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Conquer the Glaze Dragon With Digitalfire INSIGHT Glaze Chemistry Software

Install it on your PC

This software is focused on ceramic glaze chemistry calculations. Desktop Insight is an application that you download and install on Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers. It is powered by SQLite, the best cross platform database. An Insight-Live account is included free when you purchase Level 2.

Download: Windows (2014-8), OSX (2014-8), Linux (2014-8)


Test, Document, Learn, Repeat in your account at insight-live.com

Use it online

Nothing to download or install. Document recipes, materials, testing, firing schedules, and more in your on-line account! Revolutionary! The future! This does the chemistry and the physics. It works on any browser-equipped tablet or smart-phone. And it is available for a low monthly rate (only 3-8 cents a day).


Tony Hansen's Thousand-Post TimeLine

I am the creator of Digitalfire Insight, Digitalfire.com and Insight-live.com. I have made hundreds of posts like these on my Facebook page and personal timeline. My posts are like no others, they help you understand your glazes and clay bodies, take control. They are also part of the Digitalfire Reference Database (referenced from one or more articles, glossary entries, materials, oxides, test procedures, etc). Visit and Like my page to get a notification each time I post. Search is coming soon.

An incredible glossy celadon recipe

The outside glaze on this cone 10R mug (made of Plainsman H550) is simply an Alberta Slip:Ravenscrag Slip 50:50 mix with 5% added Ferro Frit 3134 (the Alberta Slip is calcined). This produces a stunning celadon and great working and application properties. Inside glaze: Ravenscrag Slip 90%, talc 10% (a matte having an extra ordinary silky texture). Learn more at ravenscrag.com.

See it in context: GR10-E - Alberta Slip:Ravenscrag Cone 10R Celadon

Monday 14th April 2014

Opacifying a reduction dolomite matte

Opacifying a cone 10 reduction magnesia matte glaze. On the left: G2571A dolomite matte, a popular recipe (from Tony Hansen). Right: 10% Zircopax has been added. Both are on a buff stoneware (H550 from Plainsman Clays).

See it in context: G2571A - Cone 10 Silky Magnesia Dolomite Matte, Opacifier, Opacification

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Each stain has its own personality for coloring the body

All of these Mason stains make the porcelain more refractory, but some more so (e.g. 6385, 6226). Some do not develop the intended color (e.g. 6006 pink). Some need a higher concentration (e.g. 6121, 6385). Some need a lower concentration (e.g. 6134). Some do not impart a homogeneous color (e.g. 6385).

See it in context: Stain, Pigment

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Messing up the firing of a copper red glaze

Copper red glazes require tight control of the reduction firing. The mug on the left is grey and brown by the foot, the other has developed no color at all on some parts. These were fired to cone 10R with reduction starting at cone 010 and going all the way up. There was no clearing or soaking period at the end of the firing. This is the Red Celadon recipe.

See it in context: Reduction Firing, Copper Red

Tuesday 15th April 2014

Ravenscrag slip transparent glaze for buff stonewares

This is the GR6-A Ravenscrag transparent base glaze inside a buff stoneware mug at cone 6 (GA6-C Alberta Slip blue on the outside). This glaze, although slightly amber in color compared to a frit-based transparent, does look better on buff stoneware bodies like the Plainsman M340 shown here.

See it in context: GR6-A - Ravenscrag Cone 6 Clear Glossy Base

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

A much better Cone 6 Floating Blue

GR6-M Ravenscrag Cone 6 Floating Blue on Plainsman M340 buff stoneware. This glaze also has this variegated visual character on porcelain. Because it has the GR6 base recipe (which is publicly available at ravenscrag.com), the slurry has very good working properties in the studio, it is a pleasure to use.

See it in context: GR6-M - Ravenscrag Cone 6 Floating Blue, Floating Blue: The Most Popular Cone 6 Glaze, Subsituting Gerstley Borate in Floating Blue

Thursday 5th September 2013

Guess which mugs are made using an NZ kaolin?

The two mugs on the left: Traditional Grolleg porcelain using Nepheline and bentonite (fired to cone 10R). The right: Using New Zealand kaolin and VeeGum.

See it in context: New Zealand Halloysite

Friday 25th April 2014

Grog particles having a narrow particle size range

A closeup of 35-48 mesh grog particles (courtesy of Plainsman Clays). Grogs are added to clay bodies to impart better drying properties. Grog particles perform their drying-shrinkage-reducing function (for plastic bodies) best when they have an angular rather than round shape.

See it in context: Grog

Monday 21st April 2014

Large particle grogs are difficult to produce

These particles are from a grog that has been milled and separated into its constituent sizes in the lab. As you can see it has a wide range of particle sizes, from 48 to finer than 200 mesh. When fired ceramic (like bricks) is ground the finer sizes often predominate. Because the coarser grades have a lower yield they can be much more expensive and harder to get. But they are the most effective in reducing the drying shrinkage and fired stability of structural and sculptural bodies.

See it in context: SADR Sieve Analysis Dry, SIEV Sieve Analysis 35-325 Wet, Particle Size Distribution, Drying Performance, Grog

Monday 21st April 2014

A sculpture bodies gets a lot more interesting surface

This is an example of how soluble salts can enhance the appearance of the fired surface of a cone 10R clay. The sculpture clay on the left uses native stoneware clays that contain natural flux-containing solubles that migrate to the surface during drying. When fired they act like an extremely thin layer of glaze, producing a darker sheen on the surface. The thickness (and thus color) varies with contour and exposure of the surface during drying. The inside of the cone has no solubles at all.

See it in context: Efflorescence, Soluble Salt Migration, Grog

Monday 21st April 2014


These posts are actually pictures referenced on pages in The Digitalfire Reference Database, thousands of pages of explaining things you need to know to formulate, adjust and troubleshoot traditional ceramic bodies and glazes. It is organized as: Oxides, minerals, materials, recipes, articles, glossary, hazards, library, MDTs for INSIGHT, pictures, properties, firing schedules, significant temperatures, tests and troubleshooting. Level 2 desktop INSIGHT and Insight-Live both interact with it.

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