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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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Here's how we used to record test results before we got insight-live.com

Here's how we used to record test results before we got insight-live.com

A potter is testing glazes on a new clay body. But this generates a lot of data, how is a person to keep track of it all? This is how we used to do it. An account at Insight-live.com is the new place to organize this. There is room for thousands, even millions of recipes, pictures, notes, firing ... more

Wednesday 19th December 2018

What happens when a limestone clay mix is fired to cone 6?

What happens when a limestone clay mix is fired to cone 6?

The top bar is a mix of calcium carbonate and a middle temperature stoneware clay (equal parts). On removal from the kiln it appears and behaves like a normal stoneware clay body, hard and strong. However, pour water on it and something incredible happens: in a couple of minutes it disintegrates (as it rehydrates). And generates lots of heat as it does so.

Wednesday 19th December 2018

Black engobed M340 stoneware with GA6-B Alberta Slip glaze

Hand built. Cone 6 drop-and-hold PLC6DS firing. The engobe is the L3954B base recipe with added Mason 6600 black stain, it was applied at the leather hard stage inside and part way down the outside. The GA6-B glaze enhances the black under it. By Tony Hansen.

Sunday 16th December 2018

Never do body or glaze testing without code numbers

Never do body or glaze testing without code numbers

That is how you know what it is. The recipe. The firing schedule. The notes. The project it was in, information about what came before it and what developed from it. These mugs and that test bar are the same clay, I am doing a preliminary test on a new material from our quarry, it is called "Battle Clay".

Saturday 8th December 2018

Six layers, 85% Alberta Slip in the glaze, yet no cracking. How?

Six layers, 85% Alberta Slip in the glaze, yet no cracking. How?

Six layers of any normal dipping glaze would be impossible, flaking usually starts with the second layer. Yet this one is 85% clay, it shrinks so much that it would be like a "dried up lake bed" on the first layer. How was it possible to dip it on in six layers here? 1% CMC gum (via a gum solution). ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Get a variable speed lab mixer at Amazon.com

Get a variable speed lab mixer at Amazon.com

You need variable speed (not constant speed). Many of these have timers also. The prices range from $100 to thousands of dollars. Spend a little more and you will not regret it. A table-top device would normally be rated at 10L or 20L capacity. However, it is obviously easier to stir a thin liquid ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Every studio, lab, classroom needs a good label printer

Every studio, lab, classroom needs a good label printer

This is an Epson LP-600. It generates durable water-proof labels that are perfect for identifying buckets and jars of materials and glazes. Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. You can insert a QRCode (perfect for taking someone to an SDS or information page). Insight-live ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Identifying throwing tests of clay bodies

Identifying throwing tests of clay bodies

If you are doing testing, and everyone should be testing body and glaze variations, then your ware needs to be identified. Do that with a code number that cross references into your documentation in your account at Insight-live.com.

Friday 7th December 2018

This is a key to organizing your studio, lab or teaching facility

This is a key to organizing your studio, lab or teaching facility

The new ceramics is about data! Everything here has a code number (in the form x1234) that members of our team can search in our group account at insight-live.com. We write the numbers on the bottoms of pots, plastic bags of powders/liquids/pugged, buckets, glaze balls, mix tickets, test bars, ... more

Friday 7th December 2018

Liquify of a pint of brushing glaze. It's easy!

Liquify of a pint of brushing glaze. It's easy!

I counter-balanced the measuring cup and weighed out 250g of water. Then I added 100g of Laguna gum solution and stirred it. I put that into the blender and added 500g of powdered glaze (you can use any glaze recipe). I started the blender on slow then increased it one-at-a-time to full speed. After ... more

Thursday 6th December 2018

Contact Us:

Use the contact pages within or outside your account at Insight-Live.com


Test, Document, Learn, Repeat in your account at insight-live.com

Login to your online account

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

• I have been a teacher of ceramics for twenty years and have always been annoyed with what you call traveling glazes. Tom's Blue, Randy's Red, etc. have been taken from who knows where, are out of context and without history or understanding as you point out.

• 'we have been using the arabia blue and white variation of the 5X20 cone 6 glaze, and have had a great response from our customers. Thanks for your efforts - you have made a believer out of me!"

• When I first opened the program I thought I would never know how to use it and did not open it again until last week. I have been watching some of the tutorials and those made it very easy to understand and work with Insight. Also your website has been very helpful for a project I am currently working on (and in general the understanding of glazes). So thank you for all the information you have collected and made available.

• Where have I been. I could have used this site about a thousand times and would have saved myself about a thousand hours over the past years had I been aware of the remarkable information provided here.

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

• 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.

• I have found the glaze information on your site really helpful for quite some time now. I like the way that there is an emphasis on problem solving and understanding how things work, rather than just offering recipes that might work.


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• I'd just like to say that I love Digital Fire and I'm on here pretty much everyday. It has been soo helpful. Even though I am still leaning and exploring what I can do with the program it has been a huge help, and I believe it will be for years to come. I'm such a fan of your glaze software and tell all them members here .. what a tremendous asset it is to my practice.

• Thank you so much for the fantastic info and knowledge you provide for us potters on your page!

• I have longed admired your website, and everything you've contributed to better understanding ceramic technology.

• I would like to honour my commitment to the great work you do. It is an invaluable resource!

• Your site is great! It is so good to have your site as I venture into making my food-safe glazes. I live in São Paulo, Brazil, so the raw materials here naturally can be very different from the ones in most of the books and websites, as we don't have much of that available here. So your site is the only that I have found so far that is really helpful if you want to start from scratch, so thank you! Its like my dream as a potter to make beautiful, lasting and safe ware so your website and insight-live are invaluable sources of information for me. I am so glad to be able to work with this! I really admire your work and tell my students about your website. Here in Brazil, studio ceramics is not a very developed area. Many people don not even know/care about being precise and knowledgable about safety with glazes. So your website is like an oasis in the tropical desert.

• Love Insight-live. Have been using it a few months and now that I know my way around a bit, I have come to rely on it. Love having a web based program, since I bounce between Windows on several machines and also a Chromebook.

• Insight live is great...!


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