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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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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

A cone 6 clear glaze plus iron vs. Alberta Slip amber base

A cone 6 clear glaze plus iron vs. Alberta Slip amber base

These two mugs are made from a dark red burning stoneware and fired in a cool-and-soak firing schedule. A white engobe (L3954A) has been applied on the inside and half way down the outside. Both are glazed inside with G2926B whiteware transparent glaze. The outside glaze on the left is the same ... more

Sunday 2nd December 2018

Testing your own native clays is easier that you might think

Testing your own native clays is easier that you might think

Some simple equipment is all you need. It is amazing how much you can learn from characterizing a body or clay material. You need a gram scale accurate to 0.01 grams (very inexpensive at your ceramic supplier). A set of callipers (again, not expensive these days). Some metal sieves (expensive, so ... more

Saturday 1st December 2018

Printing a prototype propeller for my Lightnin lab mixer

Printing a prototype propeller for my Lightnin lab mixer

An example of how handy the ability to print in 3D can be. The worn-out stainless propeller costs $300 to replace. But the size and pitch of the blades is not ideal for the work I do. I print them in PLA plastic, this enables experimenting with different sizes and pitches. When one works well then I ... more

Saturday 1st December 2018

A must-have: Laboratory variable speed propeller mixer

A must-have: Laboratory variable speed propeller mixer

If you are at all serious about testing glazes and clay bodies, you need one of these. There are other methods, but nothing else comes close to this. It is the most valuable and frequently used tool in any ceramic bodies and glazes testing lab or classroom. These are expensive new, this Lightnin ... more

Saturday 1st December 2018

CMC Gum is magic for multi-layering, even for raw Alberta Slip

CMC Gum is magic for multi-layering, even for raw Alberta Slip

The glaze on the left is 85% of a calcine:raw Alberta Slip mix (40:60). It was on too thick so it cracked on drying (even if not too thick, if others are layered over everything will flake off). The solution? The centre piece has the same recipe but uses 85% pure raw Alberta Slip, yet it sports no ... more

Thursday 29th November 2018

A problem with super-white porcelain mugs

A problem with super-white porcelain mugs

These are made from Plainsman Polar Ice translucent NZ porcelain. The one on the right was used in the coffee room of the plant and washed between uses in a common manner (which is: not very much!). The stains are obviously not nearly as visible on a stoneware mug.

Monday 26th November 2018

Just enough iron in this celadon to highlight the design

Just enough iron in this celadon to highlight the design

There is only 0.35% iron oxide in this recipe, as much as ten time less than normal. But this is just enough to provide a darker shadow (where the glaze is thicker) at the edges of the design. This is porcelain fired at cone 10 reduction by Janel Jacobson.

Friday 23rd November 2018

Gum does not work in a glaze if an important ingredient is missing

Gum does not work in a glaze if an important ingredient is missing

These brush-strokes of gummed glaze are painted onto an already-fired glaze. Gummed glazes can do this, they will adhere and dry without cracking. And dry hard and resist washing off. Brush strokes hold their character. The brown glaze has 1.6 specific gravity (SG) and about 1.5% CMC gum. The white ... more

Friday 23rd November 2018

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Conquer the Glaze Dragon With Digitalfire Reference info and software

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Interactive glaze chemistry calculations (legacy, no longer supported)


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• What an awesome list of videos you have here, and the info on your site is invaluable.

• I normally do not comment on articles I find, but this is amazing. Thank you so much for providing this information! I am a ceramics student in my BFA year, and this is the most comprehensive and helpful information I have found on creating a porcelain casting slip.

• I am a builder / developer / consumer of ceramic tiles. You have a sea of information on your site.

• I want to also thank you for all you have done for the ceramic and pottery industry.

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• Your advice is always helpful and well thought out.

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• Your site, I think, is the best source of information on ceramics that I have found. I have always wanted to know how things work rather than just doing it because someone said so. Your site gives reasons why and how to apply what you have learned, and I have learned a lot from you and want to thank you! I love the Digitalfire site. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

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• 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.

• You are brilliant .. You have provided so much info that is great. I have been a full time potter for 44 years and am still learning. Thank you so much for your generosity in sending this very pertinent information to me. It certainly has me thinking I should sign on to Digital Fire. Thanks again.


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