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Conquer the Glaze Dragon With Digitalfire INSIGHT Glaze Chemistry Software

Install it on your PC

This software is focused on ceramic glaze chemistry calculations. Desktop Insight is an application that you download and install on Windows, Linux and Macintosh computers. It is powered by SQLite, the best cross platform database. An Insight-Live account is included free when you purchase Level 2.

Download: Windows (2014-8), OSX (2014-8), Linux (2014-8)

Test, Document, Learn, Repeat in your account at

Use it online

Nothing to download or install. Document recipes, materials, testing, firing schedules, and more in your on-line account! Revolutionary! The future! This does the chemistry and the physics. It works on any browser-equipped tablet or smart-phone. And it is available for a low monthly rate (only 3-8 cents a day).

Tony Hansen's Thousand-Post TimeLine

I am the creator of Digitalfire Insight, and I have made hundreds of posts like these on my Facebook page and personal timeline. My posts are like no others, they help you understand your glazes and clay bodies, take control. They are also part of the Digitalfire Reference Database (referenced from one or more articles, glossary entries, materials, oxides, test procedures, etc). Visit and Like my page to get a notification each time I post. Search is coming soon.

The blue line represents numbers from the Orton cone chart for 108F/hr. It is not as straight as what I expected. The red line is the temperature measurements that we have recorded after many test firings at each temperature. We use large cones in these firings and finish the firings manually to shut the kiln off just before the firing cone touches. These are now target temperatures that we use for automatically firing each temperature.

See it in context:

Tuesday 16th September 2014

The plastic porcelain has 6% drying shrinkage, the coarse stoneware has 7%. They dried side-by-side. The latter has no cracking, the former has some cracking on all handles or bases (the lower handle is completely separated from the base on this one). Why: The range of particle sizes in the stoneware impart green strength. The particles and pores also terminate micro-cracks.

See it in context: Drying Crack, Green Strength, Particle Size Distribution, Clay Shrinkage

Wednesday 9th April 2014

These are the oversize particles (from the 79, 100, 140 and 200 mesh sieves) from 100 grams of a commercial Gleason ball clay. They have been fired to cone 8 oxidation. There is 1.5 grams total, this is within the limits stated on their data sheet even though the material is sold as 200 mesh grade. Firing the samples shows whether the particles contain iron that will produce specking in porcelains and whiteware. In this case there are a few. We do this test on many materials and this is typical of what we see.

See it in context: SIEV Sieve Analysis 35-325 Wet, Particle Size Distribution

Wednesday 9th April 2014

These are Mason stains added to cone 6 G2934 cone 6 silky matte liner glaze (with tin, zircopax and various stains added). The brightest colors (6600, 6350, 6300, 6021, 6404) were tested overnight in lemon juice without visible changes.

See it in context: G2934 - Plainsman Cone 6 Dolomite Matte Base, Stains Mason, Stain, Pigment

Tuesday 1st April 2014

These are Mason stains added to cone 6 G2916F clear liner base glaze. Notice that all of these stains develop the correct colors with this base (except for manganese alumina pink 6020).

See it in context: G2916F - Plainsman Cone 6 M340 Transparent Liner, Stains Mason

Thursday 3rd April 2014

These are Mason stains added to cone 6 G2926B clear liner base glaze. Notice that the chrome tin maroon 6006 does not develop as well as the G2916F glossy base recipe. The 6020 manganese alumina pink is also not developing.

See it in context: Stains Mason, G2926B - Plainsman Cone 6 M370 Transparent Liner Base, G2916F - Plainsman Cone 6 M340 Transparent Liner, Colorant

Wednesday 9th April 2014

Ravenscrag slip transparent glaze for buff stonewares

This is the GR6-A Ravenscrag transparent base glaze inside a buff stoneware mug at cone 6 (GA6-C Alberta Slip blue on the outside). This glaze, although slightly amber in color compared to a frit-based transparent, does look better on buff stoneware bodies like the Plainsman M340 shown here.

See it in context: GR6-A - Ravenscrag Cone 6 Clear Glossy Base, Ravenscrag Slip

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

Opacifying a reduction dolomite matte

Opacifying a cone 10 reduction magnesia matte glaze. On the left: G2571A dolomite matte, a popular recipe (from Tony Hansen). Right: 10% Zircopax has been added. Both are on a buff stoneware (H550 from Plainsman Clays).

See it in context: G2571A - Cone 10 Silky Magnesia Dolomite Matte, Zircon, Zircopax, Opacifier, Opacification

Tuesday 15th April 2014

What are the two key causes of firing warpage in porcelain?

Here is an example of how a profile having no inherent strength can warp during firing (the one on the left is just bisque fired, the one on the right is fired beyond zero porosity to achieve translucency). Two key factors contribute to this failure: This porcelain is highly vitreous. This shape is vulnerable to warping. If the lip were flared out, for example, it would have much more strength to stay round. If the porcelain was less vitreous it would warp less. Of the two factors, which contributes more to the warping for this specific piece? The shape.

See it in context: Translucency, Warping, Vitrification

Thursday 13th March 2014

Alberta Slip as-a-glaze at cone 10R

This is 100% Alberta Slip (outside) on a white stoneware clay fired to cone 10R. The glaze is made using a blend of 60% calcine and 40% raw (as instructed at the support website). Alberta Slip was originally formulated during the 1980s (using Insight software) as a chemical duplicate of Albany Slip.

See it in context: GA10-A - Alberta Slip Base Cone 10R, Alberta Slip, Duplicating Albany Slip, Alberta Slip, 20 Years of Substitution for Albany Slip

Tuesday 15th April 2014

These posts are actually pictures referenced on pages in The Digitalfire Reference Database, thousands of pages of explaining things you need to know to formulate, adjust and troubleshoot traditional ceramic bodies and glazes. It is organized as: Oxides, minerals, materials, recipes, articles, glossary, hazards, library, MDTs for INSIGHT, pictures, properties, firing schedules, significant temperatures, tests and troubleshooting. Level 2 desktop INSIGHT and Insight-Live both interact with it.

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Are people thinking about glaze toxicity?

  • I have some questions regarding how food safe some of the commercially bought glazes are. My daughter in-law had bought a new set of imported dinnerware. She decided to try the test and the lemon turned the color on the dish. This ware was labelled Food Safe. Does this mean that is not food safe, or is there a different standard on imports. Some potters I know think that if the commercial glaze says food safe they can use it anyway that they want.
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