Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Monday, 27 July 2015

Social Media

We've had a Facebook presence for a few of years now. 
And when we say we, we mean both Fantasy In Glass and Figimodo.
We also have a YouTube channel.
And an Instagram feed.
Even a Twitter feed.
And our long time running blog (still the go to place with over 1500 entries and counting)
Join us on Facebook and "Like us" to make our blog entries, product announcements, and industry tidbits part of your Facebook newsfeed.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Revolutionary New Grinder

Wow, another revolutionary new grinder from those folks at Gryfun- home to the ‘I’m too lazy to stand and grind for a sec’ Twyster Grinder (Chubby Checker and The Fitness Institute should sue…)!
This amazing new model comes with two heads, water reservoir and special high capacity sponge. Incredibly, it uses only 1/2 oz of water or about 1/1000th of that of competing models, but must be filled about eight thousand times while in use. (letters to ed@fantasyinglass.com).

Monday, 20 July 2015

Mars Soil Great For Glass Manufacturers

Preliminary chemical test results streaming back from the Phoenix spacecraft that landed on Mars May 25, has brought some shocking revelations. 
It's been discovered that the Mars environment is much more hospitable to human life than initially thought- one that might allow future colonists to live, work and even do stained glass on the distant planet. 
"We're absolutely over the moon about this news" says Gary Marron, assistant to the fill-in scientist on the wet chemistry experiment for the spacecraft.  
Analysis of Martian soil shows a pH level of between 8 and 9 which means that while we can grow crops such as corn, wheat and rutabagas (Gary's favourite), more significantly we are able to manufacture a glass from the sandy soil that is similar in quality to a Uroboros artglass. This was confirmed when a test utilizing a sample of soil about the size of a sugar cube was mixed with some soda, lime and some of Ed the Cat's cremated ashes brought from Earth. 
The excellent quality of this glass came as quite a surprise to scientists given that for years it was argued that Martian soil could only sustain production of a lower quality glass such as those from machine rolled manufacturers.
Further tests are planned in the days to come to see if the coefficient of expansion of this glass can be adjusted to allow colonists the opportunity to make nice shiny fused objects in their spare time...

Friday, 17 July 2015

Silvercreek and Mike Serba

You may not know either of these names but if you've bought scrap glass or a wooden glass crate or a used tool (or some other stuff Mikey may not want to admit to in print) then you are definitely linked to both of them. 
You see, it's with your help that we've been able to raise some funds to supplement donations to Silver Creek Childrens' Preschool over the past decade, in memory of Mike Serba, a promising young man who was taken from us way too early. 
This is just a small part of the efforts of many who gather in Mike's memory for a golf tournament on Saturday Sept. 12 (details here).

So if you are a golfer or just want a very pleasant night out for a dinner and some fun (silent auction, etc) then consider attending. 
You'll wake up the next morning looking taller for your contribution.

Summer Closing- Figimodo's Out of Here

Last Day Open:  Sat. August 15 

Reopening: Tue. September 1

Thursday, 16 July 2015

NEW! Advanced Fusing Course!

This course is designed to build on experience gained in any basic Fusing Seminar. 
While topics listed may seem to be of a more advanced nature and that the skill/knowledge level may vary amongst participants, the instructors (yes, there will be more than one)  will devote some time to reviewing the basics (compatibility, kiln knowledge, programming, slumping, etc) as well as advanced cutting techniques such as strip/circle cutting.
The course runs six weeks (21 hours) on Thursdays from 6:45pm to 10:15pm.

Topics to be covered;
• using dams and kiln furniture
• pulling your own stringers (vitro graphic style)
• making pattern bars
• pot melts
• mini-puddles using terra cotta pots for jewelry, etc
• advanced glass cutting (including techniques such  repetitive strip and circle cutting)
• Creating powder wafers
• Freeze and Fire
• mini pattern bars 
• mini puddles  using terracotta containers
• emboss with the blanket (fibre relief)
• metal inclusions including silver and copper foil
• creating bubbles
• using texture
• glass bottle slumping
• working with reactive glass, copper screen
• using rubber stamps
• Freeze and fuse
• problem solving including the discussion of firing problems such as air bubbles, devitrification, colour change, sticking kiln wash, glass fingering and anything else students may wish to cover.

Students will be given a binder (colour yet TBD) the first week of class with notes that will be added to throughout the term of the course. We anticipate the syllabus to be substantial and a valuable resource into the future.

