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

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

A potter is testing glazes on a new clay body. But this generates a lot of data, how is a person to keep track of it all? This is how we used to do it. An account at Insight-live.com is the new place to organize this. There is room for thousands, even millions of recipes, pictures, notes, firing ... more

Saturday 8th 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

Plainsman P700 vs. Coleman Porcelain

Plainsman P700 vs. Coleman Porcelain

These are porcelains are made using Grolleg kaolin. P700 has 19% G200 Feldspar and Coleman (popular among potters in the US) has 31% (P700 switches the 12% to kaolin). Although the Coleman porcelain is more vitreous (top right) it is not more translucent. But it is a lot more problematic in fired ... 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

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

• Firstly, I want to thank you about this very good site in the net which helps very much in the development of the ceramics industry.

• Thanks, your website is a wealth of information for me and my students.

• Just wanted to share the good news with you. Couldn't be doing it without all the help you have given us over the years!

• You guys blow my mind with all your information. It is very much appreciated. I read it, sometimes 5 times, I don't always get it. Thanx!!

• I have been browsing the ceramic materials site with some of the Bastarache articles and their links. Extremely helpful information. Thank you both you and Edouard!

• I Just wanted to say thank you for all of your research! every question i ask google about ceramics ... POP there is your artical with the answer. !

• Your site is one of the most unusual sites I have encountered since I began exploring ceramics on the web. I am a student in a 2 year pottery program, and would like nothing better than to understand glazing from the very beginning of my career as a potter...It is pretty overwhelming. To tell you the truth, you almost come off as a Southern Baptist Revival Preacher the way you rant and rave against the "Dragon." It is what got my attention, however, and I appreciate the quality of your work, but it is very overwhelming.


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• Thank you for all of the information you publish on your website. Digitalfire has been my primary resource for researching raw materials and I will be soon be subscribing to Insight. Thank you so much for all of your work. My fellow students and I refer to your website almost daily.

• I teach glaze technology at ... the information that you display on your this website is absolutely fundamental for my teaching.

• 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.

• Hey Tony, just like to say thanks for your fantastic site as it has been the best reference guide for my helper and I.

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

• I'm glad I was of some small service. Your whole venture is a marvel. All the best as we go forward.

• Awesome program you have!


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