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ayjay

Cataloguing Glazes

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I keep glaze recipes in a small notebook, I started it off by using one page for a recipe and leaving the facing page blank for notes on tests etc.. With not too many glazes in the book it worked fine, however I've continually added to it and also started adding other notes from the back regarding stains, oxides, chemical substitutes etc. etc..

 

It's getting a bit messy and searching through the book takes forever now, mainly cos I can't  resist reading all the wrong stuff on the way.

 

I decided that a card index system would be the way forward and have a blank one to start on.

 

What I cant work out is how to catalogue the glazes, alphabetical order seems obvious but often the colour of a glaze isn't reflected in the name.  I have recipes that I've never used and some that I maybe never will, but I jot down what interests me at the time and would like to be able to find them easily in the future.

 

I'm thinking I'll have to have some sort of index which groups glazes of different colours and their names and then keep the named glaze in alphabetical order, but it feels clunky before I even start.

 

Do you catalogue your glazes, and how?

 

 

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I read this article in Ceramics Technical 35 but with a quick google here is most of it. I only have three recipes so haven't had any problems yet. I do use google docs to make a simple spread sheet. Once I have enough money for digital fires software I will be using that.

 

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Organising+glaze+formulas%3A+John+W+Conrad+details+his+organisational...-a0347971502

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Digitalfire Insight glaze software.

 

It allows all sort of sorting codes, including any custom ones you want to make up, and also attaching image files to recipes and such. 

 

Just remember to BACK UP anythibng on a computer!

 

(And also BACK UP those paper books or card files.  Many a potter has lost valuable info when thoise books get destroyed by flood or fire or simple mislaid.)

 

best,

 

.......................john

Marcia Selsor and Matthew like this

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After 40 years of adding pages to my thick glaze notebook, I bought the Glazemaster program.  It's not ideal, but

it IS very organized and keeps formulae and results accessible and records safe.

 

Otherwise, in a card file, I classify by cone temperature, and then divide those in subdivisions by oxidation or reduction with notes on  color, and surface quality.

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My thanks for all your answers, however, maybe I should have been more precise with the question. 

 

 

After 45+ years I have 4 large notebook binders and 2 recipe boxes. The cards have notes on tweaking the recipes.I also have my teaching library ..a wall of ceramic books.

Marcia

 

How do you find anything without rifling through all 4 notebooks and 2 boxes?

 

I keep coming up with various ideas but it seems to get more complicated all the time,   I'm thinking I'll need an index for the card index index - just the one would be preferable.

 

Currently I see a card for each basic colour with the name of each glaze of that colour on the one card and then the glaze of that name on a separate card filed in alphabetical order. 

 

Is there a better way,  (without spreadsheets please - me and spreadsheets just can't get on)?

 

 

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I have ADD, and paper organization works better for me than computer. Too easy to get lost in the "shiny" factor of the internet. I have a binder arranged by cone, with subcategories for clay, glazes and slips. I do about half a page per recipe so there's room for notes, but more space is probably better. You could theoretically subdivide the glaze sections according to opacity or colour or historical glaze type. Whatever works for your beady little brainbox. You could put a section in the back for notes on oxides, substitutions, or what have you.

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Personally I'm a computer person but if you are wedded to the paper and pencil approach I would suggest a good quality three ring binder and fill it with clear plastic sleeves.  Add sleeves as you grow.  You can type up a recipe and include a picture of the glaze on your computer and print it out, then slide it into a sleeve and arrange it and rearrange it as you see fit.  Of course if you are really opposed to computer use you can just right up the recipe and slide it in the sleeve.  You can add notes to the original page and add additional pages in the sleeve if needed.  The sleeve protects against spills, accidental tears, and other assorted disasters.  

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dharsi said just about what i was going to say.  there are colored index sleeves and you can file the recipes individually in a clear sleeve and put it in the section behind the color index sleeve.  my binder is a 3 inch one but i really use the steno pad cut in half that fits into the pocket inside the cover.  the outside of the cover has several recipes, for magic water, for score-no-more and phone numbers of people i call when i am in trouble.  some authors of clay recipes are very generous.

 

the only trouble with the color dividers is that once you test a base recipe and find it works in several colors, you need to note each one in the proper color section.

 

for the untried recipes, put them in a different section so you can try them out on a day you feel like doing something other than working with clay itself.  

