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Recording Ceramic Parameters - Part I

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Keeping record of your work



In literature it is often mentioned to keep record of all details of the ceramic work pieces. This is not a superfluous recommendation. It is the only way to progress and improve the quality of ones creations. On top, if you are interested in the chemistry of glazes like me, one can gather an impressive quantity of data that allows to understand better and better how complex glaze chemistry can be and,... it is fun!


What to keep record of? Everything! There is no limit! Even to some extend, recording weather conditions can be of importance. Not that I am going that far...


The minimum tool is a good notebook, kept in good order. Although this can be a sufficient tool, modern technology helps us to do it in an elegant and in a visually rich way.


The main tools I use are INSIGHT for easy glaze calculation (this -or similar- can already be used as a good recording database) .


I use Excel for making graphs of:


· A firing diagram


· Alumina/Silica ratio plots


· Ternary graphs of Mole% of Fluxes, Amphoteric and Glass formers


· Limit bar graphs based on the Unity formula


· Comparative graphs of glazes with different thermal expansion


All of the above are combined in a Filemaker database.


As an example here is a picture of a firing diagram. It contains besides the temperature also the gas pressure and the damper opening during the firing.


In a forthcoming post I will show some more examples of how it may look.








Find more about ceramics on my web pages:

http://users.telenet...Spruyt/Ceramics menu.html

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One thing I've started doing is taking a pic of a piece that I'm doing something extra too (verses production ware), and numbering it, and then jotting that number in my notebook along with relevant data. Later I can transfer the pic from my phone to my computer.



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