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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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Measure glaze specific gravity with these? Forget it!

Measure glaze specific gravity with these? Forget it!

Glazes need to be gelled, have thixotropy. That means these things won't bob up and down to find the right place. The one on the right is completely useless, the scale is too wide. Most glazes need to be between 1.4 and 1.5 specific gravity (40-50 on this scale). That is like reading seconds on the ... more

Wednesday 29th August 2018

Pour Glazing a Large Terra Cotta Vase

Much better than trying to paint to glaze on from little jars!

Monday 27th August 2018

Texas talc (left) and Montana talc (right)

Texas talc (left) and Montana talc (right)

Texas talc contains some amorphous carbon. The carbon is not stand-alone, but as CO2 in the dolomitic part of the ore. It produces 7% LOI between 750-850C.

Tuesday 14th August 2018

Stunning black silky matte glaze at cone 6

Stunning black silky matte glaze at cone 6

This contains 6% Mason 6666 gunmetal black stain. The base recipe, G2934, is an excellent balanced-chemistry host for a wide range of stains to produce equally stunning reds, yellows, oranges, etc. The fritted version of the recipe, G2934Y, provides an even better host. This glaze is affected by the ... more

Monday 13th August 2018

Tuning the degree of gloss on a matte black glaze

Tuning the degree of gloss on a matte black glaze

These 10 gram balls were fired and melted down onto a tile. The one the left is the original G2934 Plainsman Cone 6 MgO matte with 6% Mason 6666 black stain. On the right the adjustment has a 20% glossy glaze addition to make it a little less matte. Notice the increased flow (the ball has flattened ... more

Sunday 12th August 2018

DO NOT leave outsides of functional ware unglazed

DO NOT leave outsides of functional ware unglazed

This mug is made from the strongest porcelain I have, it is so vitreous that the bare fired surface does not even coffee-stain. So I glazed it only on the inside. That created a time-bomb waiting for hot coffee! Three others did exactly the same. Four other mugs glazed on the outside were fine. Why? ... more

Monday 6th August 2018

One gram of processed hectorite has a surface area of 750 square meters!

One gram of processed hectorite has a surface area of 750 square meters!

A combination of surface area, surface topography, surface chemistry and surface electrolytics determines how plastic a clay is. This material is super plastic.

Monday 6th August 2018

Mother Nature's Porcelain - From a Cretaceous Dust Storm!

Mother Nature's Porcelain - From a Cretaceous Dust Storm!

Plainsman Clays did 6 weeks of mining in June-July 2018 in Ravenscrag, Saskatchewan. We extracted marine sediment layers of the late Cretaceous period. The center portion of the B layer is so fine that it must have wind-transported (impossibly smooth, like a body that is pure terrasig)! The feldspar ... more

Monday 6th August 2018

Pinholing at a cone 6 stoneware mug. Why?

Pinholing at a cone 6 stoneware mug. Why?

It was put into the kiln before it was dry (from glazing). The kiln was fired fairly fast (without using a drop-and-hold firing schedule). These glazes have significant boron, they melt early and seal the surface. But water vapor can remain until surprisingly high temperatures. And it needs to get ... more

Monday 30th July 2018

Outside tenmoku glaze meets inside transparent in a straight line at the rim

Outside tenmoku glaze meets inside transparent in a straight line at the rim

An example of how a liner glaze can meet another at the rim of a piece. This it quite simple to do. The technique is especially practical where mug walls are thin and cannot absorb enough water to dry the glaze after immerse-dipping. It is essential where the outer glaze is potentially leachable, or ... more

Monday 23rd July 2018

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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

• Your website has been very helpful to me over the past several years. I refer fellow potters to it constantly. Your G1214Z matte glaze formed the basis for the glaze used on my tea bowls.

• I'm all right brained..... I have the serial number. My computer is finally going. Thanks for the service. I love my Digital fire.

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

• Go look at Tony Hansens page and look at Insite. Incredible amounts of information. He has a great explanation of .. Shivering ---and the opposite----- Crazing. Cause and solution.

• Almost anything I have to say I learned from you. Keep up the great work.

• Thanks again for all you have done for the pottery world!!!

• I have joined to millions of others who must absolutely love you and are so thankful to you - I just want you to really know that you have opened up a whole new world to me that I thought was insurmountable - The wealth of information on Digital Fire is most appreciated, and I hope you know that what you have done is really enormous and God sent to potters.


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• 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.

• 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.

• Insight live is great...!

• I think the work you do with glaze chemistry is invaluable and amazing. And unique to the industry.

• And I want to add - you are doing a magnificent job with your webpage. Just unbelievable amount of work and information you put there. I have learned a lot from your webpage. Thank you.

• I've really appreciated using your insight-live.com software.

• I have learned alot from you.


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