it at 1250F with a 20 minute hold. 
Yes, that is a bit high and a bit long, but because of the thickness of the piece Mikey wanted to get the glass slumped crisply into the mold's folds. Luckily we have Vanna Opal on staff (does the term Windbag come to mind?... Mikey) and she was somewhat capably able to lay down a nice layer of kiln wash using a mouth atomizer resulting a pleasing satiny finish on the bottom (see below)-

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So Excited!

Just got in about a hundred feet of Spectrum's newest Southwest Fusers' Reserve (highly reactive- look backwards in this blog for more info) and it's almost all sold out. 
But don't panic. 
If this glass excites you as much as it does Mikey (it's Louie Vooton for her, not Louis Tiffany for Vanna Opal the soulless troll) we have more coming in a couple of weeks (remember there still is no full line glass distributor in Ontario).
In the meantime, check out what Mikey did with it coming out of the kiln this a.m.
Of course he then had to put it back into the kiln to slump- more pics tomorrow...

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)...

Reactives Part Two

Admiring a Patty Gray fused plate, Mikey thought he'd do one similar using the same colour combination SP#267.72 Sunflower and Peacock #223.74. 
If you look closely you'll notice a reaction between the two. Now we have chatted in the past about reactions with copper but we're not using Uroboros' reactive clear or opal here so what gives?
Well, the Peacock Green has a lot of copper.
And the Sunflower Yellow has a lot of sulfur
When the twixt shall meet they combine to form copper sulfide. 
Another reaction!
And this reaction as with copper reactions, will intensify depending on heat and length of firings.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


UROBOROS has come up with two unique glass formulas for System 96 that are designed to create a “reaction”, when melted against certain other colours. 
That’s right folks- one is a clear transparent glass and the other is a white opal that both actually really want to be red, but can’t be so unless we add copper to it. 
And how do we do that the unwashed hoards ask?

We mate it with a glass that's high in copper.
Copper is present in many blue and blue-green glass colours, in various concentrations resulting in varied effects. That’s why Spectrum along with Uroboros has published this chart above. Regardless, most will garner some sort of reaction (like Mikey did by leaving his shoes on while visiting the mother-in-law… The Missus)

For simplicity, on this chart all System 96 partner colors have been graded for their potential to react into three categories: Strong, Medium, and Mild. You will find that the intensity of the reaction color will get stronger with longer, hotter, or repeat firings. This is because the copper ions have more time to mingle with their friendly reactive partners in the adjacent glass. 

While the chart is reasonably up-to-date it is impossible for such large, slow moving multinational corporate entities to react with the deftness, skill and swift precision of a Mikey and the folks at Fantasy In Glass. Hence, we are able to add to this list-

on a clear base-
223.74- Strong                         
226.72- None
O/A 634.52- Strong
New FR (see pic)- Strong

on an opal base-
223.74- Medium
226.72- Medium
O/A 634.52- Medium
New FR (see pic)- Strong

Friday, 8 August 2014

Kiln Shelf Separator Chat

When glass gets to around 1200F it gets very sticky. That's why we need to use some sort of separator between the glass and whatever it might be touching (shelf, mold, etc) (the Missus uses a divorce lawyer). Choices are kiln wash or shelf paper (our choice by far- Papyros).
Both have advantages and disadvantages. For today's discussion, let's just focus on the problems kiln wash presents and how to overcome that.
Kilnwash (a fine powder that's mixed with water) firstly, is the cheapest way to lay down a separator. It's disadvantage is that it is usually applied with a brush making the surface smoothness dependant upon how the wash has been mixed, the quality of the brush (usually haik) and the skill of the 'painter'. Regardless, we usually end up with brush strokes which will then be embossed into the backside of your glass when taken to high slump/fusing temperatures. 
A mouth atomizer at just a few dollars is cheaper than a brush, and is so easy to use. The finish is virtually flawless. Here's a short (and sorrty, a bit boring) video on how to use one.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Glass Fusing Seminar This Saturday

Come on in on Saturday August 9 from 10am to 4pm and bask in the glory of  knowing that you will be enjoying yourself unashamed and unencumbered by the worry of children, pets or spouses as you will be taking our six hour Intro to Fusing class as taught by Louie 'I'm not from Barcelona' Deeaz.
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 a glorious day learning about the mystery of glass fusing. 
Thinking about utilizing those artistic/technical skills you've developed over the years for the betterment of mankind? 
Or maybe something else if you're Dr. Evil?
Same tools, same skills (or lack of), take the day and learn how to fuse and make a whole bunch of stuff! All firings included in the course fee.

See here for more details. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014


... to our blog entry on spring cleanup

we have a ton of scrap fusible glass. Some we've boxed and some we are doing some melts. 

When writing up this post Mikey tripped across this great resource.