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Tony Hansen's Thousand-Post TimeLine
I am the creator of Digitalfire Insight, Digitalfire.com and Insight-live.com. ... more
Can this 5 lb thick walled bowl be fired evenly in an electric kiln. No.
When electric kilns, especially large ones are tightly packed with heavy ware, the shady or undersides of the pots simply will never reach the temperature of the element side, no matter how long you soak. In this example, the inside of this clear glazed cone 6 bowl has a flawless surface. The base ... more
Friday 29th May 2015
Chunks of metal found in contaminated truckload of kaolin
You may not fully appreciate what your clay body manufacturer has to go through to make clean porcelain for you. Every load of material that they receive has to be checked. We now have to check every pallet. This is the third semi-trailer load of material we have had contaminated (ball clays and ... more
Thursday 28th May 2015
Making your own plaster bats is easier than you might think
Using this rubber mold I have just made 8 - 12" bats and I still have 20 lbs of plaster left in the bag! Just just weigh 1600 grams plaster, dump it in 1120 grams of water, wait 4 minutes, mix 4 minutes and pour. As soon as the water at the top disappears, dump the next batch of plaster in the water ... more
Wednesday 9th October 2013
Stamp using for stamping information onto clay test bars
This type of stamp is deal for stamping mix and ID information on SHAB (and many other test types) clay test bars. Set up the run or recipe number on the left and the specimen number on the right.
Wednesday 18th February 2009
How much does a porcelain piece shrink on firing?
Left: Dry mug. Right: Glazed and fired to cone 6. This is Polar Ice porcelain from Plainsman Clays. It is very vitreous and has the highest fired shrinkage of any body they make (14-15% total). This is the highest firing shrinkage you should ever normally encounter with a pottery clay.
Wednesday 20th May 2015
Measuring shrinkage/absorption test bars in the 1983 at Plainsman Clays
Data for hundreds fired clay test bars was logged into a portable Epson Programmable HX-20 computer and uploaded to a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III where is was stored first on cassette, then floppy disk, then a loop tape. That data was later migrated to the Digitalfire DOS 4Sight lab record keeping ... more
Wednesday 18th February 2009
Refined 200 mesh materials are not guaranteed to be such
Each of these eight pallets of kaolin are being sampled to screen them for oversize particles. The 50 gram samples needed can be taken without having to open the bags, they are filled through a valve at the top and it can be opened easily. Kaolins and ball clays especially are suspect and body ... more
Context: Ceramic Materials Overview
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Rutile blue glazes: Love the look, hate the trouble to make it
A closeup of a cone 10R rutile blue (it is highlighted in the video: A Broken Glaze Meets Insight-Live and a Magic Material). Beautiful glazes like this, especially rutile blues, often have serious issues (like blistering, crazing), but they can be fixed.
Monday 21st January 2013
A casting slip of 1.9 specific gravity. Should we use it?
A hydrometer is being used to check the specific gravity of a ceramic casting slip in a graduated cylinder. Common traditional ceramic slips are usually maintained around 1.75-1.8. In this case the slurry was too heavy, almost 1.9. Yet it is very fluid, why is this? It has both too much clay and too ... more
Friday 20th July 2012
Why do some clays split like this on throwing?
An example of splitting, where a thrown clay develops a crack during, or minutes after, throwing. This often happens with clay bodies that have a wide range of particle sizes, for example those made from native clays not ground to 200 mesh. The larger particles create networks into which water can ... more
Context: Splitting of Plastic Body
Wednesday 13th May 2015
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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