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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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3D printing a propeller

3D printing a propeller

Here is how I print a propeller for my mixer. I have already drawn it using Fusion 360. The process involved choosing Make -> 3D Print, then selecting the propeller and clicking OK. This hands it off to Simplify 3D, the software that actually runs the printer. Within Simplify 3D I can position it on ... more

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Adding spodumene to this floating blue tones down the white patches

Adding spodumene to this floating blue tones down the white patches

GA6-C (left) and GA6-E (right) at cone 6 oxidation. The E version adds 4% spodumene onto the 4% rutile in the C (the base is 80% Alberta Slip and 20% frit 3134). The spodumene eliminate the overly whitish areas that can appear. This glaze requires the "Slow Cool (Reactive Glazes)" firing schedule. It looks the best on dark bodies.

Monday 4th March 2019

Vitreous cone 6 stoneware. How?

Vitreous cone 6 stoneware. How?

Producing a zero-porosity cone 6 stoneware is not as easy as you might think. People expect stonewares to be plastic and fit glazes well. That means there needs to be lots of ball clay and silica in the recipe. These are refractory materials and they don't leave much room for the material that ... more

Sunday 3rd March 2019

Same glaze/body. One fired flawless, the other dimpled, pinholes. Why?

Same glaze/body. One fired flawless, the other dimpled, pinholes. Why?

The difference is a slow-cool firing. Both mugs are Plainsman M340 and have a black engobe inside and partway down on the outside. Both were dip-glazed with the GA6-B amber transparent and fired to cone 6. The one on the right was fired using the PLC6DS drop-and-hold schedule. That eliminated any ... more

Sunday 3rd March 2019

Possible to grind your own ceramic grade rutile?

Possible to grind your own ceramic grade rutile?

Yes, the granular and powdered grades are the same material. But grinding it is very difficult. Commercial ceramic grade powder is minus 325 mesh, the companies doing this obviously have very good grinding equipment. They also have patience because even in this efficient porcelain ball mill, 90 ... more

Saturday 2nd March 2019

How to create a wood ash glaze

How to create a wood ash glaze

It makes sense to maximize the percentage of wood ash. Since different batches and types of wood ash have drastically different chemistries how can you have a glaze have a high percentage? This glaze was the product of preparing a large ash batch and a project to develop a glaze specifically from ... more

Friday 1st March 2019

Printing a prototype propeller for my Lightnin lab mixer

Printing a prototype propeller for my Lightnin lab mixer

An example of how handy the ability to print in 3D can be. The worn-out stainless propeller costs $300 to replace. But the size and pitch of the blades is not right anyway. So I draw them using Fusion 360 and print them in PLA plastic, enabling experimenting with different sizes and pitches. While I ... more

Thursday 28th February 2019

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). Although some have timers these are not useful. The prices range from $100 to $thousands. They do not always come with the shaft and propeller (but it is easy to get a stainless steel shaft). A table-top device may be rated at 20L capacity, for example, ... more

Thursday 28th February 2019

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 6600 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

Wednesday 27th February 2019

Stunning black silky matte glaze at cone 6

Stunning black silky matte glaze at cone 6

This contains 6% Mason 6600 black stain (Mason 6666 gives dark brown, don't use it). 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 ... more

Wednesday 27th February 2019

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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

• I am very delight about the services provided by your site. It is really very informative.

• I'm still reading about expansion and some of what you explained to me is in this article by digital ... so much lay men terms and analogies makes its more viewable to the mind and understandable... thanks - I continue to say thanks... Tony.... :)

• Thanks for your great contribution over the years to our field of work.

• I, personally, think Digital Fire's contribution to potters, and the Ceramic industry as a whole, is absolutely awesome, and I thank the gods there are people like you who have the knowledge and energy to provide us simple artist/educators with such exceptional tools.

• Your web site is wonderful. You guys are my knight-in-shinning-armor to slay that dragon. Learned more about glaze chemistry on your web page than in a graduate program at RISD.

• Your information is very professional and I would like to incorporate in and on going education blinder for our community studio.

• Actually my brother asked to download the books. He is running a ceramic company in India. He has learned so many things in your free download, later he is impressed on your simple and clear explanation of ceramic technology.


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What people have said about Insight-Live

• Your website is like a encyclopedia for ceramics, whatever problem I have I first go to your website and refer to it and learn and understand about it. Thank you so much for your patience and time for helping.

• I personally think that collaborations with the greatest expert in the sector makes me richer in knowledge and it will allow me to discover the fantastic secrets of ceramic.

• Your site, I think, is the best source of information on ceramics that I have found. I have always wanted to know how things work rather than just doing it because someone said so. Your site gives reasons why and how to apply what you have learned, and I have learned a lot from you and want to thank you! I love the Digitalfire site. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

• Hey Tony, thanks so much for developing such a useful software. I have come to digital fire for countless questions I have had with clay and glazes.

• I have mostly used store bought glazes and fooled around some with stains. I have never approached anything scientifically. Your website seems wonderful. Seems that I could spend a few years with what you have shared. I will start with one of the base recipes and let the fun begin.

• I am doing pottery now for abut 40 years and nowhere else I could find such an extensive, complete, to the point collection of information than in Digitalfire!

• Your site is a crucially important one, and I'm happy to help you, even in small ways.


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