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Pieter Mostert

Free And Open Source Glaze Software

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I've been working on some software that helps you compose glaze recipes that have a specified oxide composition: given some set of ingredients, find which combinations of the ingredients give you the desired combination of oxides. Most of the recipes I come across use ingredients that aren't available here (I'm in South Africa), but I can reproduce them on the level of oxides. They don't always come out the same, but it's a good way of producing useable glazes.

Below is a screenshot of the user interface:

Capture1

For each oxide and ingredient, the blue numbers on the left are lower and upper bounds that the user imposes, while the red numbers on the right are the calculated minima and maxima among all recipes that simultaneously satisfy each of the imposed bounds. The green polygon shows the possible values of the percentages of Potash Feldspar and Neph Sy (I still need to insert labels). In this example, I'm trying to reconstruct this recipe, but with Wollastonite instead of Whiting, and using my own potspar and Neph Sy instead of Custer, and a couple of locally available clays instead of OM4 Ball Clay. I've ignored MgO and TiO2, and slightly decreased CaO and KNaO, to allow for a bit of wiggle room.

If I increased the minimum K2O UMF value to 0.15, as in the recipe, the plot of Potspar vs Neph Sy diagram would change accordingly:

Capture2

 

At the moment the program consists of a bunch of Python scripts, so most people will probably not want to instal and configure the extra bits and pieces necessary to run the program in its current state. I'd like to eventually turn this into a (free) stand-alone program you can run on your desktop computer, but since I'm not a professional programmer, I'll need some help to do this, and iron out some kinks along the way. If you're comfortable programming in Python, and have time to spare, I could use your help. You can find the repository on Github (published under the GPLv3), and details about the code structure and bugs in the README.pdf document. I've only tested it on my Windows 7 computer, and a couple of other people have had trouble getting it to work on their Macs, so be warned.

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Peter:

I see your creative genius extends beyond pottery. I can see this as being very beneficial in translating glazes to regional supply. I have been writing and testing clay formula limits; which amount to minimum and maximum levels. If I could add that sas information that would produce the median value: this program would work. Hopefully someone has the programming skills you need.

Nerd

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Guest JBaymore

Nice stuff, Pieter!  I wrote and sold some glaze calc software back in the early 80s... and it is amazing how far we have come.  (A lot was in machine code to keep it fast and small....... tiny RAM........ ugh.)  GREAT functionality you are approaching there.  Nice idea.

 

Get help to compile it to runtime code.  I am sure you can find someone up to speed to do that with you.

 

best,

 

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

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Peter:

I see your creative genius extends beyond pottery. I can see this as being very beneficial in translating glazes to regional supply. I have been writing and testing clay formula limits; which amount to minimum and maximum levels. If I could add that sas information that would produce the median value: this program would work. Hopefully someone has the programming skills you need.

Nerd

 

Thanks Nerd. I thought you might be interested in this. At the moment I only have 7 'other restrictions' that you can see on the bottom left, but I'd like users to be able to define their own types of restrictions. The SAS, as you've described it, would be an example of this. A related example: If you knew the particle size distribution of all your ingredients (as in what % lies between given mesh sizes) you could set a prescribed PSD for your clay body. The COE for glazes, as calculated by other glaze programs, is another example, but I think the conditions under which the calculated COE matches the actual COE are quite narrow, which is why I haven't included it as a default restriction.

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Guest JBaymore

Calculated COE, as far as I can tell, appears to assume that there is a full melt taken to completion (all reactions done) AND that there is no excess of any material that will tend to precipitate out upon cooling.  So it is a "get in the right ballpark" approach.  Not very precise.

 

best,

 

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

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I find I know people much more by their avatar than name, not the best with language or reading. Sometimes members of the faceless masses get mixed up in my head.

 

I will hopefully give it a test tomorrow. Opened it up and pressed some buttons but not enough brain power to learn how it works tonight. At least I can make a nice post here instead of on facebook. It makes a terrible forum but lots of people there.

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UPDATE: I've created an improved version, which is slightly easier to install (I hope), and runs faster. I've only tested it on Windows, but in principle it should run on other operating systems. However, the installation process is probably still too complicated for most people, and I still haven't figured out how to write an installer.

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