Cost of the course includes:
• all firings 
• glass sundries such as stringers/noodles, powders and frits, preformed dots, etc
• chemicals such as oversprays and glues
• a selection of molds and fibre blanket
• additional kiln shelves and dams for individual use
• syllabus and additional patterns
• use of bandsaw, glass table saw, lamp working torches
• access to frit makers and frit sorters
On class nights the store will remain open to 8PM exclusively for students.
Some Notes:
1) topics covered may vary during the course according to the whim of the students and sober level of the instructors.
2) Studio access is open outside the formal class time for catchup/playing (but no dancing).

Details here.

Cost ........ $395.00 
Six Weeks Starting:

Thursday September 24, 2015 ..... 6:45 pm to 10:15 pm
(ending Thursday October 29)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

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Without the Vices

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He didn’t buy the FIGFANS 
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and now he’s sorry.

Enter the FIGFANS, the world's best copper foil applicator.

 Packed with a host of proprietary technologies that truly enhances the foiling process, the FIGFANS has been intensively designed and extensively field tested to assure effectiveness and ideal ergonomics, and to avoid malicious lawsuits.

The FIGFANS is another in a long line of proprietary quality products from FIG Tools that began several years ago with the introduction of the FIG GlasStretcher.

But don’t believe us.

Try it for yourself.

After all, when you consider the alternative, 
we thought we’d spare you the headache.

Another quality product from FlG Tools, 
a humble and penitent division ofFIG Inc.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Fusing Seminar Coming Up!

Come on in on Saturday August 8 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, 5 July 2015

A Somewhat Self-Explanatory Note

Letter sent to Spectrum Glass yesterday-

"Dear Spectrum,
In our interest to further promote fusing and to better educate our customers I have a question for you.
We recently learnt that you have discontinued SP209, a translucent white that has been extremely popular for us so much so that I can now afford single malt scotch and no longer need to suffer the inferior blended variety. As you can see from the short video attached of a plate we made utilizing both 200 and 209, the need for an alternative to 200 is important to us and to our customers. As a matter of fact to hold us over we made a good sized purchase of some 'T' 209 to assure some continued inventory. I also might assume that 209 is also being used by you in the production of some of your Spirits if not also your Opalarts?
Now I understand market demand/limited production capacity/technical issues and so on, but might you be able to further enlighten us as to why 209 has stopped production? I ask not in anger but only to better inform our clientele.
Thank You

Saturday, 4 July 2015

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

A Fortuitous Mistake

Working on a Dick Tracy plate last week, required two small bandsaw cuts for the eye in profile and Mr. Tracy's hair.
I, of course, had used up all my Bert’s Bees lip balm (the perfect thing to cover a marker line to prevent it from being washed off when being bandsaw cut) and as other even more embarrassing alternatives were not at hand, I had to scramble. Seeing a dusty old BIC Whiteout marker (I make so few errors is it any surprise that this mistake coverup device is so unused?) I thought why not? And went ahead, made my marks and found it the perfect way to mark my glass when bandsaw cutting. 
While being careful to steel wool off any remnants of the white out and giving the pieces a cursory cleaning I threw them in the kiln all high and almighty proud of myself for being so clever.
That was until I pulled the pieces out of the kiln. Oh the humanity! There was a thin white line around most of the pieces. Seems BIC Whiteout (and others but not all) contain titanium dioxide to get the bright white colour. 
So, the next obvious thing is to check out how good it might be as a design element. I can see billowing clouds, simulating snowstorms and other endless possibilities, all making impossible or difficult cuts/effects no longer the case. 
I had my able bodied staff creative- VooVoo- doodle up a little flying pineapple piece that we plated in between two pieces of clear and then added ‘flight’ marks around it on the top surface and fired it to 1460F.
Take a look- it’s perfect! Colour remains just as intense as the original and is safely encased. The flight marks however while again just as bright, can be scratched off so are not permanent.
So, what’s to learn?
Don’t use liquid paper as a means to put a cutline on your glass.
Don’t use it to to add white lines if on top of your piece of glass

Do use it as a creative embellishment when encased in between glass. It will be permanent and stay just as bright after firing as before!

Friday, 3 July 2015

Public Service Denouncement #3

Announcing our Studio Summer Final Reminder De-Cluttering Drive

To all students/customers/distant relatives (and that includes you Judy)

In an attempt at avoiding projects being damaged over the summer and to lessen the number of abandoned projects taking up valuable space, we're doing our annual summer de-cluttering ( as Vanna would say ).

To avoid abandoned projects taking up valuable space If you have work here from a past class come on in and pick it up. If you are a current student, don’t worry- we will be brow beating you during your next class. 

Our minions will be in the studio July 5 to cart away unclaimed/unlabelled work.