 

it helps to add dates on your tried recipes.  

 

index cards work for super organized people.  just remember that when you put that card down somewhere other than its slot in the box, it is gone.  perhaps forever.  i never found that lost flag white recipe....................

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Personally I'm a computer person but if you are wedded to the paper and pencil approach I would suggest a good quality three ring binder and fill it with clear plastic sleeves.  Add sleeves as you grow.  You can type up a recipe and include a picture of the glaze on your computer and print it out, then slide it into a sleeve and arrange it and rearrange it as you see fit.  Of course if you are really opposed to computer use you can just right up the recipe and slide it in the sleeve.  You can add notes to the original page and add additional pages in the sleeve if needed.  The sleeve protects against spills, accidental tears, and other assorted disasters.  

This is definitely the kind of thing that I envisage: (you can't have a rummage through a spreadsheet),  but there will be times when I don't want to rummage through everything - so for those paper users out there - how do you index your glazes and find things quickly when you want to?

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I started out with notebooks and then went to index cards, I now have mine on a free computer program called Recipe Center that my son downloaded for me. It's for cooks but it works for me, easy to use.  Only takes a minute or two to find a glaze, making time to enter them is hard for me.  Denice

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Another option may be the CeramicsRecipes.org. $10 dollars a month. Myself, I'll opt for a personal cloud, for my home electronic devices. Some of these are now up to 6gb. I have started keeping spreadsheets, documents and other important information on individual thumbdrives as the price of these at a gig or two are pretty cheap. Keep them in a firebox to secure.

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My system is laid out by temperature first. Within each section (low, mid and high fire), I have areas for clay bodies first, then slips/engobes, and glazes last. At that point for me, chronology takes over, and they are more or less in the order in which I acquired them. This works for me, as I have a good memory for that sort of thing. If the order in which they come to you doesn't work (and I can't think it would for too many people), choose further subdivisions that make sense to you. The bonus of having it in a binder in plastic sleeves, etc, is that if your first system doesn't work, you can re arrange to find something that does.

 

A large part of any organzation system working properly is how you intend to work with it.

 

Usually what I do is pick a handful of glazes that I want to work with (no more than 5), out of this master list of mine. I write them out into my sketchbook, along with the ideas I want to explore with them. This way I don't get caught up while flipping through the Master Copy of All Things Glaze, and can do the work at hand. Five glazes is usually six months of work for me, so I'm not getting hung up on irrelevant things. At the end of the explorations, I record my findings with the master copy, and go hunting through the pile for more fun.

 

You don't have to keep your working copies in your sketchbook: you can maybe pin them to the wall by where you weigh out your chem, or somewhere else that makes sense to you. It just has to be in the same place each time so it will be where you look.

 

I wasn't kidding about the ADD. I need systems for everything.

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If you have a scanner and want a visual record of test tiles without having to keep all of them then lay them flat on the glass and scan a whole page of them at once onto the computer. (snap off the base if you use L shaped ones and write glaze name with a sharpie on tiles)

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A large part of any organzation system working properly is how you intend to work with it.

 

That's partly the problem I was seeing before starting: I'm in awe of just how organised some of you are with regards to testing and record keeping, I just don't produce enough work for that to ever happen for me, not sure I could do it anyway, it would take some of the fun away.

 

I'm going to run with pretty much my original idea (see post 1) but I'll take a look at the Recipe Centre as per Denice's suggestion too, and I'll probably start another notebook for  all odds and ends and ideas that aren't glazes.  I've also remembered I can also keep glazes stored here

 

My thanks to you all for your help and suggestions.

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I created my own Hypercard system (like HyperGlaze) years ago and used that.  Now I use a FileMaker system that I wrote. It is a relational data base of recipes, batches, materials, inventory, expenditures, sales.  I can search by recipe, dates, materials, and a myriad of other fields. I photograph my test tiles and imbed the pics in the recipe file.  If I want to know what recipes I have mixed in the past 2 years that use Wollastonite, I can.  My inventory info extracts data from the expenditure file and depletes amounts according to the recipe batches. There are low limits on materials so a "shopping list" is automatically created. 

 

The only tedious part is entering the expenditures; even though this is mostly via categories, the purchased materials must be entered one by one. 

JBaymore likes this

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