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Code Numbering

In a ceramics lab, studio or classroom specimens of hundreds of glazes and bodies may be present. A code numbering system that links these to written or computer records is essential.

Details

When many body, glaze, engobe, slip and body development, adjustment, trouble shooting and testing projects are on-the-go at any one time (and they should be in any ceramic lab or classroom) record keeping is essential in organizing things. Potters also want to be testing and developing new methods and materials, trying new glazes, adjusting and fixing others. Even hobby potters who use bottled commercial glazes find themselves testing dozens, or even hundreds of body/glaze or glaze/glaze combinations looking for aesthetics or doing color matching. For all of these people code numbers become the link between written records and pictures and corresponding fired samples. Even if you choose to discard fired samples after taking pictures, the code number still a unique identifier that you can use to label buckets, bags, boxes, reference samples, etc.

Insight-live recommends a code number of format X1234, where "X" is a type of test (e.g. lab test, production mix, glaze, body engobe) and '1234' is a sequential number that increments for each new record you add to the system.

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 emphasizes assigning unique code numbers to all recipes you create and maintain, this is the perfect way to prominently display it. Label containers like this and there will never be confusion about what things are.

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, tiles, glaze samples, drying tests, flow tests, sieve analyses, LOI/water content tests, etc. Many pots have two numbers, the body and the glaze. If something is lacking a number it goes in the garbage because it teaches nothing and is therefore taking up pointless space.

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.

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".

Here's how we used to record test results before insight-live.com

Here's how we used to record test results before insight-live.com

Side-by-side presentation. That’s the best. But I magine if you could put, side by side; the recipes, pictures, notes, data, of any recipe test you had ever done. Even results of testing you did on commercial prepared glazes and glaze combinations. And be able to link, search, print, share them. That’s what you do in Insight-live. Pottery has always been about the data, we just let that information die before! Now we can learn so much more from it. Photo courtesy of Brielle Rovito, Burlington, Vermont, USA.

Links

Glossary Digitalfire Insight-Live
A database website where potters and ceramic technician account holders enter their recipes, materials, pictures, test procedures, firing schedules, etc.

By Tony Hansen


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