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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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What happens when a limestone clay mix is fired to cone 6?

What happens when a limestone clay mix is fired to cone 6?

The top bar is a mix of calcium carbonate and a middle temperature stoneware clay (equal parts). On removal from the kiln it appears and behaves like a normal stoneware clay body, hard and strong. However, pour water on it and something incredible happens: in a couple of minutes it disintegrates (as it rehydrates). And generates lots of heat as it does so.

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Never do body or glaze testing without code numbers

Never do body or glaze testing without code numbers

That is how you know what it is. The recipe. The firing schedule. The notes. The project it was in, information about what came before it and what developed from it. These mugs and that test bar are the same clay, I am doing a preliminary test on a new material from our quarry, it is called "Battle Clay".

Saturday 8th December 2018

Six layers, 85% Alberta Slip in the glaze, yet no cracking. How?

Six layers, 85% Alberta Slip in the glaze, yet no cracking. How?

Six layers of any normal dipping glaze would be impossible, flaking usually starts with the second layer. Yet this one is 85% clay, it shrinks so much that it would be like a "dried up lake bed" on the first layer. How was it possible to dip it on in six layers here? 1% CMC gum (via a gum solution). ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Get a variable speed lab mixer at Amazon.com

Get a variable speed lab mixer at Amazon.com

You need variable speed (not constant speed). Many of these have timers also. The prices range from $100 to thousands of dollars. Spend a little more and you will not regret it. A table-top device would normally be rated at 10L or 20L capacity. However, it is obviously easier to stir a thin liquid ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Every studio, lab, classroom needs a good label printer

Every studio, lab, classroom needs a good label printer

This is an Epson LP-600. It generates durable water-proof labels that are perfect for identifying buckets and jars of materials and glazes. Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. You can insert a QRCode (perfect for taking someone to an SDS or information page). Insight-live ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Identifying throwing tests of clay bodies

Identifying throwing tests of clay bodies

If you are doing testing, and everyone should be testing body and glaze variations, then your ware needs to be identified. Do that with a code number that cross references into your documentation in your account at Insight-live.com.

Friday 7th December 2018

This is a key to organizing your studio, lab or teaching facility

This is a key to organizing your studio, lab or teaching facility

The new ceramics is about data! Everything here has a code number (in the form x1234) that members of our team can search in our group account at insight-live.com. We write the numbers on the bottoms of pots, plastic bags of powders/liquids/pugged, buckets, glaze balls, mix tickets, test bars, ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Liquify of a pint of brushing glaze. It's easy!

Liquify of a pint of brushing glaze. It's easy!

I counter-balanced the measuring cup and weighed out 250g of water. Then I added 100g of Laguna gum solution and stirred it. I put that into the blender and added 500g of powdered glaze (you can use any glaze recipe). I started the blender on slow then increased it one-at-a-time to full speed. After ... more

Thursday 6th December 2018

Kiln Firing Curve Recorder - Coming Soon

Kiln Firing Curve Recorder - Coming Soon

So many glazes appear as they do because of the firing schedule (especially the cooling curve). Imagine getting an awesome result out of a kiln and not knowing (or being able to replicate) the exact firing schedule that produced it. This device reads and records the temperature once per minute. It ... more

Tuesday 4th December 2018

Transparent glazes often work poorly on dark stoneware bodies

Transparent glazes often work poorly on dark stoneware bodies

These are fired in cone 6 oxidation. They are all the same clay body (Plainsman M390). The center mug is clear-glazed with G2926B (and is full of bubble clouds). This dark body is exposed inside and out (the other two mugs have a white engobe inside and midway down the outside). G2926B clear glaze ... more

Sunday 2nd December 2018

Contact Us:

Use the contact pages within or outside your account at Insight-Live.com


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

Login to your online account

Chemistry plus physics. The on-line successor to desktop Insight. Get an account for as little as $15. It does so much more.

Conquer the Glaze Dragon With Digitalfire Reference info and software

Still available for Mac, PC, Linux

Interactive glaze chemistry calculations (legacy, no longer supported)


What people have said about digitalfire

• I want you to know how much it means to me to have you help with my questions. I have been doing pottery for over 20 years and never new this stuff. I feel so responsible for my glazes leaching and stupid to not have known, and the stress or waiting for the lab test results has been eating me up.

• Thank you for this article. I learned more about the science in this one article (What is Deflocculation) than I have in the last 40 years of classes and conversations. Truly enjoyed this.

• I knew nothing about chemistry, so I have already learned a great deal from the information you've so generously provided on-line.

• When I first opened the program I thought I would never know how to use it and did not open it again until last week. I have been watching some of the tutorials and those made it very easy to understand and work with Insight. Also your website has been very helpful for a project I am currently working on (and in general the understanding of glazes). So thank you for all the information you have collected and made available.

• I am so glad I found your site, I have been looking for a site with this type of good information.

• 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.... :)

• omg i just discovered your page this is like breaking bad for ceramics, learning how to cook. this is a great page thanks !


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• Hello Mr. Hansen. Your digitalfire.com site is AMAZING! I use it considerably. Thank you so much for all the information you offer! I tell all my students and friends in clay to come here to learn.

• THIS IS FRIGGIN' AMAZING! YAY! NOW I NEED GLAZE MATERIALS! WOOT! I'm blown away by your site. I'm totally going to geek out on this I can tell. Item #1 on my agenda is to stop being at everyone else's mercy for glazes.

• You are a real gem, your work really help me a lot.

• I have mostly used store bought glazes and fooled around some with stains. I have never approached anything scientifically. Your website seems wonderful. Seems that I could spend a few years with what you have shared. I will start with one of the base recipes and let the fun begin.

• Thanks! I look forward to seeing your posts. I have read and printed many things you have posted over many years. Have learned a lot from you.

• My glazes activities are seasonal anyway. In the summer i make pots in winter I think about chemistry and sit at a PC. I looked at your pricing again and it is indeed reasonable.

• I have everything hand written in my notes from my glaze void, but obviously, is not searchable. It's great what you've done.


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