|Monthly Tech-Tip |
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There are thousands of ceramic glaze recipes floating around the internet. People dream of finding that perfect one, but they often only think about the visual appearance, not of the usability, function, safety, cost or materials. That resistance to understanding your materials and glazes and learning to take control is what we personify as the dragon. Using the resources on this site you could be fixing, adjusting, testing, formulating your own glaze recipes. Start with your own account at insight-live.com.
You will see examples of replacing unavailable materials (especially frits), fixing various issues (e.g. running, crazing, settling), making them melt more, adjusting matteness, etc. Insight-Live has an extensive help system (the round blue icon on the left) that also deals with fixing real-world problems and understanding glazes and clay bodies.
It has morphed into a webapp, reflexive and menu-driven (based on Twitter Bootstrap). It now employs permanent URLs. And pages have logical, and hierarchical URLs (e.g. digitalfire.com/oxide/cao, digitalfire.com/material/feldspar). It correctly forwards 5000+ old URLs. Terms from the glossary automatically hotlink throughout (as do code-numbers for recipes, tests and firing schedules). The search field in the menu bar is area-specific (or all-area at digitalfire.com/home). Still no ads and no tracking. The UI displays from server #1, it calls the database API on #2, the email system on #3, media from #4 and insight-live.com from server #5! So it is super fast, flexible and expandable. There are new areas (e.g. projects, pictures, typecodes). Media displays better. Every page still has a contact form, so you can ask any question anywhere. What till you see what's coming!
Fight the glaze dragon. Disorganized documentation of your testing? You are playing into his hands. Replace that notebook or binder with pictures, recipes, firing schedules, test results, material and more in your own or a group account at insight-live.com.
A cloud-hosted ceramics-targetted LIMS (lab info management system) where technicians manage, develop, adjust and study their recipes, materials and processes.
In ceramics, glaze fit refers to the thermal expansion compatibility between glaze and clay body. When the fit is not good the glaze forms a crack pattern or flakes off on contours.
Changing Our View of Glazes
A big secret to getting control of glazes is to begin looking at them as formulas of oxides rather than recipes of materials.
Lab Notebook Software
Hundreds of LIMS's (laboratory information management systems) and ELN's (electronic laboratory notebooks) are available, these are only a few picked at random to compare with our Insight-live.com. Many are focused on biotech and medical, others on manufacturing and materials and some are general purpose. The universal purpose is to replace paper, Excel and Word files with a searchable database and organized workflows. They all feature specimen tracking and organization of many simultaneous projects. Most are cloud hosted and many feature multiple packages that can be purchased separately to add functionality (e.g. instrument interfacing, inventory, customer billing). Most do not display pricing, requiring contacting their sales department.