Much like the open-source movement, our ceramics culture is largely one of sharing and collaboration. Via mailing lists, discussion groups, and personal websites, potters freely share their knowledge. Being largely self-taught, these resources have been extremely important to me.
In particular, ceramics recipes are handed down from one generation of ceramicists to another, much as one might teach grandma’s secret chocolate-chip cookie recipe to a daughter or son. However, ceramics recipes “don’t travel well”- they are extremely sensitive to changes in materials, mixing, application, and firing.
Glazy’s mission is three-fold: To collect, archive and trace a lineage for historical & new ceramics recipes, provide a single framework to understand and compare differences in glaze chemistry, and to establish an open-source codebase for ceramic recipes calculation and storage.
Collection and archiving of recipes is an on-going effort. The original database was seeded with data from Linda Arbuckle’s GlazeChem database, John Sankey’s glaze database, and Louis Katz’s Hyperglaze database. Since then, many other sources have been included, as well as contributions from users.
As a tool for understanding and comparing glaze chemistry, much more work needs to be done. The development of these tools in Glazy is the result of numerous discussions with ceramicists from all over the world. Notably, the primary use of Stull charts is due to Matthew Katz’s continuing research and classes.
As niche software, glaze calculation software has often been written by a single developer. Once that developer retires or loses interest, the software is abandoned. During the Winter of 2017 I completely re-wrote the Glazy website and published the entire project as open-source on Github. This allows other developers to contribute, improve and sustain the Glazy code, hopefully eliminating the “single developer” problem. The Glazy project actually exists as a family of open-source repositories all available on my Github page: https://github.com/derekphilipau