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Tony Hansen's Thousand-Post TimeLine

I am the creator of Digitalfire Insight, the Digitalfire Reference Database and Insight-live.com. ... more

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Hand-tooled jigger model vs. 3D-printed and cast

I have a profile drawing I want to match (upper left). On the left is my first attempt to tool a model. Even though I attempted to jigger the plaster to match, the profile is way off. I lost the enthusiasm to even get it smooth. For the one on the right I 3D-printed a shell, poured the plaster in ... more

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Getting a 31 inch porcelain plate through drying and firing without cracks

What does it take? Three months! Porcelains are fine grained and, for heavy pieces, they will not tolerate uneven drying at any stage. These cone 10 plates are made by Peter Flanagan at Okanagan Pottery in Nelson, B.C. Firing is also a real challenge. Pottery porcelains are high in quartz, getting a ... more

Tuesday 15th October 2019

For even coverage white majolica glazes must be applied by dipping

The mug on the left has three coats of Spectrum Majolica base, painted on by brush. Drying was required after doing the inside coats, so the total glazing time was several hours. The glaze layer is way too thin and it is not even at all! The one on the right was dipped in a 5 gallon bucket-full of ... more

Monday 14th October 2019

Casting Zero3 Porcelain

Look at how translucent this is! I can fire one of these in three hours, cold-to-cold. I am casting them with molds made using the 3D-printing process. Anyone could do this. Incredibly exciting. And with the G3879 glaze it looks awesome, just like bone china. Notwithstanding this, the Zero3 recipe ... more

Monday 14th October 2019

This mug has waterlogged because it is not vitrified

Notice the water has wicked up to about 1 cm from the rim (the piece sat in water overnight). The glaze fits so there are no cracks for the water to seep through. However, being fired at cone 04, the body is quite porous. The piece has a unglazed base. Notice the water even travelled up the handle. ... more

Tuesday 8th October 2019

Two batches of EPK tested quite differently in 2018

The EP kaolin has been mixed 70:30 with nepheline syenite. This creates a body that matures below cone 6. And it enables comparing the degree to which the two kaolins influence vitrification (and their contribution to fired color in a vitreous body). The darker one is more plastic, has higher drying ... more

Monday 7th October 2019

By the magic of delflocculation, this powder will mix into that water and still fit in the container

This is 1100cc of water and 3000 grams of M370-2 casting. Amazingly, it is possible to get all that powder into that little bit of water. And still fit in the container (2250cc) and still produce a very fluid slurry for casting. How is this possible? That water has 11 grams of Darvan 7 deflocculant ... more

Friday 4th October 2019

Does a grog addition improve thermal shock resistance?

Pyrax (Pyrophillite) is a mineral having a very low thermal expansion. It stands to reason that if we can maximize its percentage in a body and not fire the body to a point that changes the crystal structure, it will be resistant to thermal-shock-resistant cracking. To that end I mixed it with only ... more

Friday 4th October 2019

What does it take to opacify a low temperature terra cotta glaze

Tin oxide is a powerful opacifier, but the 5% in the glaze on the left is clearly not enough. 10% more zircon had to be added to produce the one on the right.

Thursday 3rd October 2019

Frits vs. raw materials in glazes: It is not just about the chemistry

I have done alot of work recently comparing the sourcing of fluxing oxides from frits vs. raw materials. The differences are often incredible. The oxides MgO and CaO normally come from materials that melt high. But common frits that source them melt low. The chemistry in the two cone 6 glazes ... more

Thursday 3rd October 2019

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What people have said about digitalfire

• Thank you for your wonderful site i am new to home made glazes and am teaching myself... your site is so help full thank you.

• I'm still reading about expansion and some of what you explained to me is in this article by digital ... so much lay men terms and analogies makes its more viewable to the mind and understandable... thanks - I continue to say thanks... Tony.... :)

• High marks for the web site!

• I would like to stay connected to your program. In my glaze workshops, I use your 5/20 glaze as our Cone 6 reference so I often mention you and Digital Fire.com to all of my students. I also tell them about all the great articles and reference materials you have with the level 2 program.

• Your advice is always helpful and well thought out.

• Your website has become an excellent resource for students and professionals alike, congratulations.

• This is the first time I have used this site, and I am impressed. I use HyperGlaze software on my PowerMac with pleasure, but this data site is an up to date boon. Congratulations!


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• I think the work you do with glaze chemistry is invaluable and amazing. And unique to the industry.

• Yet again, you provide a quick answer not easily found elsewhere (a bowl was befuddling me with wall cracks that never made it to any edges.)

• And I want to add - you are doing a magnificent job with your webpage. Just unbelievable amount of work and information you put there. I have learned a lot from your webpage. Thank you.

• Many, many thanks for DigitalFire! It is a wonderful collection of information and experience.

• I want to first tell you that your site is amazing. i love the approach, the attitude, and the incredible information. the fact taht you share so much of your information to the public is truly wonderful. I recenly fell in love with ceramics and set up a home studio.

• Just wanted to say thanks for such a great and useful product. Been learning via pen & paper, which I don't regret, but I should've signed up a lot sooner.

• When it comes to new technology, I'm still thrilled with the chainsaw as apposed to an ax. I really do like glaze testing. You see a recipe in a book but it doesn't do you a lot of good until you can see it on a tile.


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