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Glaze Calculation Software

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Glaze calculation software is used by many members on this forum but I can't recall if we've ever had a pro's and con's type thread about the various ones. If there is something you like or dislike, learning curve, ease of use, cost etc that you have found I think it would be beneficial for members who might have been scared off by chemistry or who are unsure of the ups and downs of using it. Any thoughts appreciated.

I'm going to start off by saying I've used Insight for many years. I started using it when it first came out, probably about 25 (+/- ) years ago when we had to use discs to download the program, now I use Insight Live. There is a learning curve to using it, you need to have an understanding of materials to use it efficiently but I think this would be true of most programs. I like that there is the ability to click on a material in a recipe and be taken directly to the Digitalfire website reference library page for that material. I don't like that you have to type in the full name of the material with Insight Live, it isn't intuitive like the old Insight desktop was. I think the easiest way to learn how to use Insight is to go to the Instruction Manual and click on Solve Real Problems videos to get an idea of how it works. It doesn't cost anything to see how it works, cost for using Insight Live is here. I'm sure there are other programs just as good as Insight, it's the one I started with and for simplicity have stayed with.

 

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I've been using Hyperglaze for about 25 years. It was made for Macs, which is what I have always used. I've always found the interface to be much more user friendly than Insight. The most recent version is not perfect, but works very well.

When I worked at A.R.T. Clay/Alpine Kilns I had to use a PC, and I used Matrix glaze calc software, which I really liked a lot. I would have kept using it if they had made a Mac version. You can install it on a Mac using a third party emulator/parallel system, but I'm not a big fan of those.

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I kind of liked insight and Tony’s site as it is extremely complete, but now prefer to nose around with the Katz spreadsheet and trends in Stull. Insight is a little tedious but does chem equivalency fairly easy once learned. Matrix glaze, another nice package now comes with a free glaze course with version 6 I believe.

I am most intrigued  with Katz’ new project which he is working on incorporating the oxide effects. I like the spreadsheet format, but more an engineering approach so if you are not a spreadsheet fan, then likely you won’t like it.

Finally in a pinch, Glazy is fine, has a great database of materials available while on the Internet and free. It is Stull based though so likely not for everyone.

I don’t think I have used any that did not have some utility to them though, so any reasonable glaze calc software is beneficial.

Edited by Bill Kielb

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I'm using GlazeMaster - it's free! I wanted to compare the glazes available in the local JC ceramics lab against the handful of recipes I'd picked out for my home studio. Having the glaze component breakdowns right in front of you  to compare/contrast are a big part coming up to speed on glaze (so says I, just now almost ready shift to second gear...). 

That said, the amount and quality of information Tony Hansen has put up is amazing. ...however, I'm not seeing a need to invest in the subscription  just yet; for just over twenty bucks a year, I might, to support all the data and handful of cool videos - just the thixotropy vid is worth twenny bucks all by itself! If Tony would answer one question (or so) per year for the subscription, I'd do it... 

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1 minute ago, Hulk said:

I'm using GlazeMaster - it's free! I wanted to compare the glazes available in the local JC ceramics lab against the handful of recipes I'd picked out for my home studio. Having the glaze component breakdowns right in front of you  to compare/contrast are a big part coming up to speed on glaze (so says I, just now almost ready shift to second gear...). 

That said, the amount and quality of information Tony Hansen has put up is amazing. ...however, I'm not seeing a need to invest in the subscription  just yet; for just over twenty bucks a year, I might, to support all the data and handful of cool videos - just the thixotropy vid is worth twenny bucks all by itself! If Tony would answer one question (or so) per year for the subscription, I'd do it... 

He has answered a few questions for me via facebook :)

i bought the subscription because I like the software and I can use it on my phone when I'm out mixing glazes in the shed. 

Insight for desktop is free too.  

i actually use glaze software way more than I thought I would, handy for tweaks and subs for sure!

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