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INSIGHT||Reference Database|Magic of Fire|Adobe Reader

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Learn glaze
chemistry &


A desktop application for Windows, Linux, Macintosh that you download and install.

  • Insight is a classic ceramic chemistry calculator
    It interactively converts recipes to formulas and back. The main Insight window shows side-by-side recipes and their formulas, you can make chemistry changes to one while comparing it with the other.
  • Insight is also a library and a teacher
    It puts at your fingertips a huge amount of information to help you learn the principles of ceramic chemistry and it teaches you how to adjust, fix and formulate glazes.
  • It is a database
    You can store all your recipes, picture, material information where you can easily find it.
  • It is a problem solver
    Using our videos, instructional and reference materials and our personal help you can solve problems like crazing, leaching, crawling, pinholing, blistering, etc.

Insight was first released in 1979 and has been used world wide since. It is an excellent teaching tool for demonstrating the principles of formula/analysis/unity, limit formulas, LOI, and material-oxide relationships.

Insight + SQLite = Supercharged Database Insight

SQLite is the fastest, smallest, most reliable cross platform database and it is integrated into level 1 and 2 Insight! This is the same database that is in your smart phone, tablet or MP3 player. Read about it at (you can download a command-line shell from there to execute SQL commands on the database).

Insight builds the database automatically at startup (if it does not exist) and imports any existing recipe files it finds. The Insight recipe database is in just one file, it is maintained in the same folder as MDT and recipe files, so it is easy to find and backup. Insight now uses the traditional XML format recipe files as an automatic backup so you can actually erase the database file and it will be rebuilt and the recipes reimported! The previous recipe filing system has not been discarded, but improved: it reads and writes all legacy format recipe files using a standard file open/save dialog. Insight has always been targeted at ceramic calculations but now it also has the best database.

Learning INSIGHT

It is simple: Click Video Tutorials (above left) to learn to use INSIGHT and to formulate, fix and adjust glazes at the same time. The videos will play on any standard PC with Flash installed, but they will also play on iOS, Android or any device that can play a 640x480 mp4 file.


See the Red Numbers below in the chart.

To Buy

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Feature Comparison

Click links below for more information. References to refer to online version, it is a separate product.
Desktop INSIGHT Version
(to buy click here)
OnLine Version
Level 1
Level 2
Site License
From 3¢/day
Multi-Platform: [Windows] [OSX] [OS9] [Linux] +SmartPhones/Tablets
Works on Cloud Drives Lives in the cloud!
Download privileges expire in 2 months 3 years 4 years 5 years Nothing to download
Continues to run after expiry Read-only
Ceramic chemistry calculation Interactive Interactive Interactive Interactive Passive
Integrates with Digitalfire Reference Library
Maintain materials database as Excel CSV It is a database
Free copy of 4Sight Ceramic Database Does what 4Sight did
Install on many computers for use by many people Has group accounts
Insight-Live account included for duration of key not applicable
Account to administer a group on not applicable
Support for units-of-measure, firing schedules, projects, recipe variations, inter-recipe linking, reference materials and recipes
Unlimited materials, recipes
Physical testing data management
Picture searching, management
Advanced searching, import/export
Side-by-side recipes 2 2 2 2 Unlimited
Side-by-side recipes and materials Unlimited
Features evolve automatically, automatic backup, secure, works on any device with a browser and internet

What People Are Saying

  • First impressions of the software on my Macintosh are very good and the manual is excellent. When I'm not acting the part-time ceramicist, I'm a web software designer/developer and I know how hard it is to do this stuff well.
  • I'm a very satisfied user of insight v. 5.4 level 2. Thank for your fine product and assistance ... you guys are great.
  • I have been using Insight to get smooth, matt glazes without crazing on various sculpture clays for cone 10, 6 and 03. I also use Insight to substitute Canadian materials for the English ones in my glaze recipes. Insight seems to be a robust program and I am glad that I chose this one. But I still am leaning how to use it fully. Also, I find the educational section of your website informative and it is very generous of you to share your expertise with the the rest of us. Thank you so much for your kind assistance.
  • I must compliment you on the development of INSIGHT. It is a pleasure to work with the programme.
  • Given the chance, I would like to say how helpful I have found the program. With what I have learned about glaze formulation from reading and workshops, Insight makes it easy to apply and evaluate my findings.
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